The work of the Council of Europe’s Youth Directorate has played a pivotal role in setting educational quality standards for European youth organisations. This, among others, includes activities of the European Youth Centres, campaigns such as “All Different – All Equal” and educational resources such as the recently re-published T-kit on Intercultural Learning.

Periodically, the Youth Directorate consults practitioners and academia, to refresh its approaches and develop future recommendations. On 4-6 December 2018 in Budapest, a consultative meeting took place focused on exploring past and current approaches towards intercultural learning and non-formal education, related educational practices and quality standards and their application by the Council of Europe youth sector. The event was a continuation of a similar meeting which took place in 2007, resulting with new lines of thought and stimulation for work in the following decade.

EFIL has a long history as a key partner of the Council of Europe in the field of intercultural education, and this partnership was clearly visible during the 2018 Meeting. Among the key speakers there were people of the EFIL past: Helmut Fennes (former EFIL Board Member, today researcher at the University of Innsbruck) and Alessio Surian (former EFIL staff, today lecturer at the University of Padova), as well as people of EFIL present: Izabela Jurczik-Arnold (EFIL staff) and Emilija Gagrcin (volunteer representing EFIL in the Council of Europe Advisory Council on Youth).

The inputs and discussions touched upon the evolution of intercultural learning over the years, its links to human rights education and democratic citizenship, and the changing socio-political landscape which influences intercultural learning theory and practice. Space was given to more recent trends and phenomena: neuro-science of intercultural learning, implications of constructivist culture view, or the use of online learning in intercultural education.

The outcomes of the meeting will be published in the near future, and should lead to better synchronisation of the intercultural learning understanding today and help identify areas for further exploration, research and exchange. For EFIL the meeting, with its report, will also be an important stimulus for future reflection and projects.

For more information: [email protected]