European Citizens’ Initiative: More than Education – Shaping Active and Responsible Citizens

EURASHE encourages members and partners to support the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) “More than Education – Shaping Active and Responsible Citizens“.

This ECI campaign was initiated by a group of active and young people. By means of an ECI, the first-ever tool of transnational participatory democracy, they aim to raise awareness on the importance of citizenship education for the future of democracy in Europe. A democratic society relies on the citizens’ participation, shared values and capability of critical thinking. However initiators believe that currently European citizens are insufficiently educated in this respect.

Education plays an important role in developing the individual’s understanding of how the world works and the ability to critically evaluate that. Education in Europe is at the moment very divided, which creates a diverging understanding of our society. Coordination of education is essential for the cohesion and stability of society. Therefore, teaching the civic competences should be strengthened and coordinated throughout Europe. More intensive incentive measures are needed to support member states in their responsibility of providing the basic civilising tools needed to become a functioning member of a democratic diverse and open society.

The ECI calls on the European Commission to:

  • Set up a long term agenda for coordinating citizenship education among EU members states, so that global and European concepts and values are taught to citizens and the citizens are equipped with the competences to actively, responsibly participate in our democratic society.
  • Create benchmarks for civic education in Europe, based on long and short term goals. International organisations such as the Council of Europe are consulted for setting the goals and benchmarks, as well as civil society actors and education providers.
  • Organise periodic evaluation of benchmarks, including reports from ministries as well as civil society second opinions.
  • Provide support to empower member states to implement the suggested education elements, with dedicated working groups in the ET2020 and future frameworks.
  • Offer space for exchanging practises between education providers and authorities.
  • Strengthen financial support programmes for consultation and networking projects in civic education policy.
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