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Students from all levels applaud landmark declaration

PARIS – Yesterday on March 17th education ministers met to discuss how education could support social inclusion in Europe. At the meeting a declaration was launched calling for and outlining commitments on all policy levels. The European Students’ Union (ESU) and the Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU) applaud the commitments and offer their support.

For both ESU and OBESSU, the fight to make education more inclusive has been a long fight and often an uphill battle. From concrete projects, to policies and solidarity actions, the issues raised in Paris have been at the heart of students organised at a European level.

The meeting and the declaration mark a serious commitment to tackling radicalisation, racism and intolerance in the educational systems. This can only be done through the approaches outlined; that is by creating equal and inclusive educational systems for all. The meeting and the declaration mark a clear shift away from European-level policies that have mainly highlighted education as an economic good that will ensure economic growth.

It is a happy occasion to see the EU and education ministers finally realise the role that education can play in areas other than skills for jobs. This is so important as the crises facing Europe are not just economic anymore,” says Elisabeth Gehrke, Chairperson of European Students’ Union.

We are very happy to see this declaration and welcome the new approach on education from the policy-makers. Education, from the very early stage, is the only tool we can use to include young people in the community, but in order to do this we need to make education accessible for all and give every student the possibility and means to participate and self-develop in the school,” says the Board of OBESSU.

We hope that these commitments will also have resonance on the meeting of the ministers in Yerevan in May. There are concrete issues on the table such as the social dimension strategy that must be adopted if we are truly committed to having real impact on the issues raised in Paris,” Gehrke continues.

Both organisations will aim to support the initiative in the best way possible through concrete actions and pressure on the members states as well as the European Union to live up to the declaration.

Please find more information about the meeting here, download the Declaration and follow the discussions at #educationeurope.

For more information please contact:

– Elisabeth Gehrke, +32 4 79 59 1499,
– Board of OBESSU,


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