Fahnen der EU-Mitgliedsländer wehen am Eingang zum Europaparlament in Strassburg

20.11.2018

Module 3: Elections to the European Parliament: Participating in Europe?!

Basic Knowledge about the EU and the Elections to the European Parliament

Learning objectives:

The students …
  • can name the four EU organs (European Parliament, European Commission, Council of Ministers and European Council) and their compositions, tasks and competencies as well as their functional context. Moreover, the students can visualise and illustrate their knowledge by means of a scenic presentation or a chart.
  • can extract basic information about the Elections to the European Parliament (electoral system, similarities and differences among the member states, election principles, size and setup of parliament, voter turnout according to member states) from an animated video. Plus, the students can explain the information to their classmates in an inside-outside circle.
  • work out the special status and functions of the Elections to the European Parliament. Moreover, the students can take a stance on the elections’ possibilities of participation and influence.
QuizQuiz (© Team Research with GrafStat)
By means of the quiz themed “What do you know about the EU?” students are motivated to deal with their knowledge about the EU. The Quiz about the EU (M 03.01) can be played online or by means of a PDF document for the students to cross the correct answer. The questions can be answered with the help of the information in text “EU Organs” (M 03.02).



Working Phase I: Working out the EU Organs

To solve the quiz, the students work out the text EU Organs (M 03.02) individually. That way, they can get all information needed to solve the quiz. Moreover, the students acquire and consolidate their knowledge about the organs of the EU, their tasks and their interoperation. Depending on the class, the work can be shared by groups (allocation per EU organ).

Memorising Phase I

Method: JigsawMethod: Jigsaw (© Team Research with GrafStat)
In case the class works in groups, memorising can be can be achieved by means of a jigsaw classroom: Students present their results to each other. A visualisation will be the (next) step in the memorising phase. The students memorise their knowledge by creatively visualising the information about the EU organs (composition, tasks and competencies as well as their functional context).


There are various possibilities to visualise the information:
VisualisationVisualisation (© Team Research with GrafStat)
  • Scenic presentation: groups of 2-3 students impersonate the EU organs and elucidate their composition and tasks. Moreover, they demonstrate how the organs interoperate.
  • Visualisation by means of a chart (see samples in M 03.03).
  • Visualisation by means of an animated video.
The visualisation’s results are presented and discussed in class. If they want to, students can play the quiz (M 03.01) again (perhaps as part of their homework) to check whether they improved.

Working Phase II: European Parliament and Elections to the European Parliament

Now, the European Parliament as well as its importance for every EU citizens eligible to vote will be closer looked at.

Students watch an animated video tackling the Elections to the European Parliament (M 03.04) for this purpose.

To support the students in structuring and processing the video’s information, they are provided with a worksheet containing questions about the video. Students can write down answers to the questions and take down notes. Students deal with the following questions in detail:
  • Who is allowed to vote? (every citizen residing in an EU member state, being of voting age; mostly 18 years, exception in Austria: 16 years)
  • When do the Elections to the European Parliament take place? (every 5 years, within a four-day period, with varying voting days in different member states)
  • What is actually elected in the Elections to the European Parliament? (Ministers of Parliament are elected, not as individuals, but by means of lists of candidates)
  • How do the elections actually work? (procedure, similarities and differences among individual member states, etc.)
  • Why are the Elections to the European Parliament important? In how far are they special? (EP= only organ of the EU which is elected directly by EU citizens)

Memorising Phase II

Method: Inside-Outside CircleMethod: Inside-Outside Circle (© Team Research with GrafStat)
Students summarise the information they got from the video in an inside-outside circle (5 questions: Who, when, what, how, why?) using their own words.

Crossword PuzzleCrossword Puzzle (© Team Research with GrafStat)
The results are discussed in class.

Additionally, the students can test their knowledge by solving a crossword puzzle (M 03.05) using keywords concerning the Elections to the European Parliament.





Discussion

After discussing the results in class, the distinctive features and the importance of the Elections to the European Parliament are reviewed and examined. Students deal with the special features of the elections (direct influence by means of elections, since it is the only EU organ that is directly elected by the EU citizens; classification of Elections to the European Parliament = only part of direct participation by electing representatives in EP; as opposed to the possibilities of indirect participation by means of member states’ representatives in the European Council, for instance) In order to illustrate this, infographics can be used: Visualisation (M 03.03) can be used a supporting reference or a schema of different forms of participation.

A PDF-Icon summary table concerning the schedule of this module is available.