According to the European Commission report (2017) titled “Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture”, education and culture play an important role for people to:
(i) know better each other across borders
(ii) experience and be aware of what it means to be European.
The reflection about the future of EU also entails a reflection on the strength of common identity and values of its citizens. Strengthening our European identity still remains essential and education and culture are the best vectors to ensure this. Moreover, one of the priorities of the Erasmus programme is to strengthen European identity and increase young people’s participation in EU society which are considering critical for the European Union’s future.
It is clear that the politics of European identity in Europe has become more important following the recent economic and migration crises which have fuelled a rise in nationalist and anti-EU sentiment across Europe and exposed deep divisions among governments and citizens about the value, purpose and future of the EU – most strikingly evident in the Brexit referendum vote in the United Kingdom. To add to this, the recent health crisis has affected trust in public institutions concerning the management of the health crisis.
However, it is important for European citizens to believe more in EU institutions, feel connected and share the same values and understanding about the EU. But this is a challenging task given the EU’s territorial diversity and the current state of knowledge and distrust that young people, but also adults, have toward EU institutions. As for adults, across 10 European nations surveyed by Pew Research Center in 2019, a median of 62% stated that the EU does not understand the needs of its citizens. As for students, a survey contacted by EUPlay partners revealed that students are not well informed about European matters.
The aim of project EUPlay project is concerned with developing novel digital tools by which educators can attract, reach out and assist students to raise awareness on and understand the European Union context, the EU values and also to foster their cultural identity and cultural awareness. Moreover, educators will enhance their understanding on the importance of preparing students for a world where digital systems are prevalent across all industries.
To achieve this aim, the following objectives have been set:
- OB1: To design and develop the Teachers’ Education 4.0 Guide
- OB2: To develop the EUPlay digital interactive book
- OB3: To develop the EUPlay Treasure Hunt Digital Game
- OB4: To develop the EUPlay e-learning platform that will provide EU teachers with a set of tools and resources
- OB5: To test and evaluate the impact of the EUPlay e-learning platform and its resources
- OB6: To strengthen the professional profiles of educators, by providing them with freely available tools and resources
- OB7: To disseminate and exploit the results of EUPlay project, and in particular ensure that its results will be openly available to all across Europe.