Academic Diplomacy in Action: German-Israeli Study Trip by EU@School
From May 7th to May 12th, 2023, the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence "EU@School" at TU Darmstadt and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev conducted a study trip with students from both universities. The student group was accompanied by Prof. Sharon Pardo, Dr. Hila Zahavi, and Aharon Leshno Yaar, former Israeli Ambassador to the EU.
The study trip began with a joint workshop titled "European Governance in Disruptive Times" for the students from Ben-Gurion University and TU Darmstadt who traveled from Israel. Supported by lectures from Prof. Knodt, Nils Bruch, and Lucas Flath, the students discussed current challenges facing the European Union in the fields of energy and climate policy, as well as the role of EU-Israel relations. The visit to the European Space Operations Centre of the ESA in Darmstadt highlighted the opportunities for European cooperation through technological collaboration among European countries in space.
After two days in Darmstadt, the group traveled to Strasbourg, with an informative stopover at the University of Public Administration in Kehl, where local experts explained administrative cooperation in cross-border projects. In Strasbourg, the students visited the European Parliament and gained insight into parliamentary work in the EU. In two meetings with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), they also had the opportunity to personally discuss current foreign policy challenges. A subsequent visit to the Council of Europe allowed the students to understand its structure and its role in promoting European relations outside the European Union, as well as its role in safeguarding democracy and human rights.
The final destination of the trip was Luxembourg. There, the students visited the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, where Luxembourgish diplomats presented the special significance of the European Union from the perspective of a smaller member state. A visit to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg provided the students with profound insights into the immense importance of jurisprudence for the European Union and the role of the rule of law principle in the EU.
The study trip provided the students with a unique opportunity to deepen their academic knowledge through direct interaction with representatives of European institutions and to experience the European Union firsthand. Furthermore, this trip allowed the students to establish valuable connections that are of great importance for their personal development as well as for academic exchange between the EU and Israel.
15 May 2023
The Jean Monnet Pupil Award for EU Essay 2022 – Israel
We are thrilled to announce that Maya Shamir Klain is the recipient of this year's EU@School Pupil Award for her exceptional work on the European Council.
In her paper, Maya provides a comprehensive and in-depth examination of the history, institutionalization, roles, and responsibilities of the European Council, in addition to its composition and duty bearers. This is the first time that such information has been presented in the Hebrew language, making it accessible and understandable to the Israeli public. The paper was chosen for its excellence in presenting this relevant information in a clear and accurate manner. The award is associated with a prize money of 200 euros.
The full paper in Hebrew can be found here.
15 December 2022
Visit of the class 12BD01 at the TU Darmstadt
On the occasion of their first place at the EU@School Pupil Award the class 12BD01 of the Gewerbliche Schulen of the Lahn-Dill-Kreis visited the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the TU Darmstadt on July 20th. Besides the official presentation of the certificate, there was the possibility to reflect on the essays with Michèle Knodt and Lucas Flath and to discuss about the European Union and its role as a peace project.
The essays can be found here.
01 August 2022
EU@School Pupil Award 2022
The winners of this year's EU@School Pupil Awards have been announced. This year there are two award categories: An individual prize and a collective prize. The individual prize was won by Ella Ziegert from the Lichtenbergschule Darmstadt and the collective prize by class 12BD01 from the Gewerbliche Schulen des Lahn-Dill-Kreis.
The essays can be found here.
30 June 2022
Ask the Expert - April 2022
In a new "Ask the Expert" post, Michèle Knodt answers questions received about the role of energy in the sanctions against Russia in the wake of the war in Ukraine. She also explains Ukraine's, Georgia's and Moldowa's EU membership perspectives in a separate video.
[German Audio, English subtitles coming soon]
25 April 2022
EU@School Pupil Award - Start of application phase (Germany)
This year, we are once again organizing an essay competition for students of all school types from the 9th grade upwards.
This year's topic in view of the war in Ukraine: The EU as a peace project. Send us your ideas!
Prize money: 200 euros
Closing date: 31.05.2022
23 March 2022
The newsletter for 2022 has been sent out and can be accessed retrospectively here.
20 February 2022
The Jean Monnet Pupil Award for EU Essay 2021
This year's Jean Monnet Pupil Award for EU Essay goes to the Erich Kästner School in Darmstadt, Hesse. A 10th grade student convinced the jury with a precise analysis of the EU refugee policy and a plea for more solidarity between the member states in this matter.
The winning essay is published here.
28 October 2021
Training day for teachers in preparatory service
On August 23, 2021, Prof. Michéle Knodt and EU@School in cooperation with the Arbeitskreis Europäische Union e. V. invited the teachers in the preparatory service of the Hessian Teachers' Academy Darmstadt to a training day for the development of new teaching content on the European Union.
Together with a total of 23 future teachers in the Darmstadt region, the integration of current research topics on the European Union for school teaching was discussed. In addition to teaching pupils about institutional aspects of the EU, the focus was on current political developments such as European energy and climate policy and the classification of right-wing populism in Europe. Didactics was also on the agenda: Participants were trained in conducting simulations of negotiation procedures in the EU as an innovative method for teaching. Legislative procedures or accession negotiations can thus be brought closer to pupils in a realistic and interactive way.
Representatives of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Pedagogical Exchange Service (PAD) also attended the event and informed the participants about support opportunities for teachers and schools within the framework of the ERASMUS+ program.
23 September 2021
Graduate Workshop on European Climate and Energy Politics
Together with the Model European Union Mainz (MEUM), Prof. Knodt and EU@School organized a graduate workshop to simulate a climate act debate in the European Parliament.
A total of 60 students from TU Darmstadt and JGU Mainz as well as partner universities took on roles as members of the European Parliament to bring the European idea to life in a realistic role play. In this context, the students were taught the ordinary legislative procedure of the EU in a more interactive, intensive and long-term way than is possible in regular lectures. However, the workshop does not only pursue purely academic goals, but above all aims to bring young Europeans together and thus to promote European integration also on a personal level.
The simulation was co-organized by students from the Bringing Europeans Together Association (BETA).
20 July 2021
Prof. Dr. Sharon Pardo from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev as guest at TU Darmstadt
The digital guest lectures within the framework of EU@School are continued. On 25.6.21 Prof. Dr. Sharon Pardo was a guest of Prof. Dr. Michèle Knodt at TU Darmstadt. Prof. Dr. Pardo participated in the lecture "Governance in the European Union" and informed Darmstadt students about his latest research findings on this topic.
25 June 2021
Graduate students' workshop at Open University of Israel
On 2 June 2021, Prof. Dr. Sharon Pardo and Dr. Hila Zahavi from BGU organized a Graduate Students' Workshop at the Open University of Israel as part of EU@School. 25 participants from different Israeli institutions were introduced to the topic "Ethnography of International Organizations as a method for studying EU's institutions" by Dr. Inna Leykin from the Open University of Israel.
03 June 2021
Guest lecture by Dr. Sigita Urdze at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Digital teaching makes it possible - on May 10, Dr. Sigita Urdze was able to take part in a seminar held by Dr. Hila Zahavi at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She gave a lecture on European foreign policy to a group of 20 students and then had an intensive discussion with them about the possibilities of the EU to become active in the field of human rights and democracy.
An exciting event, which will be continued in a similar form.
10 May 2021
School meets University: Prof. Dr. Michèle Knodt visits three schools in Hesse
On May 6 and 7, Prof. Dr. Michèle Knodt was a guest in three schools in Hesse. By means of videoconferencing, students asked her questions and discussed topics related to the EU with her.
The thematic focal points were:
- 5.2021: Discussion on the future of Europe in the context of Europe Day 2021 (Gewerbliche Schule Dillenburg)
- 5.2021: Discussion on EU solidarity in the pandemic in the context of Europe Day 2021 (Oswald-von-Nell-Breuning-School Rödermark) Session 1
- 5.2021: Discussion on EU solidarity in the pandemic in the context of Europe Day 2021 (Oswald-von-Nell-Breuning-School Rödermark) Session 2
Inquiries from other schools are welcome!
7 May 2021
Students from BGU record and publish podcasts on various aspects of European diplomacy
In the context of a module on European diplomacy at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev students recorded podcasts on various aspects of European diplomacy under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Sharon Pardo. All podcasts are available in Hebrew on Spotify.
19 March 2021
Unfortunately, the event "European Green Deal: Ideas for (digital) teaching content on the climate policy of the European Union" planned for March 31st has to be cancelled due to corona. We have been approached with the request to hold the event at a later date in presence. We hope for an improvement of the pandemic situation and will hopefully be able to make an attempt soon.
15 March 2021
Video-Podcasts on IAT "Ask the Expert" published
The first video podcasts on the EU can be found on our Youtube-Channel and here on the website.
Prof. Dr. Michèle Knodt and Dr. Hila Zahavi answer questions about the EU in German and Hebrew respectively. What does the European Commission actually do? How does one become a Commissioner? Why can't you pay with the Euro in Poland? And what exactly is Brexit all about?
More video podcasts will follow. We welcome your questions!
12 February 2021
School meets University: Hila Zahavi visits the Maayan School, Gezer Municipality
Dr. Hila Zahavi took part in a 6th grade class at the Maayan School in digital form. She introduced the students to the topic of "European Union and the Euro" and then answered numerous questions.
28 January 2021
Jean Monnet Pupil Award for EU Essay
We have published our first call for the Jean Monnet Pupil Award for EU Essay.
The German call is available here. The Hebrew call will follow soon.
Pupils from 9th grade onwards are introduced to send us an essay on "Solidarity in the EU". Deadline: 31 July 2021.
27 January 2021
Training for teachers
On 31 March 2021 our first training for teachers-event will take place. It will be hosted by the Hessische Lehrkräfteakademie. We will introduce innovative digital and non-digital teaching methods on the of the EU with a particular focus on the European Green Deal to teachers and future teachers.
Further information available here.
22 January 2021
Internal kick-off event
The Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence “EU Expertise at School” (@school) constitutes an innovative transmission belt between the academic world of EU studies and the educational world of secondary and vocational schools. It is supported by the European Commission.
This joint effort formalises links between two Jean Monnet Chairs ad personam of Prof. Michèle Knodt at Technical University Darmstadt in Germany and Prof. Sharon Pardo at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
@school builds a solid framework of transmitting academic debates and research into schools. Thus, it promotes joint research and networking among professors, scholars, early career researchers, students of EU Studies and secondary and vocational schools, focusing on the future of the EU as well as climate- and energy-policy. It establishes a new hub for cooperation of EU Studies and schools to promote academic dialogue on teaching EU Studies as well as a new access point to highly relevant academic knowledge for secondary and vocational schools.
Activities are designed in order to achieve these objectives and comprise inter alia of: teaching, Jean Monnet Pupil Award for EU Essay, School meets EU Studies, simulation on the EU for pupils “Junior Campus EU+”, Interactive Assistant Tool (IAT) “Ask the Expert” and research projects.
Aiming directly at teachers and pupils, director of @school and ad personam Jean Monnet Professor Michèle Knodt said: “We are here to help you to learn more about and to better understand the EU. We have lots of tools and ideas on how to help you, many of them in a digital manner. We are ready to start supporting you, also in times of the COVID 19-pandemie. Contact us!”
13 October 2020
Official start of EU@School
Great News! The European Commission has decided to fund the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence “EU Expertise at School” (@school)
14 August 2020