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European dimension of education

Recommendation 1111 (1989)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 22 September 1989 (12th Sitting) (see Doc. 6113, report of the Committee on Culture and Education, Rapporteur : Mr Bassinet). Text adopted by the Assembly on 22 September 1989 (12th Sitting).

The Assembly,

1. Having regard to the European Cultural Convention (1954) which underlines the need for education to develop mutual understanding between the peoples of Europe, especially through the study of languages, history and civilisation ;
2. Expressing its concern that education should prepare the individual for life in a democratic society by enabling him to carry out his duties and responsibilities as a citizen, introducing him to politics, and teaching him the fundamental principles and values at the root of our society, such as respect for human rights and democracy, as well as the tolerance and solidarity that result from a greater understanding and knowledge of others ;
3. Recalling Recommendation No. R (83) 4 of the Committee of Ministers concerning the promotion of an awareness of Europe in secondary schools, and Resolution (85) 6 on European cultural identity ;
4. Having noted the resolution of 24 May 1988 of the Council and Ministers of Education of the European Community, on the European dimension in education ;
5. Regarding Europe, for the purposes of the European dimension of education, as extending to the whole of the continent and in no way synonymous with the membership of any particular European organisation ;
6. Convinced that the rapidly improving relations with East European countries provide a crucial occasion for developing such a notion in education throughout the continent and for closer co-operation between the Council of Europe, the European Community and Unesco ;
7. Welcoming the work of the Council for Cultural Co-operation with regard to the teaching of history, geography and modern languages, and its contribution to the development of a real European consciousness, but believing that this approach should be extended to other subjects such as economics, the environment, the visual arts, music and the sciences ;
8. Noting that, despite the emphasis placed by the Council of Europe on the European dimension of education, the idea has still to be more effectively integrated into teaching in practice ;
9. Stressing the need to include knowledge of other European countries in teacher training, and regretting the lack of means for enabling pupil exchanges between all parts of Europe ;
10. Believing that the new information technologies should be more fully exploited to develop international school links and projects, and that a wider use should be made of such activities as the European Schools' Day competition ;
11. Drawing attention also to the contribution that can be made to awareness of the European dimension by factors outside the formal school structure (such as the media or the fact of travelling), and wishing to associate those responsible, in particular in the fields of the media (written or broadcast) and of tourism, with the development of this dimension,
12. Recommends that the Committee of Ministers further develop the European dimension of education in close concertation with the European Community and Unesco, where possible including Eastern Europe, and in particular :
a ensure more effective dissemination of information on current or completed activities undertaken by organisations involved in European co-operation in education, and more particularly the Council of Europe ;
b encourage the European dimension in the training and in-service training of teachers, for example by promoting exchanges between teachers, by increasing the number of Council of Europe bursaries, and by setting up in Strasbourg a European centre for teachers, along the lines of the European Youth Centre ;
c give much greater emphasis to ongoing work on the teaching of history and modern languages, as well as launching programmes on geography and civics ;
d initiate research into the European dimension in new subjects (such as economics, environmental education, the visual arts, music and the sciences), and encourage co-operation between pedagogical research and teacher-training institutions in Europe ;
e encourage international networks of school links, making full use of the new information technologies as well as traditional methods ;
f seek ways of associating those responsiblefor tourism, information and the media with the developing of strategies to enhance awareness of the European dimension, for instance by encouraging European publishing houses for teaching material.