The Parliamentary Assembly recalls the 50 years of successful European cultural and educational co-operation facilitated and supported by the Council of Europe for its member states and beyond. Cultural co-operation is more than ever a necessary requirement for European integration based on cultural diversity. Education is the key to a better understanding of European neighbours.
The Assembly welcomes the new role of national parliaments within the European Union as from 1 December 2009 under the Lisbon Treaty, in particular Article 12 of the Treaty on the European Union. The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides that the EU and its member states shall foster co-operation with the Council of Europe in the sphere of culture (Article 167 (3)) as well as in the field of education and sport (Article 165 (3)).
European integration is a process necessary to guarantee peace, stability, economic well-being, human rights and democracy throughout Europe. This process must have the citizens of Europe at its centre and respect the principle of subsidiarity. The latter is particularly important in the areas of culture and education. Recalling Articles 5 and 6 of the United Nations Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the Assembly reaffirms the sovereign right of states to formulate and implement their cultural policies.
Parliaments must play an essential role in shaping cultural and educational policies and in ensuring acceptance of political decisions in these areas. Debates and informal co-ordination of national policies must be strengthened within the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The Assembly resolves to strengthen interparliamentary co-operation in the field of culture and education throughout Europe and beyond, and to engage in a regular dialogue in this field with the European Parliament and other European Union bodies.