Crash Courses about Europe

Understanding Europe is a project by the Schwarzkopf Foundation and the European Youth Parliament The Netherlands.

The aim of the project is to convey a basic understanding of the EU to youngsters. During four-hour EU Crash Courses we want to encourage pupils to discuss current European questions and give them space to openly express their opinions about Europe.

EU Crash Course

The EU Crash Course covers three main topics:

  • Why does the EU exist? – Milestones of European history
  • Who is the EU? – Actors of the EU
  • What does the EU do? – Competences of the EU

The students work in small groups, are encouraged to ask questions, and reflect together upon the ways of influence the EU has on their everyday lives.


The concept of the courses is based on the Peer-Education-Approach. Young, specially trained, seminar trainers come in pairs to participating schools. As multipliers for European ideas they are at the same time moderators and mediators. It is their aim to motivate pupils for the topic of the EU and to encourage them to participate. The EU Crash Course serves at providing space for questions of the pupils concerning the context of the European integration and to impart and visualise basic knowledge about European politics.

5900 young people in Europe

Understanding Europe Netherlands is part of the European-wide project Understanding Europe. In 2015 peer seminar trainers in 10 countries reached more than 5.900 young people with 270 EU Crash Courses. Thanks to the European Youth Parliament a young and successful project about Europe initiated by the Schwarzkopf Foundation was spread by young people to young people on a European level and is now also active in the Netherlands.