LLL Week Debate: Education in Promoting Intercultural Dialogue and Citizenship
European Parliament, 2 December, 16.30-18.30
How can the development of cooperation, critical thinking, shared responsibility, communication and active participation be strengthened in Europe? How can we move from a culture of individualism and competition to a culture of collaboration and solidarity? How can we strengthen the intercultural dimension of education so that it really contributes to social transformation and sustainability? How to ensure that the complexities involved in education, such as identity and nationality, culture and diversity, rights and responsibilities, dignity and human rights, are addressed in an adequate manner?
These were some of the important issues that were discussed at the high level debate during the Lifelong Learning Platform’s 5th Lifelong Learning Week, on 2 December 2015. Participants shared innovative practices and insights on the role of education in promoting intercultural dialogue and tolerance, or on the role of the EU in providing answers and concrete measures as a follow up of the Paris Declaration.
The role of education in promoting intercultural dialogue, by Roberto Ruffino, Honorary President of EFIL
Competences for Democratic Culture: A new Council of Europe initiative on citizenship education, by Martyn Barrett, University of Surrey
- MEP Krystyna Łybacka (PL, S&D)
- Joke Van Der Leeuw Roord, Secretary General, Lifelong Learning Platform (EUCIS-LLL)
High Level Round table
- Ambassador Torbjörn Froysnes, Head of the Brussels Office of the Council of Europe to the EU
- Rodrigo Ballester, Member of Cabinet of Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
- Roberto Rufino, European Federation for Intercultural Learning (EFIL) Honorary President and Secretary General of Intercultura Foundation
- MEP Julie Ward (S&D, UK), rapporteur on European Parliament opinion on the topic
- Mary Tupan-Wenno, Director of ECHO, Netherlands
- Pr. Martyn Barrett, Consultant for the Council of Europe on the new European framework of reference of the competences
The pluralism of European societies is increasingly seen as unprecedented and ever growing – a phenomenon enhanced by the biggest refugee crisis since the 2nd World War. Our educational institutions have to tackle growing intolerance and radicalism, islamophobia, racism and other worrying trends all around Europe. However, the question is whether they have the tools and the support needed to do so.
It is thus very timely for intercultural learning to be re-defined and mainstreamed in our educational systems. It is time for the EU and the Member States to reinforce their commitment to EU fundamental values with concrete policy measures. European educational frameworks need to rethink why and how they are using intercultural learning given the changing political and social realities they strive to address.
Intercultural learning contributes to an open dialogue and to promoting equality, respect for cultural diversity and social cohesion. It requires building new types of partnerships between educational institutions and other relevant actors.
We need to support educational policies and practices not only inspiring solidarity and tolerance, but also empowering people to be active citizens ready to make a political stand for human rights and social justice. This reflexion has to be at the centre of all educational levels and sectors.
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