EFIL has been closely following the developments related to the framework of competences for democratic culture which was being developed by the Council of Europe. One of the researchers behind the drafting of the framework, Martyn Barrett, presented the work related to this process at our two most recent “Forums on Intercultural Learning and Exchange” and thus received the feedback from the EFIL and AFS network (for more on the Forum 2016, see elsewhere in this edition of EFILife).

We are glad that after the hard and ambitious work of the team of experts recruited by the Council of Europe and the input they received from thousands of teachers and experts across the continent, the framework has been adopted by the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education which met in Brussels on 11-12 April .Speakers at the conference included the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, and the EU Commissioner responsible for education, Tibor Navracsics.

These competences bring together the values, attitudes and skills as well as the knowledge and critical understanding necessary for the exercise of democratic citizenship and intercultural dialogue. They have now received the formal backing of ministers and will be tested in different settings.

competence framework

The framework was developed with the contribution of the formal education sector and aims at being implemented in a school context. However, a precious and wide range of experience has been developed in the past 40 years within the non-formal education and youth sector for the promotion of democratic values and intercultural dialogue among young people. Since the target group of school education and youth organisation is the same, namely youth, it is important to build on each other’s expertise and outreach to implement this framework.

Therefore EFIL and the European Youth Forum call on national ministries of education to implement the reference framework of the Council of Europe in their national education systems by including the non-formal education sector and youth organisations in this process.

To know more about the Conference and the Competence Framework, please check the website http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/education/competences_en.asp


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