When speaking of Europe, the Schwarzkopf Foundation does not limit itself to the existing institutional framework of the European Union or the European territory. Rather, we refer to the vision of the European Convention on Human Rights by the Council of Europe.
Our vision of Europe is a community of openness, solidarity and democracy. This vision includes a civil society that is inclusive, pluralistic and that young people help to shape. That is why we offer young people opportunities to get involved in the European idea and develop it further – in critical and visionary ways.
Such a Europe can only be achieved by reflecting on Europe’s past, present and future and its relationship to a world shaped by power relations and privileges. ‘Thinking European’ means understanding plurality as an opportunity. We try to de-centre dominant narratives and perspectives on Europe, thus creating “a sense of responsibility for what happens in, around and because of Europe, including an awareness that European democracy is a privilege and needs to be constantly renewed.”* We aim to break down barriers to engaging in discourse on an open, post-national and inclusive Europe. This requires listening to and learning from perspectives and experiences that have been largely excluded from the histories of Europe and its integration. We want to give space to different lived realities and experiences and encourage young people to develop common, inclusive and future-oriented ideas for Europe.