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Together we can do better!

In May, the call for European elections is opening and all European citizens are needed to express their desire to get involved in politics.

These are not simple elections, this is an international event in which we are involved as protagonists because the future of the European Union depends on us.

The EU is experiencing a moment of crisis due to the national political transformations that are happening, the international emergency related to the migratory fluxes that are occurring and the lack of common intents between the countries that constitute the monetary and economic Union.

The number of populist parties that are rising in power in national contexts is increasing as a result of the boom in nationalism, economic autarky and political distrust.

The aim of these parties is a counter-trend compared to the objectives of the EU, that can be summarised in the motto “United in diversity”. The hardest challenge that the European Union faces is promoting and convincing the European public to support its intent in order to transform the EU from an agglomeration of National States into the “United States of Europe”.

This does not mean reducing the constitutional power that the single States have, but legislating common agreements.

In contrast, in Italy, even if the parties that are governing are Eurosceptic, they nevertheless complain about their indifference to the EU, for example concerning problems such as immigration. Due to this lack of concern and willingness to share the problem and help to solve it, Italy is not supporting the aims of the European project.

Moreover, unfortunately the values that powerful parties are promoting do not allow the sense of belonging to a common European Union to grow.

However, my expectations of the EU’s fate are encouraged by the experiences I am living, and by staying in contact with my Erasmus generation. The Evs project in Madeira and an Erasmus exchange through my university have enabled me to recognise the importance of bringing young people together from different projects across Europe. We are the future and what we are being shown, is that together we can do better.

Short bio of the volunteer:

My name is Cristina, I am 22 and Italian. I am a globetrotter and a student of International and Diplomatic Science. I believe that “your vibe attracts your tribe”, that’s why I am in love with nature, animals and my friends! 🙂


Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.

Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.

In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.

European Voluntary Service

Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.

We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.

Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.