September 21st & 22nd, 2018
There is a major lack of knowledge about the EU. For a long time, it didn’t appear to be a problem: European integration was thought of as a self-perpetuating process that did not need to be explained in detail. Serving their own interests, and maintaining their own sovereignty, the member states paid more attention to what they had in common rather than what they differed in.
Step by step, a common understanding was reached in areas of business, politics and law. The results of this process – decades of peace, the development of democracy and the rule of law, economic prosperity in the Single European Market, and cross-border mobility for the people – were the obvious pillars of successful European integration. Today, however, the European integration model seems to have lost its attractiveness.
EU governments and societies react to problems more and more from a national rather than a European point of view. The Brexit and the disagreement over the refugee issue in the EU are just two examples of the developments set in motion notwithstanding the fact that the material and immaterial advantages of EU membership have basically not changed.
EU member states should be aware that European Education is a prerequisite of a European consciousness, which must not be at odds with national consciousness. The citizens should understand that their respective national identity and transnational cooperation in the EU are two sides of the same medal. European Education policy for children, adolescents and young adults is a long way from achieving this. It is not given adequate priority in EU member states, nor is it on the European agenda.
Civic education in Europe continues to be predominantly national: Young people learn about democracy and the rule of law on the basis of their national political constitution and institutions. Moreover, civic education, hence the citizen’s own role, is hardly portrayed in a way that encourages them to actively participate in shaping the European democratic community.
Conference TEACH#EU - September 21st & 22nd, 2018 Potsdam
The conference “Teach#EU” raises the following questions: How can the concept of “Europe" be included in the educational mandate, and how can it be communicated to young people? As this is an initial debate on European Education, we decided to keep the question general.
It is clear that education as a whole – including educational content, didactic approaches and formats, the duality of school and out-of-school education, educational institutions and education policy – is rather comprehensive. As the discussion has not been held on a European scale yet, this conference aims to provide a platform for future debate.
We want to discuss this with international stakeholders in politics, science, schools and out-of-school educational institutions to pose relevant questions about European Education. For example:
How can European Education be used to develop a deeper understanding of why it is better to work together in Europe rather than separately from each other?
How can European Education be used to motivate young people to participate actively in developing Europe?
What framework conditions need to be developed in order to improve the conditions for European Education in general areas of society?
Program & Locations
Conference language: English
The TEACH#EU conference will be held under the patronage of
Ms. Britta Ernst, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport of Brandenburg
Ms. Britta Stark, President of the State Parliament Brandenburg
Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg (ILB)
Babelsberger Str. 21, 14473 Potsdam
Am Alten Markt 1, 14467 Potsdam
|Prof. Dr. Balázs, Péter||Director at the Center for European Neighborhood Studies||Central European University||Hungary|
|Ballester, Rodrigo||Member of Cabinet to Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport||European Commission||EU|
|Dr. Banjac, Marinko||Assistant Professor and Chair of Theoretical Political Science||University of Ljubljana||Slovenia|
|Prof. Dr. Costa, João||Secretary of State of Education||The Ministry of Education||Portugal|
|Fichter, Ingrid||International Relations Officer||The Ministry of National Education||France|
|Prof. Dr. Giancola, Orazio||Researcher and Lecturer||Sapienza University of Rome||Italy|
|Habben Jansen, Eddy||Executive Director||ProDemos - House for Democracy and the Rule of Law||The Netherlands|
|Prof. Dr. Hoskins, Bryony||Professor and Chair in Comparative Social Science||University of Roehampton||Great Britain|
|Khebizi, Sam||Executive Director||Les Têtes de l'Art||France|
|Kovačić, Marko||Researcher / Youth Policy National Correspondent||Institute for Social Research in Zagreb / European Commission||Croatia|
|Laidmets, Mart||Member of the Management Board||Foundation Innove||Estonia|
|Moutsios, Stavros||Associate Professor||Aarhus University||Denmark|
|Müller-Hofstede, Christoph||Program Leader||Federal Agency for Civic Education||Germany|
|Neubauer, Tit||Head of the International Cooperation and EU Office||The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport||Slovenia|
|Dr. Nocko, Grzegorz||Program Director||Hertie Foundation||Poland|
|Sewening, Katharina||Head of Education Projects||EUROSOC#DIGITAL||Germany|
|Slavkova, Louisa||Executive Director||Sofia Platform||Bulgaria|
|Steininger, Sigrid||Official for Citizenship Education in Schools||The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research||Austria|
|Prof. Dr. Tirri, Kirsi||Professor of Education & Research Director at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies||University of Helsinki||Finland|
|Veverka, Klára||Deputy Director & Head of the Educational Program||European Values Think Tank||Czech Republic|
|Weis, Luc||Director of SCRIPT||The Ministry of National Education, Children and Youth||Luxembourg|
We are currently in the process of carefully evaluating the discussions. We hope to summarize conclusions and recommendations within the next weeks. They will be uploaded here.
Rodrigo Ballester – European Commission
„Teaching European Education is one of the most pertinent topics that one could put on the agenda now [...] And the organizers behind Teach#EU ask very good questions: What do we understand by teaching Europe? [Does it only entail] teaching about the European Union? [...] Do we live in a house where we know our neighbors [...]? These are the questions that are going to define my view for the next ten years of European Integration or Disintegration [...]“
Kirsi Tirri – University of Helsinki
„I have enjoyed this conference so much [...] people from different European countries are sharing their views and knowledge. [...] I’m a scholar [...] and I met so many people from other disciplines who are involved [in] the policy and politics of European Education [...] [Also,] I loved the format[s]. The kick-off was fantastic. It stimulated our brains and then the open space – it was just a very good way to arrange the conference. I am very happy!“
Christoph Müller-Hofstede – Federal Agency for Civic Education
„I found that this conference was very enlightening because it redefined a theme that has played a special role in civic education for years and many routines have established themselves there. So many people are for Europe, so many people love Europe. We just have to explain it better and also allow critical voices to be heard. I think this conference has put all these routines to trial once again. [Also it] has brought together very good international voices and, above all, has dealt with practical issues in the various sessions. In this respect, this conference has made a great point and will hopefully be continued.“
Orazio Giancola - Sapienza University of Rome
„It was a good experience of exchanging knowledge […] that was very enriching. The closing moment was very significant because our session group was rich, both on the content and the emotional level. It was a great and much needed experience!“
Ina Koopmann – Friedrich Ebert Foundation
„To me, the conference is really important because it also serves as a network for exchanging views on what is happening not only in Germany but also in other European countries, to pass on European Education, European awareness and values to young people and to motivate them to take an interest in politics in general and, of course, with regard to Europe [...] It is most important that we manage to reach young people long-term. What keeps us [...] as the [Friedrich Ebert Foundation] busy is: how sustainable are we? We go to a school where young people say "fantastic, great". But are they really going to the European elections? I consider Teach#EU to be a very important initiative [...] and I hope that we all continue on behalf of this network. Thank you once again for this initiative.“
Wolfgang Balint - Union of European Federalists
„The conference as a whole is fantastic because it brings together so many European players from the field of education [...] It challenges us to think about European Education beyond our own disciplines and regional perspectives. I think this is important because we are actually in a crisis situation and we have to see how we should communicate this topic more effectively - not in terms of "Hooray Europe" but in a critical yet still pro-European way. I hope we can make a continuation of Teach#EU [...] because this initial spark should ideally turn into a lasting process [...] “
Regine Wehner – Robert Bosch Foundation
„I found it very interesting what kind of discussions we had in the sessions. It turned out that many people got stuck on the fundamental question of what European Education [...] is and that there is actually no consensus on it. One wonders what provides the best leverage would be to tackle this issue: [...] whether it is history or democratic traditions and so on. This is somehow all still so vague for all of us [...] And this is perhaps a bit symbolic of the fact that the debate [...] is still at the very beginning. The question is also [...] what do we want to achieve with European Education. Would we also risk people being Eurosceptical but [...] on the basis of a higher qualitative level of information?“
Grzegorz Nocko – Hertie Foundation
„In our session, we had very good discussions. [One of the] participant[s] said that she goes with more questions than she had at the beginning. To me, this is a sign for the necessity of this topic, which can’t be answered within two days […] but is a great and much needed start.“
Tit Neubauer: Ministry of Education, Science and Sport
"What I found most pleasing about the [Teach#EU] conference is that, not only did it involve expert speakers and presenters, but also a very informed set of participants. This was a very welcom[ing] approach, which resulted in very targeted discussions between everyone involved, avoiding the usual necessity to introduce and present the basic and general information on the topic. Consequently, every discussion, be it formal or non-formal, commenced as a continuation of a previous discussion in a different international setting, which by no means is an easy achievement for a conference that had been organized for the first time. The organizers made sure that all the relevant institutions, around Europe, which have dedicated themselves to the topic were present. All in all a great experience that will hopefully be repeated soon."
Péter Balázs – Central European University
„Education is very important [because] there is an outreach of transmitting information to people, which may influence their political attitudes [...] Public opinion is for the moment deeply divided. In Europe, there are pro-Europeans and anti-Europeans. We need pro-Europeans at the next European Parliament elections in order to strengthen democracy and to marginalize as much as possible the anti-European forces.“
Ingrid Fichter - The Ministry of National Education
„[European Education] gives you the opportunity to involve other topics, [such as] environment, refugees, etc., [which] may attack the fundamental idea of Europe [...] the format is great for two reasons: it gives all participants the opportunity to engage [...] Also, I have the chance to meet other people and strengthen my network [...] We are stronger with others than on our own [...]At Teach#EU, we can work conceptually on this topic and learn from one another.“
Bernd Saur- German Association of Philologists
„In order to deepen our young people’s European consciousness, basic knowledge about the EU must be imparted into all schools of the member states. Compulsory elements on Europe must therefore be implemented in the school curricula.“
Benjamin Kurc - Institut français Sachsen-Anhalt
„[...] It is important to have a separate conference about European Education because you can specifically deal with these issues and exchange with others what you are struggling with or what needs to be improved. It is an infinite subject and there are so many ways to approach it [...] I need inputs. This is why I am here [...] if the conference is a one-time occasion I find it problematic because you come, you talk and then you go home with valuable inputs and great contacts [...] but what happens to the results?“