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Hayes calls for increased focus on European studies

Hayes calls for increased focus on European studies

Dublin MEP, Brian Hayes has today (Wednesday)) called for an increased focus on European Studies in primary and secondary schools in Ireland.

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“Recent surveys show that 44% of EU citizens feel they have a limited understanding of the EU. In addition only 28% of EU citizens aged 18-24 voted in the last European elections. These figures clearly show that more needs to be done to explain how the European Union works.”

“A European dimension does exist in the Irish secondary curriculum through CSPE. The Blue Star programme has also helped students to understand the EU better. However, more needs to be done. There is room to improve. We need to change the impression many people have of the European Union.”

“The referendum in the UK produced a number of factually incorrect statements about the EU – which could have been avoided had people a better understanding of it. One benefit that the referendum has had is that it has encouraged more people to talk about the EU and to ask for information on what the EU does. Amazingly, one of the most frequently searched questions on google in the days after the UK voted to leave the EU was “What is the EU?”

“I believe the EU has big role to play in providing the resources to Member States to help citizens learn more about the EU. This could be achieved by the EU providing funding to schools to teach classes on active citizenship, cultural awareness, knowledge of EU rights, language skills and other programmes such as the role of Erasmus+. There are many opportunities available to citizens that simply need to be explained further” concluded MEP Hayes.

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