How to explain a European project to children?

Dozens of stands set up this Thursday on Place François Rude in Dijon, in the Côte d’Or, for the village of Europe, an event which is part of the Spring of Europe organized by the city. And among these stands, the one devoted to “Response”, a European energy renovation project of several buildings in the Fontaine d’Ouche district.

An animation which allows to discover this action to the inhabitants of Dijon but especially to the main concerned, the young inhabitants of the district. But not easy to understand a complex, European project, the effects of which are not yet fully visible.

By 2025, a school will be renovated in the neighborhood and will have reduced energy consumption, solar panels in shades will cover a car park, and other panels will be installed on the roof of a building, for example. That’s it for the concrete part. But in fact, the project also serves as a pilot for other European cities. “On paper it is very complicated to understandexplains Suzie Besset of the urban ecology department of the metropolis of Dijon, there are many shutters and axes of work, it is necessary to choose its angle of work according to the public.“Pedagogical mission, therefore, to reach its target and get people to adhere to the project.

Pedagogy and workshops

Under the arbours of the stand, the teams from the city and the metropolis therefore decided to install a large model of the neighborhood with future energy installations. “On the model, they recognize the school directly. They live in the building. The first exchange we have with them is to try to find our bearings on the map” comments Suzie Besset, before addressing the work, the energy and ecological interest to finish with the European link. An explanation that differs according to the age of the students, “with the little ones, we explain that it’s a European project without necessarily dwelling on it. From the fifth, we try to talk about the notions of local partnerships and European, national or international partners“.

Europe is also a work theme of Adèle Caurier, teacher at the “Colette” school: “I explain to them that this project exists partly thanks to Europe“, during courses devoted in particular to the European Union, “afterwards it is always difficult to understand what exactly Europe does in our daily lives” concedes the teacher. One of his students, Fayel, has in any case retained the lesson of the day well: “if all European countries do like us, it would help the planet“.