I started my internship at the YES Forum while I was still a masters’ student at University of Padua (IT). My interest in youth policies and education, and the experience I gained with EU funded projects during my internship, inspired me into choosing my master’s thesis topic, with the title “Environmental Citizenship Education for Youth in the EU: The Implementation of Erasmus+ Youth and European Solidarity Corps Programmes in Greece and Sweden”.
As a working student, I had the opportunity to complement my own academic research with what I observed daily at an organization leading and coordinating Erasmus+ projects for youth. Even if it was a challenging process in terms of time management, I found myself equipped with valuable theoretical and practical knowledge and experience to start my career in the youth and social work field.
The global environmental and climate change emergency of the last decades has raised vital questions over how citizens may conduct a more sustainable private and public life. A key solution, in that case, is education, at all levels and all its forms. Education can ensure that citizens are acquiring pro-environmental knowledge, values, and behaviours, eventually creating “environmental citizens”.
Employing a combination of descriptive analysis, content analysis, and descriptive statistics, my dissertation explored how environmental citizenship education for youth is promoted at the EU level and how the concept is mainstreamed at the national level. Considering that national contexts differ, the empirical analysis was focused on investigating to which extent the EU can promote this concept, thus exploring the implementation of the Erasmus+ youth and European Solidarity Corps (ESC) programmes in Greece and Sweden.
The results of the research revealed a quite different approach to environmental citizenship in the national formal education systems. It also discussed the several differences regarding the project-making capacity of the two countries-cases, in light of the EU programmes’ implementation, and highlights the EU’s role in that context.
The dissertation also suggested that a more targeted to environmental citizenship formal education system does not necessarily correspond to a more structured implementation of the Erasmus+ youth and ESC programmes at the national level.For more information on the thesis results, please contact .