Europe on Track is an official AEGEE-Europe project in which six ambassadors, divided in two teams, travel for a month across Europe with InterRail in order to get to know how young people see the present and the future of Europe.
A bit of history: the first edition of EoT took place in 2012 thanks to a partnership of AEGEE-Europe with InterRail. It was so successful that it won the European Charlemagne Youth Prize. In 2014, the second edition of EoT followed, with a focus on the European Parliamentary Elections that coincided with the trip. In the third edition, last spring, the topic was “Borderless Europe”, ending in Agora Bergamo, where the project became an official AEGEE-Europe project.
After Agora Bergamo, we went back on the rails to evaluate EoT3, and to prepare for EoT4. During our evaluation of the 3rd edition, we analysed the countless data that the ambassadors collected, which will be published in a results booklet soon. Due to our analysis, we can implement changes for our preparations of EoT4 in order to improve the project and to expand its growth. In summer, new members joined the project team and a knowledge transfer took place. With the new team, and in cooperation with the Civic Education Working Group, we decided on the topic of the next edition: Civic Education and the European Citizens’ Initiative “More than Education” (see and sign: www.morethaneducation.eu).
One thing we knew was that we wanted to start the next edition with a big opening conference. When the opportunity to apply for the Franck Biancheri Award was presented during Agora Chisinau, we did not hesitate to apply. For those who do not know, the Franck Biancheri Award is a yearly prize awarded by the Association des Amis de Franck Biancheri to a thematic conference within AEGEE locals, in order to commemorate our founder’s ideas and to push forward the values of our association.
AEGEE-Budapest, apart from being a great and hard-working local, is really involved in Civic Education. For example, they are carrying out a project called “Get Involved!” in which they conduct several debates with students about different topics that are relevant for the current situation in Europe.
After many conversations, we organised a Skype meeting where both teams, Europe on Track and AEGEE-Budapest, were present. Everything went very smoothly; we were all on the same page and had similar ideas of what we wanted to get out of this cooperation. I think this has been one of the keys for winning the Franck Biancheri Award. On the other hand, we would also like to thank the Association des Amis de Franck Biancheri for believing in us and making our idea a reality.
As a result of this, you can already book your dates: the opening conference of EoT4 wil take place in Budapest from the 21st to the 23th of April, and the ambassadors will finish their trip at Agora Enschede on the 23rd of May.
The overall crisis has proven that there is a need of re-thinking democracy and how our systems work. We believe that the only way for a long-term change and democratisation of Europe is good civic education to which everyone can have access, to shape critic, active and responsible citizens.
Europe on Track 4 will explore what being a good citizen means all around Europe, what is being taught and what needs to be improved in order to achieve a better and inclusive democracy according to young people. The idea of this edition is to involve as many people and stakeholders as possible, collecting more different ideas and points of view, in order to have a better impact.
Stay tuned, open calls for hosting local and ambassadors and much more news about EoT4 coming soon!
Written by María Ballesteros Melero