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 declaration(500 kB)
, 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.