Challenge Europe

The project “Challenge Europe” – the name says it all!

Switzerland lies at the heart of Europe, the European Union is by far our most important trading partner and almost every decision taken in Brussels affects us in Switzerland – whether we like it or not. But how does the EU really work? Who makes the decisions? How can Switzerland introduce its positions? And what is the difference between the “Council of Europe”, the “Council of the EU” and the “European Council”? We want to answer these and many other questions during our study trip, the “Challenge Europe”.
 

The project

yes has been holding the “Challenge Europe” each September for 17 years now. The one-week study trip offers interested young people between the ages of 16 and 35 the opportunity to gain a direct insight into the functioning of the European Union and diplomatic relations between Switzerland and the EU. The project includes a national preparatory seminar, a trip to Strasbourg/Brussels and a final conference in Bern.

  1. The national, one-day preparatory seminar (24 August) will give participants the opportunity to immerse themselves for the first time in the manifold relations between Switzerland and the EU and in the functioning of the European Union. At the same time, they will have the opportunity to meet politicians and experts in Swiss European policy in person.
     
  2. The highlight of the Challenge Europe will be a one-week trip to the European capitals of Strasbourg and Brussels (1 to 8 September). As part of a group of around 40 other interested Swiss young people, the trip offers you the opportunity to get to know the European Union, its institutions and players at close quarters. During the week we will also meet members of the European Parliament, representatives of the EU Commission and EFTA, lawyers at the European Court of Human Rights, Swiss diplomats, journalists, representatives of NGOs and business. In addition to the visits and meetings, the participants will deal with a workshop topic of their choice (e.g: migration policy, euro crisis, EU enlargement, foreign and security policy, etc.) in-depth during the week. In the workshops, which will be led by more experienced yes members, the participants will get to know the specific challenges and difficulties of their topic in relation with Europe as well as their relation to Switzerland and will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with experts. Finally, there will also be time to get to know our destinations from their cultural sides. In addition to an excursion to Ypres, the sites of World War I, a trip to the famous border village of Schengen and a city tour in Strasbourg, we will not miss the opportunity to discover the famous Belgian beers.
     
  3. Finally, the closing conference (21 September) in Bern will be an opportunity to present the results of the workshops to the other participants, to look back on the week in Strasbourg and Brussels and to present the findings and experiences of the trip in a panel discussion.

 
With the study trip “Challenge Europe”, yes would like to offer interested young people the opportunity:

  • to deepen their knowledge about the European Union and to get to know its institutions where it happens;
  • to immerse themselves in the multifaceted relationship between Switzerland and the EU and familiarise themselves with it;
  • to exchange views with other interested young people in workshops on the future of Europe, to contribute their own opinions and to debate the role of Switzerland in various rounds of discussions;
  • to spend an unforgettable week in Strasbourg and Brussels, promising many new insights, experiences and friendships.

 
The price of CHF 440 includes travel, accommodation and all meals. Impressions from previous “Challenge Europe” study trips can be found in the gallery.

In case of questions, you can contact us anytime via info@y-e-s.ch.
 
 

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