New Perspectives on European Civic Education
Supported by the Robert Bosch Foundation, EUROSOC#DIGITAL and its cooperation partner GEKO Gesellschaft für Europa- und Kommunalpolitik are organizing a conference on "Teach#EU" in Potsdam on September 21st and 22nd, 2018. Please find more information here.
There is a major lack of knowledge about the EU. For a long time, it didn’t appear to be a problem: European integration was thought of as a self-perpetuating process that did not need to be explained in detail. Serving their own interests, and maintaining their own sovereignty, the member states paid more attention to what they had in common rather than what they differed in.
Step by step, a common understanding was reached in areas of business, politics, and law. The results of this process – decades of peace, the development of democracy and the rule of law, economic prosperity in the Single European Market, and cross-border mobility for the people – were the obvious pillars of successful European integration.
Today, however, the European integration model seems to have lost its attractiveness. EU governments and societies react to problems more and more from a national rather than a European point of view. The Brexit and the disagreement over the refugee issue in the EU are just two examples of the developments set in motion notwithstanding the fact that the material and immaterial advantages of EU membership have basically not changed.
EU member states should be aware that European civic education is a prerequisite of a European consciousness, which must not be at odds with national consciousness. The citizens should understand that their respective national identity and transnational cooperation in the EU are two sides of the same medal.
European education policy for children, adolescents and young adults is a long way from achieving this. It is not given adequate priority in EU member states, nor is it on the European agenda. Civic education continues to be predominantly national: Young people learn about democracy and the rule of law on the basis of their national political constitution and institutions. Moreover, civic education, hence the citizen’s own role, is hardly portrayed in a way that encourages them to actively participate in shaping the European democratic community.
The conference “Teach#EU” raises the following questions: How can the concept of “Europe" be included in the educational mandate, and how can it be communicated to young people?
As this is an initial debate on European civic education, we decided to keep the question general. It is clear that education as a whole – including educational content, didactic approaches and formats, the duality of school and out-of-school education, educational institutions and education policy – is rather comprehensive.
As the discussion has not been held on a European scale yet, this conference aims to provide a platform for future debate. We want to discuss this with international stakeholders in politics, science, schools and out-of-school educational institutions to pose relevant questions about European civic education. For example:
- How can European civic education be used to develop a deeper understanding of why it is better to work together in Europe rather than separately from each other?
- How can European civic education be used to motivate young people to participate actively in developing Europe?
- What framework conditions need to be developed in order to improve the conditions for European civic education in general areas of society?
Hans-Peter Hubert, firstname.lastname@example.org, +49 (0) 30 - 3920-9200
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Picture: Tama66 from paxabay.com
Range of international stakeholders in politics, science, schools and out-of-school educational institutions.
Together with European educational actors opening up the field as to how the topic of "Europe" can be included in the educational mandate and taught to young people.
January 2018 - December 2018
ILB and Landtag Brandenburg in Potsdam