Two teams of Belgian schoolchildren to win invitation to the ECB to meet its President Mario Draghi  Share

The Generation €uro Students’ Award is a contest targeted at teams of pupils from the last two years of secondary school that is being organised by eleven central banks in the euro area. In view of the specific nature of the Belgian education system, the National Bank is holding two competitions in Belgium for young people from the country’s two main language Communities. Both finals will be held in the week before the Easter holidays. In mid-April, the two winning teams will fly to Frankfurt where they will meet their opposite numbers from the other national competitions and will be received in person by the President of the ECB, Mario Draghi. The brave prize-winners hail from Athénée royal d’Izel, in the case of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, and from Sint-Jozefscollege Herentals on the Flemish Community side.

The contest is split into three stages. Last November, the teams squared up via an on-line quiz on the competition website: 30 questions about the ECB, the single currency and monetary policy drawn at random from a pool of one hundred, and classed into three levels of difficulty. All in all, 107 Belgian teams had a go. This figure makes our country the most active participant after Spain and Slovakia, and ahead of Germany.

The 20 best French-speaking teams and the same number of Flemish teams have been invited into the second round. This time, they had to present and argue the case for a monetary policy decision, in less than 2 000 words. This was a major challenge in itself considering the huge amount of information that has to be gathered and interpreted for a simulation of the exercise that the ECB Governing Council immerses itself in each month. Only 11 French-speaking and 10 Flemish teams managed to make it through this test. Among them, five teams of each language have been selected for the finals, which were held within the walls of the National Bank. Governor Luc Coene himself came to present the prize to the winners. And among these prizes is the promise of a trip to the European Central Bank.

This is the second year that the National Bank has held this competition in our country. And it is not the only link that our central bank has with the world of education. Its Museum is attended regularly by schools and close on 500 Economics teachers gather each year for the study days arranged especially for them by the central bank.

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