The Agency has continued to support the Education and Training 2020 (ET2020) strategic framework as a member of the Working Group Promoting Citizenship and the Common Values of Freedom, Tolerance and Non-discrimination through Education.
The Working Group (WG) aims to support Member States in identifying and implementing measures to pursue the national level objectives of the Paris Declaration through peer-learning and the exchange of good practices.
The previous mandate of the working group ended in June 2018. During the period covered by that mandate, two main deliverables were produced:
- the Online compendium of good practices, and
- key elements of a policy framework to support effective policies on citizenship education and inclusive education (draft policy framework draft available here).
The Agency has been working in the past two years to continue the focus initially established in the ET2020 strategic framework in 2009. This third generation WG supported the development of knowledge-sharing at meetings and peer-learning activities (PLAs) such as in Malta and Greece.
In Malta, the Agency provided technical support to the Working Group Promoting Citizenship PLA event organized by the European Commission together with the Maltese Ministry for Education. Agency country representatives from Iceland, Italy and the UK (Scotland) participated in a panel discussion about inclusive education, from policy to practice.
The Malta PLA focused on social inclusion, emphasising the Agency’s belief that inclusive education is the most effective means for preventing social exclusion in today’s diverse society. Key messages are summarised in a ET2020 publication available online.
The Athens Working Group PLA event encouraged exchanges between countries, of lessons learned from adapting their education systems to the needs of child migrants and refugees. It examined future strategies for improving integration, including more transparent assessment of previous education and more support for vulnerable 14-to 17-year-old migrants and refugees.
In the next phase, while fully keeping the focus on the follow-up of the Paris Declaration, the group’s name will be modified to give more visibility to the recent stronger policy emphasis on common values, notably in the light of the Commission Communication on ‘Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture’ of and the Council Recommendation on promoting common values, inclusive education, and the European dimension of teaching. The group’s name will be changed to ‘ET 2020 Working Group on Promoting Common Values and Inclusive Education’. This also reflects the Agency’s position on the importance of inclusive education as the key to social inclusion.
Follow the activities of the ET 2020 Working Groups on the European Commission’s Education and Training website.