Our school had the pleasure of having two students of the James Madison University, Kyle Conahan and Victoria Lee, who work at the Europe Direct project of the City of Florence (http://www.edfirenze).
The purpose of these meetings was to inform the Florentine community and highschool students in particular about the European Union (EU) politics in order to raise awareness of how the EU works.
During the first meeting we had on March 20th, they gave us basic information on the history of Europe:
- 1945 – 1959 A peaceful Europe – the beginnings of cooperation
- 1960 – 1969: A period of economic growth
- 1970 – 1979: A growing Community:the first enlargement
- 1980 – 1989: The changing face of Europe:the fall of Berlin Wall
- 1990 – 1999: Europe without frontiers
- 2000 – 2009: Further expansion
- 2009 – Today: A challenging decade
They also explained to us how the European Parliament works and what its main targets are.
- European Commission
- European Parliament
- Council of the European Union
- European Council
- European Court of Justices
- European Central Bank
At the end of the presentation we split into two groups and Kyle and Victoria asked us some questions about their lectures. The team with more right answers won this “competition”. It was a really good experience that gave us the chance to learn a lot of interesting things about Europe in a funny way.
During the second meeting, on March 27th, we had a discussion over the first meeting and then we were divided again into two groups.
Both Kyle and Victoria talked to each group to answer our questions for instance about the American Universities and the USA in general and so on.
Then, as shown on the picture below, we talked again about the main problems affecting Europe and about Brexit. Eventually we took a picture all together.
It was a very good experience that gave us the chance to discover important facts about Europe and how its political institutions work and their functions inside the European Union.