Sofía González Gómez: 'More focus on education'

#DAADalumni4EU – Ideas for Europe – Sofia González Goméz, Spain

#DAADalumni4EU – Ideas for Europe – Sofia González Goméz, Spain
#DAADalumni4EU – Ideas for Europe – Sofia González Goméz, Spain ©

Sofía González Gómez, 27, is taking a PhD in Hispanic Studies at the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid. She has also served as a teaching assistant at the University of Alcalá. Her current research focus on the intellectual and cultural project of the liberal Spanish newspaper El Sol in the 1920s.

My relation with the DAAD didn’t finish when I took the plane back to Spain after my research stay at the University of Cologne in June 2019. As a DAAD alumna, I am glad to be able to participate in exciting activities – whether physical meetings before the pandemic or hybrid events like the latest one on the future of Europe. The virtual event was a great opportunity to discuss issues that concern the European Union and the world. I learnt a lot thanks to the plurality of the speakers, and I enjoyed the interactive elements.

I think education is an extremely important area of action for the EU as it has the potential to guarantee equal opportunities. At this historical moment, due to the global pandemic, this is more necessary than ever. In Spain, many children don’t have enough resources to follow online classes and that is really worrying. Also they’re having a really difficult time due to the economic crisis, which is affecting them psychically. Spain leads the latest Eurostat on youth unemployment (43.9%), which is terrible. During recent decades, money from the European Social Fund has helped build high-quality infrastructure for school children in sparsely populated regions – like the one I come from, Castilla-La Mancha. Investing part of the money Spain receives from the EU to support young people is a safe bet for the future.  Awareness of all these elements could be translated into greater citizen involvement in the development of the European Union.

Education can also develop a capacity for critical thinking among the citizens of Europe. I think it may be a good idea to highlight the history of the European Union in primary and secondary education. My generation and the preceding ones experienced major changes in connection with the EU in our country, but later generations may not feel that close.

If we want a strong EU, we have to build a solid basis for all the nations. An ideal EU welcomes everybody to work together towards a future of solidarity and hope!

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