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Meeting the EU Architects at the EYE Event

By Dora Valčić

Last weekend the European Youth Event, #EYE2023, took place in Strasbourg, June 2023. The House of European History learning team facilitated workshops on "The EU step by step: History of the European Integration", which focused on lives and stories about of the ‘architects’ of the EU.

On Friday, June 9, in the first workshop, there were 52 participants from 13 different countries, and on Saturday, June 10, there were 50 participants from 14 countries across the European Union and world.

In both workshops, the participants formed into small groups, gathering next to the EU Architects’ portraits, photos and objects, which colleagues from the learning team had exhibited around the room. The participants went on to discover the life stories with the Visible Thinking routine SEE-THINK-ME-WE. At the core of Visible Thinking are practices that help make thinking visible. Thinking Routines loosely guide learners' thought processes and encourage active processing. After finishing with the routine, the groups made presentations about the Architects to each other, and discovered and shared the ME part of the routine, such as “What connections can you make between you and this person?” Here are some of the answers:

“Louise Weiss has been fighting all her life and has been elected at 79 to the European Parliament. Fighting is still important. I'm a disabled person and I fight for all disabled people in Europe, so they can have their rights respected.”

“Schuman has been awarded the Father of Europe, which is quite cool. He is the main guy, [and the reason] why we are sitting together in this room in the EYE in such a peaceful way. Thank you, Robert!”

“I come from Latvia and I liked how Konrad wanted to unite Protestants and Catholics under one banner, since we have a similar division back I can see how he can be an inspiration for many young people who wish to continue to work together. “

“I am a woman, and a law student too, therefore I appreciate a lot all the effort she [Simone Veil] put to make women’s life better.” 

During these workshops and throughout EYE2023, one could really see the motto “United in Diversity” come to life. For the learning team, this was a great opportunity to test some of the material from the forthcoming House of European History digital learning toolbox. This was some of the feedback from the participants:

"I used to think that learning about European Founders was just interesting -now I think it can be really fun as well.”

I used to think that learning about European Founders was kind of drab, because the events are long past - now I think that with the right methods, even past events can be fun.”

All the participants’ feedback will be used to ensure that this new digital toolbox will be relevant, engaging, and meet the needs and expectations of the future students and teachers who will use it. Stay tuned to get notified how you can take part too, by filling in our keep in touch form!

Students doing activity on wall at EYE event
Printed materials for EYE event activity