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Education ministers meet in Paris: education in the aftermath of the Copenhagen and Paris attacks

March172015

 

 

 

 

On 17 March 2015, education ministers from across the European Union met in Paris.

Under discussion was how education and training can best meet the challenges of social inclusion, radicalisation and citizenship so brutally manifested in recent terrorist attacks.

 

The perpetrators of recent shootings in Copenhagen and Paris were EU citizens, coming from migrant backgrounds.

It is in this context that Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, French Education Minister, organised the ministerial meeting.

In attendance at the meeting were François Hollande, the President of France, and Tibor Navracsics, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

Member states shared their knowledge of tackling the problems of social inclusion, radicalisation, hate speech and, ultimately, violence that pose a threat across Europe.

The meeting highlighted the message that education is an important part of the solution and demonstrate solidarity between countries in the face of violence.

While education systems are responsibilities for national governments, there is room for cooperation to overcome these common challenges.

In a joint declarationpdf(500 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  , ministers affirmed that:

"The primary purpose of education is not only to develop knowledge, skills, competences and attitudes and to embed fundamental values, but also to help young people - in close cooperation with parents and families - to become active, responsible, open-minded members of society."

Existing EU tools could be targeted to reinforce social cohesion and to promote active citizenship and intercultural dialogue across and within countries.

Erasmus+, the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport, provides scope for cross-border projects and can provide avenues for marginalised citizens to gain skills, experience and confidence.

The Paris meeting served as an informal discussion to be followed-up formally at the Education Council of 18-19 May, to be held in Brussels.

 

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