The goal of the Working Groups is to ensure that thematic focuses of AEGEE have been fulfilled. According to the Focus Areas of the Strategic Plan 2014-2017 there are four WGs:
Equal Rights Working Group
The Focus Area of Equal Rights has the aim to acknowledge and tackle discrimination based on gender identity, expression and sexual orientation, promoting equity from an intersectional perspective.
The right to equality and non-discrimination is a basic human right, and yet discrimination is present in all spheres of social life, with people having unequal access to rights as a result.
People’s lives and their social relations are complex and multi-dimensional, and therefore practices of discrimination and oppression are complex and multi-dimensional.
‘Intersectionality’ examines different aspects of human identity – such as gender, race and sexual orientation – in interaction with each other, rather than treating these aspects in isolation.
Having an intersectional perspective means acknowledging that people cannot be reduced to single categories.
By means of this Focus Area, AEGEE aims to tackle forms of discrimination based on gender identity, expression and sexual orientation in combination with other forms of discrimination, thereby recognizing the complexity of social inequalities.
Civic Education Working Group
There is more to the education of young people than preparing them for the labour market.
Civic education is about learning the competences, i.e. the skills, knowledge and attitudes, required to be an active, democratic, responsible and critical citizen. AEGEE believes there is a need for more and better civic education, provided through formal education (i.e. in schools and universities) and through non-formal education (e.g. by youth organizations).
In order to promote civic education, we adopt a twofold approach: on the one hand, we
organize activities that directly contribute to the development of civic competences of young people. On the other hand, we work towards including civic education on the political agenda on all levels, thereby raising awareness on the importance of civic education and pushing decision-makers to take measures accordingly.
Youth Development Working Group
The Focus Area of Youth Development has the aim to provide young people with opportunities to gain transversal skills and competences that contribute to their personal and professional development.
The challenges that young people face nowadays to become successful in life and work are considerable and manifold. Moreover, many of the skills and competences that young people need to possess in order to get quality jobs are not connected to one particular occupation or sector.
Transversal skills and competences are the skills, knowledge and attitudes relevant to a broad range of occupations and sectors. Transversal skills and competences – also referred to as “soft” skills – are the building blocks for the development of the “hard” skills and competences required to succeed on the labour market. By means of providing young people with opportunities to gain these transversal skills and competences, AEGEE thus contributes to the employability and life chances of young people.
European Citizenship Working Group
The Focus Area European Citizenship has the aim to empower young people to become active and critical European citizens by educating them on the diversity of European cultures and by enabling them to take an active role in shaping the European project.
The European project is under severe pressure. The image of the European Union as an
‘ever closer Union’ among the peoples of Europe seems to be a dream of the past, as the Brexit referendum has shown that the integration process is in fact reversible. AEGEE strives for a democratic, diverse and borderless Europe, which is socially, economically and politically integrated, and values the participation of young people in its construction and development.
In order to realize this Europe, young people must first of all develop a sense of European belonging by becoming critically aware of both the socio-cultural differences and similarities that characterize our continent. Secondly, young people must become actively involved in European processes and be given the chance to shape them insofar as they affect their lives. It is through intercultural learning, on the one hand, and political education and engagement, on the other hand, that AEGEE contributes to the shaping of active and critical European citizens that Europe needs.