Frank Elbers spoke for DARE at the European Parliaments Committee for Education and Culture on 2 April 2009.
DARE´s Recommendations to the EP out of the speech (full text to be published for download soon):
"...First, we would like to suggest to increase the priority of democratic citizenship within the Life Long Learning agenda and within the Lisbon strategy on education and training as a whole.
Our second recommendation is to include reference to gender equality, social cohesion, diversity, democracy and human rights in quality assessments of proposals submitted to EU funding programmes in education and training. This will not only ensure that gender equality, social cohesion, diversity, democracy and human rights are better integrated into education and training programmes but will also demonstrate a commitment to the fundamental values of the European Union as incorporated in the Amsterdam Treaty.
Third, in order to ensure sustainability of efforts to promote active citizenship with the Union we propose the EU stimulates more research, specifically by including indicators on active citizenship in EU commissioned studies as part of a monitoring mechanism as called for in the Lisbon Strategy. The EU is currently already funding the European module of the IEA study, the international research study on citizenship. Funding inclusion of indicators of active citizenship in ongoing EU research would be a logical extension of this support.
Our fourth and final recommendation is for the European Union to actively support a number of regional and international efforts aimed at promoting citizenship and human rights:
First, we ask you to endorse the Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education that will be adopted by the Council of Europe later this year. This Charter provides a framework policy for European states on how to equip citizens with the knowledge, skills and attitudes for life in democratic societies.
We also ask your active support for the implementation of the World Programme for Human Rights Education, which is an ongoing effort by the UN Member States to forward active citizenship and human rights, particularly in the formal schooling system."
Finally, we ask you to endorse the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training, which is currently being developed by the Human Rights Council, and which will be a landmark for the international recognition of the importance education and training in human rights and active citizenship. There is a precedence for such support -- of cooperation between the EU and civil society organisations -- to forward the Vienna Declaration on Human Rights and its Programme of Action back in 1993, which have been crucial instruments in promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law worldwide...."