“D(e)F: You have launched the initiative Values Unite, a campaign that advocates for the creation of a European Agency for Citizenship Education. What’s that about?
Susanne Zels: Our goal is to strengthen European values and thereby social and European cohesion. In the past years, we have seen multiple EU member states violating European values and most European societies suffer from increasing polarization. In order to combat these developments, investments in the quality of and access to citizenship education across Europe are necessary. We believe active and politically well-educated citizens are the best safety measure to preserving European values.
Sophie Pornschlegel: Only very few European member states invest substantially in citizenship education. Many of them have no specialised national agencies, and in some countries there is no non-formal and informal education. There is also a lack of information and research on the topic of citizenship education in the EU27. We don’t know what EU citizens learn in which countries. An Agency would be able to coordinate research and monitoring on citizenship education – and support member states to provide equal access to qualitative citizenship education.”
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