ESU at the Civil Society Day 2016
Blazhe Todorovski, our Vice President represented ESU at the Civil Society Day 2016, which took place in Brussels on 19 October 2016.
As a part of the reinforced dialogue with the civil society launched in 2015, the European Commission through DG EAC organised this dedicated meeting with the organisations in the field of education and training, ahead of the 2016 Education, Training and Youth Forum.
After the exchange of ideas, participants made recommendations such as:
- citizenship education should be value-based,
- need to provide learners with capacity for rhetoric and argumentation which is rooted in critical thinking;
- education should enable individuals to live together peacefully and it should teach them empathy and solidarity.
- citizenship education should be participatory, interactive and transversal to school life.
As for the role of educators and school leaders, it was mutually agreed that they should provide good examples in terms of behaviors, in and out of the educational spaces while contributing to create democratic learning environments.
Additionally, trans-sectoral partnerships to innovate, diversify and implement effective teaching and learning methods are encouraged and community involvement is highlighted as a key aspect in promoting active citizenship. The need to recognize skills acquired through informal learning and non-formal education was also underlined, specifying that the extracurricular should be considered as part of a holistic educational approach.
In terms of governance, funding and structural issues, the parties identified inclusive citizenship education as one of the priorities, further explaining that reinforced cooperation and capacity building mechanisms (with appropriate funding) to bridge government are needed.
The main outcomes of the discussion will serve as a basis for the future work of the Commission on a EU policy framework for promoting inclusive education and common EU values.
Given the important role that civil society organisations can play in the field of inclusive education in general and the promotion of citizenship and EU fundamental values in particular, the Commission intends to facilitate future cooperation by organising biannual meetings with civil society organisations in education and training.
 Ibid.