On 3 December 2015 the Committee Education and Culture of the European Parliament organised the Interparliamentary Committee Meeting on the topic ‘Education and Youth’. The meeting consisted of several panels, one of them being ‘Youth policies in Europe’. EFIL , together with the Lifelong Learning Platform, had been invited to speak on this panel. Specifically, EFIL was asked to talk about ‘Practising youth civic engagement and active citizenship’ and thus presenting the European Citizenship Trimester Programme as a best practice. We had the honour to have Roberto Ruffino representing EFIL on this panel. ECTP was introduced when he was the Chairman of the Board of EFIL. Today Roberto Ruffino is the Honorary President of EFIL. In the presentation, Mr Ruffino showed what the learning path of ECTP is, and he focused on the key role of volunteers and schools in making the programme a successful one. In particular, he underlined how schools are often not supporting exchange programmes and school systems are still nationalistic, while teachers do not see the value of a long-term study experience abroad.
The introductory panel which took place just before Roberto Ruffino’s intervention, included the European Youth Forum’s Secretary-General Allan Päll and the highest political personalities at European level in the field of Education and Youth, namely the Chair of the CULT Committee Silvia Costa, the Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, Claude Meisch the Minister for Education and Youth of Luxembourg which now holds the Presidency of the EU.
European Youth Forum representatives were given the floor first to comment on each of the panels, showing the increasing importance that the European Parliament is giving to youth.
The event was attended by an EFIL delegation consisting of Elisa Briga, EFIL’s Advocacy Coordinator, and two ECTP volunteers who are also former ECTP participants, Blaz Damian from AFS Slovenia and Corrina Rus from AFS Croatia.
We hope that the fact that ECTP has been chosen by the European Parliament as a best practice to be presented to EU national parliaments, will help AFS organisations in the EU to further promote this programme in their countries.
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Mr Ruffino presenting the European Citizenship Trimester Programme
Corrina Rus (AFS Croatia), Blaz Damian (AFS Slovenia).
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