24 April, 2018
Resolution of the UEF Federal Committee on the European dimension of education and culture
Adopted by the UEF Federal Committee, 21 April, Berlin

The UEF Federal Committee, meeting in Berlin on 21 April 2018,

Having regard to the UEF Federal Committee Resolution on European Cultural Identity adopted on the 28-29th March 2011;

Having regard to the UEF Federal Committee resolution on establishing Spinelli Chairs adopted on the 27th March 2011;

Having regard to the UEF Federal Committee Resolution in support of the establishment of the Spinelli Chairs adopted on the 5th  November 2016;

Having regard to the UEF Federal Committee Resolution in support of a network of Spinelli volunteers adopted on the 22nd October 2017;

Having regard to articles 165-167 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which provide a basis for EU action in the field of education and culture, including of legislative nature;

Having regard to the European Parliament Resolution on Learning EU at School, of 12 April 2016, which “emphasises that an EU dimension in education is crucial to help citizens better understand - and reconnect them with- the EU”;

Having regard to the ICCS 2016 Survey on Citizenship;

Having regard to the Commission proposal of a Council Recommendation on promoting common values, inclusive education, and the European dimension of teaching, of 17 January 2018;

Having regard to the Euro Mediterranean University of Slovenia (EMUNI), established by the Union for the Mediterranean;

Recalling that the European Congress of the Hague of May 1948 had a Cultural Commission, chaired by Salvador de Madariaga;

Noting that education and culture are fundamental for enjoying “the good life”, and essential for mutual respect, understanding and enrichment, within and amongst Member States and with the world at large;

Noting the invaluable and diverse cultural richness of Europe, the result of thousands of years of shared history and geography and of the influences derived from the rest of the world, including those coming from contemporary migration flows;

Noting that it is possible to identify a shared European cultural heritage in an open and non-exclusive, non-nationalistic fashion vis-a-vis the rest of the word;

Noting successful EU programs in this field, including Erasmus Plus (which includes Erasmus, Comenius, Grundvigt, Leonardo, etc.), the European Voluntary Service, the newly established European Solidarity Corps, and Creative Europe, among others;

Noting nonetheless that the European dimension of education and culture remains underdeveloped, while Member States continue to promote nationalistic biases in this field, for example in the design of history school curricula;

Noting that limiting the European construction and its correlative debates, and UEF advocacy, to institutional, economic and foreign affairs issues may not sufficiently arouse the interest, and support, from potential sectors of society to further European integration;

Noting that the lack of a European dimension of Education is greatly contributing to the citizen's “knowledge deficit” on the EU’s origins, history, institutions, policies and citizenship rights, thereby fostering misperceptions, misunderstandings, and ultimately Euroscepticism, Europhobia and nationalisms;

Noting that education and culture have great potential for the developing of a post-national citizenship, an open, pan-European feeling of belonging to a common destiny, and an overall cosmopolitan outlook, which is particularly needed in an increasingly diverse, inclusive, multilingual, female-friendly, and intercultural European society;

Noting the great potential of educational and cultural cooperation programs for the fostering of peace, political and social dialogue and closer links with the rest of the world, and in particular with the Mediterranean, Africa and Middle East regions, Europe´s immediate neighbourhood and home to ancient civilizations such as the Arab-Islamic one, of fundamental historic, cultural, political and strategic importance;

Noting that European Parliament Resolution on Learning EU at School, of 12 April 2016, calls “the Commission to provide a common framework, and to prepare guidelines with concrete examples, for learning about the EU” and “stresses the importance of a European approach to the teaching of history”;

Noting that the Commission proposal for a Council Recommendation on promoting common values, inclusive education, and the European dimension of teaching of 17 January 2018 calls for promoting a “European dimension of teaching by encouraging an understanding of the European context and common heritage and awareness of the diversity of the Member States of the Union, and understanding of the origins and functioning of the Union”;

Noting that the proposed citizen´s consultations on the future of Europe will not be productive if the participants do not receive prior basic training on EU affairs;

Considering that the educational and cultural dimension of the European construction is as important as the social, institutional and economic ones;

Calls for:
  1. The urgent undertaking of a Special Eurobarometer Survey on citizens´ knowledge of the EU;
  2. The swift adoption by Council of the proposal of a Council Recommendation on promoting common values, inclusive and multilingual education, and the European dimension of teaching, notwithstanding the its narrow scope and the generic nature of the implementing measures proposed;
  3. The full use of the TFEU, in particular articles 165-167, for the promotion of a European dimension of education and culture, by inter alia resorting to Commission proposing legislative acts in this field, as allowed by the TFEU;
  4. The elaboration by the Commission of indicative primary and secondary school modules on EU and global civic education, and European and global history, for its voluntary adoption by Member States;
  5. The introduction of a training stage on the EU within the framework of the proposed citizens´ consultations on the future of Europe, supported by civil society trainers and local councillors, in accordance with the Spinelli Chairs proposal; 
  6. The support of the EMUNI experience, and the concept of Euro-Mediterranean higher education institutions, and the establishment of Averroes program for educational and cultural exchange with the North African and Middle Eastern countries;
  7. The establishment of the Ibn Battuta Euro-Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Cultural Itinerary, based on the travels of this famous thinker;
  8. The support to the Via Charlemagne project as a European Cultural Route of the Council of Europe;
  9. The creation of a European Education Area by 2025, which would include a ‘Sorbonne Process’ for mutual recognition of university and school diplomas, the creation of a School of European and Transnational Governance joining existing French, German and EU administration colleges, and a more general network of European universities;
  10. An increase of 20 per cent in the financing of EU education and culture programmes in the post-2020 Multi-annual Financial Framework; 
  11. The strengthening of the educational and cultural dimension of our federalist movement´s policies, proposals and actions;

Calls on its Executive Bureau and national sections to forward this resolution to the European Commission, the European Parliament and national Education and Culture ministers, and to undertake specific advocacy actions vis-à-vis the said institutions.

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