Address: Raumantie 4, 00350 Helsinki

Country: Finland

 School website

Project: Finland’s precidency of the Council of Europe – Young people discuss with the experts


Working language during the project:

  • Finnish

Themes of the Council of Europe project “FREE to SPEAK, SAFE to LEARN - Democratic Schools for All” covered:

  • Making children’s and students’ voices heard 
  • Addressing controversial issues
  • Dealing with propaganda, misinformation and fake news
  • Tackling discrimination
  • Improving well-being at school

Competences from the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) addressed and where / how they were integrated:

  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the world: politics, law, human rights, culture, cultures, religions, history, media, economies, environment, sustainability
    Students choose the main topics in the framework of EU-politics, look for experts and create the questions they want to ask from them
  • Valuing democracy, justice, fairness, equality and the rule of law
    Creating better understanding of EU and the political process
  • Civic-mindedness
    The discussions are done in front of a live audience and also in co-operation with a radio station, so many people can benefit from the new knowledge

Target group age range:

  • 15 - 19

Level of education:

  • Upper secondary education

Short description of the project:

Finland’s presidency of the Council of Europe – Young people discuss with the experts.

High school students interview experts on live radio shows produced in co-operation with a local radio station, Lähiradio. The radio programmes are also recorded, and it is possible to use them for example for educational purposes later. The programme is recorded in front of a live audience in 4 different non-profit locations in Helsinki, and the sessions are open for students from other schools and other people. The 4 locations were very open to our idea and provided the space for us – Helsinki Central Library, European Parliament’s Information Centre, local service centre for older people and our own school. We were able to reach our live audience across the age gaps, from school children to pensioners, and create conversation between different groups of people.

The project started with a good plan: we discussed the unanswered questions our students had. From those we chose the main topics:

  1. How to take part in EU politics – national and personal impact, 9.10.2019, recorded in a Europe information centre
  2. True or false - disinformation, fact checking and the EU, 21.10.2019, recorded in a Central library Oodi
  3. Your future in the EU – studying and working in the EU, 28.10.2019, recorded in the French-Finnish school
  4. Safety, immigration and human rights inside the EU and the global world surrounding it, 22.11.2019, recorded in Munkkivuori service centre

After planning the topics and finding the venues, we had to look for the experts who could answer our questions. We used many sources: teachers, parents, even people we had seen in the news. The students were happily surprised how easy it was to contact people from different fields of expertise and how accommodating they were towards our programme – thus closing the gap between youth and professionals.

The experts invited represented the Finnish Government, the European Parliament, Academia and Finnish media.

Actual shows were recorded by the professionals from the radio station. We learned interview technique, how to create a good flowing radio interview and spent a lot of time drawing up the final questions. Despite all the practice, we were quite nervous before the first programme. However, the show was a huge success, as was the rest of the series.


  • Learn about media and how to be actively part of media
  • Find information about European Union, Europe and the future possibilities for young people
  • Learn how to reach out to experts and discuss with them
  • Active citizenship

Expected results/outcomes

The participants will learn more about EU and Europe, but also about media and how to interview people. The listeners are hopefully inspired by their activity. They also get have access to new information.

We already have an interesting outcome. A group of students involved in this project have started their own radio programme at a local station.



Challenges you faced

Scheduling has been challenging, since the school days are very full. Learning interview techniques suitable for radio was something completely new for us.

Time-frame of the project:

September-November 2019