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Culture and education through national parliaments: European policies

Resolution 1929 (2013)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 24 April 2013 (15th Sitting) (see Doc. 13142, report of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, rapporteur: Ms Brasseur). Text adopted by the Assembly on 24 April 2013 (15th Sitting).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly reaffirms the importance of culture and education as essential pillars of our democratic systems and of a cohesive society. National parliaments have the responsibility to deliver, in these fields, policies which effectively uphold our common core values – human rights, democracy and the rule of law – ensure adequate access to education and support participation in cultural life, creativity and innovation.
2. Enhanced policies for culture and education should encourage the development of employment-oriented competencies, but also promote the ethical and political values which are related to the main aims of the Council of Europe, bearing in mind the importance of the humanities and the right of everyone to take part in cultural life.
3. National parliaments should build their policies for culture and education on the texts adopted by the Committee of Ministers and the Assembly. They should also take greater advantage of policy instruments and tools developed by the Council of Europe (such as the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue, the Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe and the Intercultural Cities Index) and, if appropriate, by the European Union (such as the recently launched “Rethinking Education” strategy).
4. The Assembly therefore calls on national parliaments to:
4.1 review policy making in the fields of culture and education with a view to putting more emphasis on the long-term perspective and to delivering a coherent strategy, paying attention to the interconnections between culture, education and other policy areas such as youth, social cohesion policies, employment, health and protection of the environment;
4.2 re-engage in a broad debate on policies for culture and education, encouraging citizen participation in the debate and the involvement of the relevant stakeholders in policy reforms;
4.3 ensure that legislation in these fields deals in a holistic manner with key challenges, including:
4.3.1 promoting social cohesion and a culture of inclusion;
4.3.2 supporting sustainable socio-economic development within a globalised market economy and an endangered environment;
4.4 implement the policy guidelines agreed upon at the level of the Council of Europe and establish monitoring and reporting arrangements to regularly assess the impact of measures adopted by the competent governmental authorities;
4.5 adopt concrete measures to enhance intercultural dialogue and encourage cultural and educational exchanges across borders, removing administrative barriers to such exchanges;
4.6 introduce intercultural learning and practice in the initial and in-service training of teachers and educators;
4.7 take into consideration the Moscow Agenda, presented in the Final Statement of the Conference of the 10th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Culture (Moscow, 15-16 April 2013), in defining national cultural policies.
5. National delegations to the Assembly are encouraged to set up, in their respective parliaments, the arrangements necessary to provide adequate information about the relevant activities of the Council of Europe, and if appropriate of the European Union, especially activities in the field of culture and education.
6. The Assembly invites national parliaments to reinforce interparliamentary co-operation in the fields of culture and education at regional and European levels, including co-operation with the European Parliament and with the Assembly.
7. Finally, the Assembly supports the recent proposal by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to initiate work on a European framework of competences for democratic citizenship, human rights and intercultural understanding, and suggests including it in the Organisation’s Programme of Activities for the next biennium, insisting on the importance of intercultural dialogue.