Strengthening European Citizenship Education

Resolution submitted by Political Commission 2 – Internal European Affairs
Adopted by the Federal Committee in Skopje on 25 March 2018. Re-adopted and amended by the online Federal Committee (FC Home) on 25 October 2020

JEF Europe

  • Underscoring the common cultural and political values of the Member States of the European Union, as reported in the Treaty of Rome of 1957;
  • Recognising the promotion of the values stated in the Paris Declaration of 2015 through education as the core of the development of the European Project;
  • Regretting that in the last European elections in 2014 only 42% of EU citizens voted and only 28% of those 18-24 years old;
  • Acknowledging that in 2017 67% of EU citizens would like to know more about their rights as EU citizens[1];
  • Acknowledging different approaches to citizenship education[2] across Member States and regretting that there is little consistency between Member States regarding the European dimension of citizenship education;
  • Regretting that in many Member States the curriculum content covering the EU is often fragmented;
  • Affirming the important role of youth organisations in promoting the European dimension of civic engagement and education;
  • Recognising the added value of non-formal education with regards to offering a more inclusive and effective way of making young people engage with politics as well as a way to offer long life learning and peer learning experiences;
  • Emphasising the role of civic education as an instrument to enhance democracy and participation and to increase the involvement of young citizens in shaping the future of the European project;
  • Underlining that European civic education is essential in fostering a sense of belonging and a genuinely European identity;
  •    Contemplating the success of visits at schools organised by some JEF sections to communicate Europe to young people and make them engage with Europe (“Europe at School” and other initiatives);
  • Supporting the other initiatives from members of European civil society for the promotion of civic education at a European level, with special reference to the European Council’s[3] and Council of Europe’s[4] declarations;
  • Regrets that there is little comprehensive and up-to-date information on the extent to which the EU is taught in Member States; notes that the latest study in this regard has been carried out by the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission between January and November 2012;
  • Regrets that in some places, high administrative requirements limit the possibility of carrying out Europe at School activities;
  • Underlining that JEF Europe and the work of JEF´s Europe-wide network envisages becoming an active and visible stakeholder in the field of civic education, sharing its expertise and reaching out to diverse target groups through school visits and other non-formal education activities with students and children;

JEF Europe, therefore

  1. Welcomes the European Commission’s and the European Parliament’s initiative “EU Back to School” which supports staff of the EU institutions and politicians to visit schools during the Europe Week to talk about Europe and the European Parliament’s initiative “Euroscola” which allows young citizens to visit and become more familiar with the institution;   Calls for the Commission to expand this programme in order to encourage youth organisations to carry out similar visits on Europe day;
  2. Calls on the European Commission and the Members states to offer more targeted financial support for youth organisations who are involved in civic education programmes;
  3. Calls for the European Commission to support a cross-sectoral approach to Active European Citizenship Education through the Erasmus+ programme.
  4. Calls on the Commission to carry out a follow-up study  with up-to-date information;
  5. Calls on Member States and regional governments to facilitate access to schools for youth organisation engaged in European civic education activities;
  6. Encourages Member States to develop a European Active Citizenship Education curriculum through active and participatory educational methods in cooperation with the European Institutions and notably through a reflection on acquiring the same competences and knowledge on the functioning of the European Union;
  7. Calls upon all JEF sections to organise Europe at School visits in their own region or city and to get in contact with teachers and educational stakeholders on this matter;
  8. Encourages all JEF sections to strengthen their knowledge and capacities in non-formal education;
  9. Calls on JEF sections to support each other in setting up and carrying out their own Europe at School activities by exchanging best practices, tools and offering trainings in particular to members from other sections;
  10. Invites JEF sections to expand Europe at School visits and reach other environments, e.g. vocational schools and night schools;
  11. Encourages the European authorities and European civil society, including JEF sections to enhance exchange with young citizens through civic education, with the main goal being to empower them to take part in the debate, share their opinions, make use of their rights as Europeans and through this become informed and active citizens;