[All about the EU]
Europe in 12 lessons
What purpose does the EU serve? Why and how was it set up? How does it work? What has it already achieved for its citizens, and what new challenges does it face today?
In an age of globalisation, can the EU compete successfully with other major economies while maintaining its social standards? What will Europe’s role be on the world stage in the years ahead? Where will the EU’s boundaries be drawn? And what future is there for the euro?
These are just some of the questions explored by EU expert Pascal Fontaine in this 2010 edition of his popular booklet Europe in 12 lessons.
The EU in slides
These slides can be used by teachers to make a powerpoint presentation about the EU. Each slide provides some simple facts or keywords in a style that can be easily understood by an audience with no prior knowledge of the EU. They explain key figures, policies and how the EU works and provide basic information on issues such as EU enlargement, the treaties and the EU symbols.
The slides are regularly updated
History of the European Union
From the end of the Second World War, through the Cold War era and economic growth and recession – European history has never been boring! See how these events shaped the EU – and how the EU has responded. Read an overview of each decade, or take a closer look at what happened year-by-year. You may also want to read about the EU's 'Founding Fathers' and watch videos of them in action. A wallchart presents a timeline of 25 key events in European integration.
How the EU works
Do you want to find out about how the EU works? Then look no further! This is where you can find out all you need to know on how the various institutions work, how the EU takes decisions and who is involved. Find out for example who sets the agenda and who must agree to new proposals before they become law throughout the EU.
Policy areas of the European Union
The EU is active in a wide range of policy areas, from human rights to transport and trade. Whether you want to know how much money the EU spends on restructuring the fishing sector or what it is doing to tackle climate change – this website provides the answers.
Geography of the European Union
On this website you can find practical maps with basic information on the country’s political system, history, economy, geography and traditional food.
In addition to the website, here you can download a wall chart with the map of Europe and here you can download and order a leaflet « Travelling in Europe 2012-13 » with a map and plenty of advice for travelling.
The ‘Young Parliament’ section of the EuroparlTV website features a look backstage at how the Parliament works, the history of the EU, and an introduction to current EU topics, such as the Balkans and the ‘institutional triangle’. Video interviews with MEPs also address some of today’s hottest and controversial issues, such as the economic crisis, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and proposals for a European army.
This online diary is packed with interesting facts about life in the EU and information on the rights of EU citizens. Practical advice on such diverse topics as mobile phone tariffs, recycling and music downloads is presented in a simple and concise format, making it particularly suitable as a teaching tool.
The diary incorporates a teachers' guide with suggestions for classroom or homework activities based on the contents of the diary. You can find it on the top right-hand side of the diary.
Julie is a single mum without a job, struggling to make ends meet. Viktor is a blind musician, who just wants to be like everybody else. Pedro grew up in the Portuguese countryside, but he left his parents small farm to seek his luck elsewhere – and failed. Former inmate Fianne from Dublin is fired from her job at a factory and tries to give her life a new direction. The comic book “Take Two” tells the stories of these everyday people and explains how the European Social Fund helped get them back on track.
What does European citizenship mean to me?
33 teachers from around Europe answer the question: what does European citizenship mean to me?
This online one-year lesson plan covers European history, the functioning of the EU and its members in an engaging manner. Games and activities such as Euro-Scrabble and research projects ensure that the package is fun as well as informative.
- March 2008
A dangerous pandemic is spreading fast! Students must work together as citizens, MEPs and European Commissioners to save Europe and their school. Through group work, students learn about the role of each EU institution, how they work together, and how their decisions affect the lives of millions of people across Europe.
It is 2015 and a deadly disease is killing thousands in Europe! Emergency laws are needed to control the outbreak. In this online game, students take on the role of an MEP, requiring them to devise a strategy and convince other MEPs that their ideas are the right ones. Activities include answering questions from the press.
The European Parliament: What’s that?
What is the European Parliament? Aimed at citizenship teachers, this package of resources includes issue-based lesson plans and activities that show students how EU laws and policies affect their lives. It also contains a DVD and an interactive CD-Rom. These are used with a smart board which has video clips, interactive games, sound files, teachers' notes and activity files.
- May 2008
Danish presidency 2012 – educational material
Created by the Danish presidency of the EU, this website contains a number of resources for youngsters on major EU policy areas, such as the EU economy, the EU’s global role and the environment. Interesting facts, videos, questions for discussion and quiz questions all help to generate interest in your classes on the EU.
Would you like to spend 100 billion euro? Budget Europe is an educational online game. The player is in charge of the EU and must decide how to spend its budget. He or she must also respond to a minimum of five ‘tweets’ discussing issues from EU funding for healthcare or sports clubs to electricity providers. Press ‘Start’, draw up the budget and divide the €100 billion!
Teaching resources TES
The world’s largest network of teachers – TES – brings together resources about the European Union. These games, lesson plans and activities posted by fellow teachers can be used to teach pupils about citizenship and Europe – from how the EU works to migration, history, the euro and geography.
Facts and figures
From the dates when each country joined the EU to facts on population, institutions and languages, this colourful brochure starts with a general introduction before providing more specific information on each EU country. Learn about each country’s political system, population, cities, voting age and more. Further facts and figures are available on the europa website.
Empower your students with the practical consumer skills they need for real life! The Consumer Classroom website contains a host of resources to inspire teachers – on issues from social media to citizenship and consumer rights. It also allows teachers to build lessons online and share them with students, and to swap tips with other teachers through an EU-wide online community.
[Economy & Trade]
€conomia - The game on monetary policy
A fun and interactive way to discover how monetary policy works. Each 4 months over a period of eight years, players must take decisions on interest rates in order to keep inflation below 2%.
[Energy & Environment]
Would you drink your wastewater?
Explore the journey that water takes as we use it in our daily lives. See how it reaches our taps, and its passage through sewers and treatment plants to rivers and the sea, where we can enjoy it once more.
[The EU and the world]
Europe and me
'Europe and me' takes a number of policy areas and shows by means of colourful storyboards why it makes sense for European countries to work together to tackle common challenges. Students are also introduced to issues such as the environment, law and order, work, consumer protection, equality, minorities and development aid.
Fighting poverty – the EU in action
These videos explain the objectives of EU development policy for a teenage audience and introduce projects in areas such as water, food security, conflict prevention and human rights. The videos explain why development aid is necessary in these areas and show how the EU can make a difference.
• General introduction [32 MB]
• Trade [19 MB]
• Water [18 MB]
• Environment [18 MB]
• Human rights [18 MB]
• Health [19 MB]
• Food security [21 MB]
• Education [17 MB]
• Infrastructures [19 MB]
• Conflict prevention [18 MB]
2004 – a tsunami hits Indonesia. 2010 – an earthquake kills over 200 000 in Haiti. Many natural disasters have claimed a shocking number of lives in recent years. The comic book “Hidden Disaster” tells the tale of survivors who have lost their homes and shows humanitarian aid at work. Taking a look behind the scenes, we learn about initial reactions and aid measures coordinated at the European Commission, and the actual challenges aid workers face on the ground.
European farm policy down the years
This poster outlines the development of the common agricultural policy from its beginnings in 1957 to the present day. It shows the shift from ensuring good food at affordable and fair prices to the focus on sustainable development and environmentally friendly farming methods.
The story of three generations of farmers
From providing food during the difficult years of the Second World War to converting farm waste into low carbon biogas – farming has changed a lot over the last 60 years. This booklet will take your pupils through the challenges that farmers have faced, and show how the EU has helped along the way – for example when cattle contracted foot and mouth disease – and how new technologies are helping today's farmers meet fresh challenges.