Education about the European Union (Exploratory opinion at the request of the Romanian Presidency)

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Udvalgets udtalelse: Education about the European Union (Exploratory opinion at the request of the Romanian Presidency)

Key points

The EESC

  • considers that the success of the European project depends on the values it represents, and that its energy and spirit are based on a strong European identity and citizens' identification with the EU; holistic, inclusive and quality education, training and lifelong learning are crucial in instilling a sense of belonging and responsibility amongst EU citizens and in boosting their active participation in EU decision-making, and these should be a right for all; efforts should be undertaken to achieve EU literacy for all age groups;
  • underlines that education about the EU should aim at all age groups in formal, non-formal and informal learning settings; calls for the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Activities' budget to be increased and for the programme to be broadened so that it provides projects which focus on EU learning, building an EU identity and on fostering civil dialogue amongst adults;
  • emphasises the importance of information, communication and education (ICE) strategies to improve the way information about the EU and its achievements is supplied; this should foresee an active role for public service media, EP and EESC members;
  • recommends providing and promoting a platform containing learning and teaching materials about the EU, its fundamental values and democracy; this should be available for education establishments and learners in various EU languages;
  • suggests including education about the EU, its achievements and developments in the curricula of all education sectors; notes in this regard the importance of foreseeing professional and continuous training for all educators on education about the EU;
  • considers that stakeholders such as trade unions, businesses and CSOs active in the education, training, youth and adult fields should be encouraged and supported to enhance their activities on learning and teaching about the EU;
  • recommends Member States to promote partnerships between formal and non-formal education establishments, for the purpose of providing citizenship education and learning about the EU; calls in this regard for the involvement of youth bodies in the setting of curricula and in the way citizenship is taught.