The 21st century democracy needs upgraded citizens! Networking, transnationality, positive participation, information systems, future oriented behaviours … to name just a few challenges. Well done ERASMUS generation, worthy heirs of Franck Biancheri!
A group of several motivated young Europeans have worked hard to submit to the European Commission the European Citizen’s Initiative (ECI) called “More Than Education – Shaping Active and Responsible Citizens”.
There is insufficient and incoherent teaching of essential civic competences in Europe currently, i.e. knowledge, skills and behaviours which are needed in order to act as responsible and democratic citizens.
We live in a democracy where citizens are supposed to control the decision makers, but they aren’t adequately trained to do so. This brings among citizens some misunderstanding, and subsequently a lack of democratic control and appreciation. Civic education is one of our main learning tools and allows us to train people to become informed independent individuals in society; it is a form of education based on critical thought, democratic participation and common understanding of certain values and principles. Ineffective civic education sabotages the democracy itself, as it leads to general dissatisfaction and lack of democratic supervision.
At the moment, education is quite divided in Europe, creating different understanding of our society. The coordination of education is essential for the cohesion and stability of our society.
That is why these young Europeans ask 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; they will therefore be equipped with the competences to participate actively and responsibly 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 practices between education providers and authorities.
. Strengthen financial support programmes for consultation and networking projects in civic education policy.
“One million? That’s a lot!” – Yes, and this is the number of signatures they need! Because we can only improve civic education in Europe with the help of many active people!
Support this initiative! It is quick and easy. Just SIGN UP!