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28/10/2013

European Citizens' Exam in Lithuania attracted 25.000 participants

21.000 people at schools, universities, other various organisations and 4000 people online tested their knowledge about the EU citizens’ rights, benefits and the functioning of the EU. This year the exam was special because it took place just before Lithuania took over the Presidency of the Council.

It is the fourth year in a row that the exam has been organised in Lithuania. Participants had to answer 20 multiple choice questions related to the EU citizens’ rights, the functioning of the EU, the benefits of the EU to the people and businesses, the Presidency and other current issues.

The exam took place on 9 May (Europe day). Like in previous years, the most active participants of the exam were pupils. More than 400 schools organised the exam and 20.000 pupils had a chance to test their knowledge about the EU. The exam was organised in 11 universities and colleagues, several ministries, municipalities and NGOs. It was the first time when business had a chance to find out who the EU experts at their organisations are.

Information partners of the exam were Lithuanian national TV and radio, which broadcasted a creative commercial of the exam and one of the biggest Lithuanian news internet portals 15min.lt, which published news about the exam.

The registration for organisations willing to organise the European Citizens’ Exam started in March 2013. Coordinators (volunteers) from organisations registered online and were provided with material to prepare for the exam. For example, teachers were sent methodological material on how to present European citizens’ rights at school in an interactive way. On 8 May coordinators were able to download questions of the exam and on 9 May conduct the exam in their respective organisations.

Back to School exercise when officials from the EU institutions visited their former schools in Lithuania was held in April. More than 60 officials made presentations about the EU and their personal stories in the institutions and helped for 5000 pupils to prepare for the exam.

Any citizen could participate in the exam online via special Facebook application or via the Representation's website. The exam was online for one week from 6 to 12 May and 4000 people used the opportunity to test their knowledge. Representations’ Facebook page gained around 3000 new fans through this application.

The final of the exam took place in the brand new EU House in Vilnius on 17 May. 25 of the best pupils along with their teachers, 11 students from universities and the 10 best performers from the online exam came to find out who will win trips to the EU institutions in Brussels and iPad computers. The questions of the final were tough, though participants spent an interesting and fun day in Vilnius.

The most difficult questions for the participants were about the functioning of EU institutions. In the business organizations there was some uncertainty about the questions related to the functions of the European Commission. 91 percent of school pupils knew that Lithuanian citizens are able to work in all EU countries. Only 37 percent of respondents knew that members of the European Parliament are accountable to the electorate and not to the Commission or to member states.

The project was organised by the Representation in partnership with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Education Development Centre, Europe Direct centres and Team Europe Junior.

 

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