France/Echanges. Greven-Montargis twinning gets a facelift thanks to high school students

Published on 18/04/2024 | La rédaction


As part of an ambitious and innovative Youth Parliament, high school students from Montargis and Greven discussed Europe. Round-table discussions were held on Tuesday April 16 at Montargis town hall.

The Franco-German Youth Parliament, bringing together students from Montargis and Greven, twinned towns for over fifty-five years, had been in the planning stage for some time. Indeed, Dirk Pomplun, former mayor of Greven and former president of the twinning committee on the German side, had expressed this wish. A wish shared by Christine Turpin, president of the twinning on the French side.

Return match in May

It became a little more of a reality on Tuesday, April 16, at Montargis town hall. Twenty or so young Germans and twenty or so young French students from the Lycée En Forêt held round-table discussions in the morning. In the course of their brainstorming, they discussed the European elections on June 9, when 705 members of parliament will be elected. But also the pros and cons of the European Union.

"There were also questions asked. Why isn't Norway part of the European Union? Why is the UK no longer a member? Not to mention a race for letters, in German and French. As well as starting to think about the ideal Europe", point out Magali Goiset and Lucie Chenière, both German teachers at Lycée En Forêt.

They were joined by Maria Tenberge and Régine Kärcher, their two counterparts who teach French at the Augustinianum in Greven. In Germany, the gymnasium acts as a secondary school for young Germans aged between 10 and 19.
A number of volunteers from the French Twinning Committee, including Christine Turpin, have also been helping to make these exchanges as smooth as possible. After all, they speak the language of Goethe.

"Our young people are less accustomed to social dialogue".

At the official handover, Magali Goiset made it clear that the questions raised would not go unanswered. The German and French students will be working on these questions, which are worthy of reflection. They will be able to share the fruits of their research in Greven in May, when the Lycée En Forêt correspondents visit their counterparts on the other side of the Rhine.

Benoit Digeon, the mayor of Montargis, recalled that this Parliament was the brainchild of Dirk Pomplun:

"Things need to land, without it being a gas factory. We'll see how things evolve. Perhaps by making visios? In any case, it's for you, by you, with you."

As for Christine Turpin, she sees this initial sharing of views as a foundation stone for the committee's future: "We need human relations like these. Limiting them to visios is utopian. It would be great if history and geography teachers could join us to enrich our thinking."

"I think our young people are less accustomed than the Germans to social and political dialogue, in the sense of reflecting on society and the way it works."

This is their chance to fill that gap.


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