Understanding Europe

Understanding Europe is an educational network by and for young people committed to civic participation and to a democratic and open-minded Europe.

At the centre of the project are young peers aged between 16 and 27. Active in youth-led organisations in twelve European countries, they form the project’s European network and shape it on many levels and in different capacities. Together, the peers develop workshops on politics, media and democratic participation, and implement the workshops in schools and other educational settings in their countries.

Facts & Figures

  • Each year, about 150 peers and 12,500 students from 12 countries participate in the network.
  • As part of the annual European Summer School, 20 experienced trainers become qualified to facilitate trainings for trainers.
  • During biannual meetings, 20 peer coordinators become qualified and are supported in implementing the project at local levels.
  • Each year, 6-8 young fellows develop new educational formats on democracy & media.
  • All educational formats can be used digitally.


Currently, there are two digital and in-person workshops available for students and young people aged 14 and older. The formats are based on the approach of Peer Education, which aims to strengthen participation and self-determination. The peers act as role models and mediators at eye level with young people in and out of classrooms.

  • EU-Crash-Course: this format provides participants with basic knowledge on the EU and Europe. The course addresses current debates and questions, as well as provides reasons as to why the EU is important for young people – and vice versa. The course can take place digitally or in person.
  • Media-Crash-Course: this digital format provides young people with basic media skills. Participants can decide to focus on fake news and disinformation, journalism and the media, or hate speech. The modules can be combined.

© Stefanie Loos

Inclusive & diversity-oriented education

Peers are prepared for their work in classrooms through a qualification programme. Following the concept of democratic citizenship education, it provides knowledge and skills to enable young people to actively participate in society.

Engaging with inclusive, diversity-sensitive and racism-critical approaches plays a central role. The programme creates a safe space for learning and collaboration, offering young people opportunities to explore, get to know themselves as well as better understand other world views and experiences.

Experts in school and in non-formal education are important to this project as they take part in mutual knowledge transfer processes.