30 юни 2009

Конференция в Лондон, 4 ноември 1999г.


БРИТАНСКИ СЪВЕТ
 
Централно Бюро за образователни визити и обмен

Конференция в Лондон, 4 ноември 1999г.

Конферентен център „Кралица Елизабет ІІ”

Изказване на Лъчезар Тошев
Вицепрезидент на ПАСЕ

ОБРАЗОВАНИЕТО И ДЕМОКРАТИЧНОТО ГРАЖДАНСТВО, ОСНОВАНО НА ПРАВАТА И ОТГОВОРНОСТИТЕ НА ГРАЖДАНИТЕ

Г-жо Председател,
Почитаеми дами и господа,

Чувствам се изключително поласкан от поканата и възможността да говоря пред тази почитаема конференция, по един от основните въпроси, които определят общественото развитие – образованието в демократично гражданство. Още повече, че тук присъстват толкова много учители от цяла Европа, които имат високото призвание да превърнат политиката по този въпрос в конкретни дела и практика. Разбира се, заедно с медиите и неправителствените организации, с подкрепата на националните власти и международни организации и програми, това амбициозно дело ще бъде реализирано. Ето защо бих искал да поздравя организаторите от Централното бюро за образователни визити и обмени за тяхната прекрасна инициатива.
         Много от вас, почитаеми дами и господа, знаят добре, че първоначалната цел на образованието беше познанието – събирането на знания. Но след като обществената еволюция доведе до там, че не можеше вече да се формират енциклопедисти – поради големия обем от информация, целта на образованието се преформулира като се включи и креативния елемент – създаването на навици и умения. Днес, 2000 години след раждането на Иисус Христос, това вече се оказва недостатъчно. Глобализацията на света възлага на образованието и създаването на умението да живеем заедно. Това означава да можем да познаваме и възприемаме по-добре другите, за да бъдат избегнати конфликти и да се създаде по-добра възможност на индивида да живее и работи в едно мултикултурно общество.
          С други думи – умението да бъдем граждани. А това задължително минава през познаването и ползването на нашите права и осъзнаването на нашите отговорности спрямо другите, спрямо обществото като цяло.
           Вие добре си давате сметка, че обществото, в което живеем съвсем не е перфектно. Особено в последните години зачестиха редица негативни феномени и прояви, които показват, че е време не само да се замислим, но и да направим нещо за нашето общо бъдеще.
           Медиите непрекъснато ни съобщават за прояви на нетолерантност, расизъм и ксенофобия. Зачестиха толерантността и апатията към нетолерантността. Появиха се прояви на антисемитизъм. Непритичването на помощ при нужда също не е изолирано явление. Етническите конфликти са все още нерешен проблем, както и религиозните конфликти. Егоизмът, егоцентризмът, апатията към общественото развитие, по-слабото участие в изборите също са неща, които пораждат сериозно безпокойство. От друга, страна в някои страни нараства влиянието на екстремистките партии. Много обезпокояващо е и маргинализирането на големи обществени групи, незаинтерсовани от проблемите на обществото. Особено бих искал да изтъкна невключването или недостатъчното включване на младежта в обществените процеси. Не са ли това индикации за една духовна, морална и културна криза?
            Тези въпроси бяха дебатирани многократно в съвета на Европа. Не бих искал да ви засипвам с исторически справки на развитието на дебата, защото това би могло да измести фокуса на разглежданата тема. Освен това за тази цел е изготвена една подробна справка за тези, които желаят да проучат по-подробно развитието на нещата. Но все пак се изкушавам да кажа няколко думи, като свидетел на този процес в последните осем години, в които членувам в ПАСЕ.
           През 1992г. българският посланик при Съвета на Европа г-н Светлозар Раев внесе в Комитета на Министрите предложение за приемане на Декларация за правата и отговорностите на гражданина. Първоначално тази идея не беше възприета, но факта, че г-н Раев остана на поста си седем години – доста повече от обичайното, му даде възможност да преследва своята цел с една забележителна упоритост. Така, по време на втората среща /Second Summit/ на държавните глави на Съвета на Европа през 1997г. се прие текст във финалната декларация, който също така залегна и в “плана за действие”.Така че беше даден мандат на Комитета на Министрите да състави работна група за изработване на Декларация и програма. Тази група беше оглавена от френския посланик Жак Варен – дипломат със забележителни качества, който успя да постигне консенсус между 41 страни-членки на Съвета на Европа – да съгласува всяка дума и запетайка на текста, зад който застанаха всички.
            Ето как на 7 май 1999г.,в Будапеща, Комитета на Министрите, по повод 50-тата годишнина на Съвета на Европа прие Декларация и програма за образование в демократичното гражданство, основано на правата и отговорностите на гражданите. Според мен това беше една нова страница не само за Съвета на Европа, но и за целия континент.
           Подобен въпрос беше дебатиран и в Конгреса на местните власти и регионите в Европа. Парламентарната Асамблея също прие резолюция по този въпрос. В ООН, група от бивши държавни глави постави въпроса, но там  все още не е отбелязан успех по този въпрос.
           Един от главните пунктове, който предизвика този дълъг 7-годишен дебат в Съвета на Европа беше терминът “отговорности”. Някои хора го възприемаха погрешно като задължения и смятаха, че по този начин биха били ограничени правата на човека. Разбира се, установи се – а поред мен това беше и очевидно от самото начало – че докато задълженията са предмет на кодификация, то отговорностите са морална категория /като самоконтрола например/ - и се постигат чрез възпитание и образование. Отговорностите са свързани с осъзнаване на мястото ни в обществото – което за нас не е и не трябва да се възприема като околна среда, а е един общ организъм. То означава още познаване и прилагане на нашите собствени права и уважаване и зачитане на правата на другите. Нашите права свършват там, където започват правата на другите.Ние не можем да нарушаваме  правата на другите, както и те не могат на нарушават нашите права.
           Така стигаме до извеждането на понятието гражданин, което не е синоним на понятието поданик.
Гражданин според нас е личност, която е автономна, наясно със своите права и отговорности в обществото, участваща в създаването на правилата за организиране на обществения живот. Освен това тези граждани определят рамката, в която правата и свободите на всеки се упражняват и където определянето /appointment/ и контрола на хората, които упражняват властта, е под супервизията на всички други граждани.
Демократичното гражданство е това, което създава такива личности.
Разликата между понятието гражданин и поданик, т.е. жител на една държава, е съзнавано и преди. Така например, проф. Стефан Баламезов, който е автор на учебник по конституционно право от средата на 40-те години, завършва своята книга с призива: “Гражданино, не забравяй, че твоите права и свободи са извоювани с упорита и усилна борба. Те ти принадлежат и никой не може да ти ги отнема. Защото инак, след всяко тяхно ограничаване или накърняване от управляващите или поради твоето нехайство, ти ще загубиш нещо, което не се вижда и консумира, но е всичко. Това е съзнанието, че си свободен човек. Тогава неусетно ти се обръщаш в автомат – регистриран и номериран, вършещ само това, което ти се заповядва и така сам се превръщаш в поданик.”
           Това е едно прозрение или предчувствие точно преди зловещият комунистически тоталитаризъм да бъде наложен на страните от Централна и Източна Европа.
           Ето това е въпросът, който дебатираме днес.
           Дами и господа,
           Вие, без съмнение знаете, че целта на Съвета на Европа е да изгражда по-свободно, по-толерантно и по-справедливо общество. Ето защо в началото на Декларация, за която говоря, отново беше потвърдена първостепенната роля на Европейската конвенция за защита правата на човека и основните свободи и беше изразено убеждението, че духовните и моралните ценности представляват истинския източник на личната свобода, политическия плурализъм и върховенството на закона.
           Вземайки това предвид, Съветът на Европа заяви, че въпросът за по-доброто познаване и разбиране от страна на отделните хора на техните права и отговорности не търпи отлагане. Хората трябва да познават и упражняват правата си и да уважават правата на другите.
           Загрижеността на страните-членки на Съвета на Европа идва от негативните явления, за които говорих по-горе.
           Ето защо се подчертава основополагащата роля на образованието, но и на възпитанието за справяне с тези проблеми. Защото в противен случай негативните явления могат да станат тенденция, застрашаващи мира и демокрацията, както на национално, така и на международно равнище. В декларацията се обръща внимание и на отговорностите към настоящите и бъдещите поколения за запазване на естествената и създадената от човека околна среда. С други думи, поставя се не само екологичният, но и моралният аспект, а освен това за първи път в такъв документ се говори за права на бъдещите поколения.
           Този текст е и моят скромен принос към този документ, но идеята за него се роди при един разговор с френския учен – известния Жак Ив Кусто, когото срещнах в София през 1992г.
           Връщайки се на декларацията, бих искал да спра вашето внимание на факта, че вземайки всички тези неща предвид, Съветът на Европа заяви, че обучението в демократично гражданство е постоянна задача и процес на съпричастие, равиващ се в различни условия и среда:
Ø      семейството;
Ø      учебните заведения;
Ø      работното място;
Ø      професионалните организации;
Ø      политическите организации;
Ø      общините;
Ø      медиите;
Ø      дейностите по опазването на околната среда
Ø      също по време на отдиха, културните занимания и туризма, които ни дават познания за другите, като ни научават да ги разбираме по-добре.
            Подчертавам и нуждата гражданите да играят активна роля в обществения живот, определяйки своята съдба и съдбата на своята общност.
            Нужно е да се внуши култура на защитата на правата на човека и съзнание за отговорностите, произтичащи от тези права. Така хората ще бъдат подготвени да живеят в едно отворено, мултикултурно общество, обогатено, а не противопоставено от различията. Също така е важно към различията да се отнасяме с толерантност, взаимо уважение, с разбиране и морал.
            Виждайки все по-намаляващата социална кохезия, Съветът на Европа препоръчва действия за укрепване на солидарността в обществото. Да се създаде съзнание за отговорността да се притичваме на помощ при нужда.
           Една друга добра идея, която се дебатира на всички нива в Съвета на Европа е програма за естетизация на нефаворизираните градски сиви зони. Това беше препоръка и на Втората среща на държавните глави. Така, започвайки от семейството, съседите – особено в жилищните блокове и достигайки до квартала, може с малко пари, но с много идеи да се направят много по-привлекателни тези сиви градски зони. Социалният ефект от това би бил по-голям от естетичния.
           Много важно е във всичко, за което днес говорим, да се включват активно гражданите, без да се изолират възрастови групи от участие в процеса.
           Призивът на Съвета на Европа към своите 41 страни-членки е обучението в демократично гражданство, основано на правата и отговорностите на гражданите, да бъде основен елемент във всяка образователна, квалификационна, културна, младежка политика и практика и да се насърчава на национално и международно ниво.
           Ето защо в края на тази декларация Съветът на Европа реши да придаде приоритетно значение в програмата си на обучението в демократично гражданство, основано на правата и отговорностите на гражданите.
           Тази декларация постави целите, на базата на които се прие и програма, съпътстваща декларацията.
           Дами и господа,
           Вие без съмнение си давате сметка, че тази програма трябва да излезе отвъд обичайните заседания и бюрократични процедури, които нямат обществен ефект и не могат да достигнат до гражданите. Може да се каже, че досегашните форми се намират за досадни от хората и нямат влияние в обществото.
           Ето защо създаването на европейската рамка за засилване на обучението в демократично гражданство на всички равнища трябва да включва:
Ø      създаване на ефективни стратегии, средства и методи за укрепване демократизма на обществото;
Ø      проучване на главните въпроси, свързани с това;
Ø      осигуряване на помощ за реформиране на образователната политика;
Ø      обмяната на знания и опит между участващите в процеса;
Ø      разработването на основа за тези взаимни връзки и партньорство;
Ø      насърчаване на общественото съзнание за правата на отделните лица и познаването на техните отговорности.
            Основните въпроси, които трябва да се изяснят, са концепцията за демократично гражданство в неговите политически, правни, културни и социални дименсии. Също така взаимовръзката между права и отговорности и задължението, отансящо се до всички за борба с маргинализацията, гражданската апатия, нетолерантността и насилието. Изясняване на основните компетенции на демократичното гражданство и развитието на активното гражданство чрез  различни иновационни методи на обучение в доживотна перспектива. Това включва обучение в училищния и универстетския живот, в т.ч. участие във вземане на решения в структурите на ученици и студенти, сътрудничество с NGOs, общините, политическите власти и между отделните училища.
            В Западна Европа има значителен прогрес в тази посока. Трябва да се разгледа и връзката между различните подходи на обучение в демократично гражданство, основано на правата и отговорностите на гражданите /тук включваме: правата на човека, образованието – гражданското образование, междукултурното образование, преподаването на история, обучението за демократично лидерство и вземане на решения, разрешаването на конфликти и изграждане на доверие/.
        Ролята на медиите и новите информационни технологии в обучението е изключително важна. Формите на доброволна работа и участие в гражданското общество - на местно равнище, начинът на живот на младежите и тяхното включване в обществото са сред ключовите точки в програмата. Стилът на живот през идния век също е от особена важност. Основните дейности на програмата включват: изработване на политики(policy-making), изследвания (research)  и събиране на данни (data collection), training и повишаване на информираността         (awareness raising).
         В това се включват разработване на ръководства и препоръки, помощ и насърчаване при изработване на националните планове за образование в демократичното гражданство, координиране на дейностите на различни организации /Съветът на Европа, Европейския съюз, ООН, ЮНЕСКО, OSCE, NGOs, частният сектор/ като координацията може да бъде междуотраслова и междудисциплинарна.
         Новите информационни технологии могат да помогнат – в т.ч. чрез Интернет /създаване на страница и други/. Дейностите трябва да бъдат не само изследователски, но и практически – за да имат ефект. Добре би било да се вземе опита на засегнати лица и обикновени граждани.
         Особено важно е във всяка страна-членка да се създадат една или повече „фокусни точки”, които да формират мрежа за взаимодействие.
         Без съмнение тази конференция ще даде своя принос към темата, която е от такава обществена значимост.
         Позволете ми накрая още веднъж да отдам дължимото на инициатора на приемането на тази декларация – г-н Светолозар Раев. Това е не само мощен тласък към реализацията на един исторически проект, но показва, че и представители на малки нации могат равностойно да дават принос в Европейския процес.
         Дами и господа,
         Време е в интерес на общото бъдеще, което желаем да споделим, от думи да преминем към дела. Дължим това не само на нас самите и нашите деца, но и на бъдещите поколения – нашите потомци, на които трябва да оставим един по-добър и по-щастлив свят.
         Благодаря за вашето мило внимание и търпение.







BRITISH COUNCIL

Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges

Conference in London, Queen Elizabeth II Conference center

4-th of November 1999

Address by Mr. Latchezar Toshev
Vice – President
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe




EDUCATION FOR DEMOCRATIC CITIZENSHIP, BASED
ON THE RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF CITIZENS


Ms. Chairperson,
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,


I am truly honoured and extremely gratified by the invitation to address this estimable Conference and speak about one of the key issues underpinning social development - that is education for democratic citizenship. All the more, that attending here today are so many esteemed educators from the United Kingdom and several other European countries, who are the ones called upon to carry out a mission and translate all policies regarding this issue into specific activities and practices.
There is no question, that in co-operation with the media and non-governmental organisations, and with the support of national political authorities and international organisations and programmes, this ambitious undertaking will be accomplished. I therefore wish to congratulate the organisers from the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges for their marvellous initiative.
Many of you, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, know well, that education’s primary objective used to be cognition - the collection and accumulation of knowledge. Considering, however, that social evolution proved it impossible to mould persons of` encyclopaedic knowledge anymore due to the vast volumes of information, the purpose of education was reformulated to include also the element of creation - the development of habits and competencies. Today, some 2000 years since the birth of` Jesus Christ, this has also proved inadequate. The globalization of today’s world has tasked education with training and promoting the know-how to live together. This means a capacity to know and better apprehend the others in order to rule out conflicts and to provide a better opportunity for all individuals to live and work in a multicultural society.
In other words - the know-how to be a citizen. And this without fail requires that we develop a capacity to understand and exercise all our rights while being consciously aware of our responsibilities towards the others and the society as a whole.
You are very much aware that the society we live in is far from perfect. The recent years, in particulalar, have witnessed frequent displays of negative phenomena and deeds which indicate the need not only to consider, but to act just as well and do something about our common future.
The media keep reporting on displays of intolerance, racism and xenophobia. We have been witnessing frequently tolerance towards intolerance. Manifestations of anti-Semitism also have occurred. Failure to come to someone else’s aid or to attend to strangers’ needs is hardly an exception anymore. Ethnic conflicts still constitute unsettled questions and potential source of trouble, and same is true of the religious conflicts. In this context, one cannot but think about the conflicts in former Yugoslavia and the recent war in Kosovo. Egoism, egocentrism, apathy towards social advancement, smaller voter turnouts all have their share in causing
serious concern.
On the other hand, there is a growing influence in some countries of extremist parties. Quite disturbing at the same time is the spreading marginalisation of large social groups lacking interest in the problems of society. I would like to point out in particular the non-involvement or insufficient involvement of young people in the processes of social life. Are these not the clear indications of a crisis? A crisis in existing spiritual, moral and cultural pattems and values.
All these issues have been repeatedly debated in the Council of Europe. I would not like to bury you in facts and information about the development of such debate, because it may well bring out of focus the topic of today’s discussion. Furthermore, a detailed fact-sheet has been prepared for those who are keen to know in detail how things have been developing so far. However, I do feel tempted to say a few words in my capacity as eye-witness to this process of the last almost 8 years since I have been a PACE Member.
In 1992 Bulgaria’s Ambassador to the Council of Europe, Mr. Svetlozar Raev  submitted to the Committee of Ministers a proposal to adopt a Draft Declaration on the Rights and Responsibilities of the Citizen. Initially the idea was not favoured, but the fact that Ambassador Raev held his office in the continuance of seven years, allowed him to pursue his aim with remarkable perseverance. Thus, at the Second Summit of Heads of State and Govemment of the Council of Europe, held in Strasbourg in 1997, a text was adopted in the Final Declaration, which was laid down in the Action Plan as well, thus giving mandate to the Committee of Ministers to set up a working group tasked with draft a Declaration and
Programme. Such ad hoc group was headed by the French Ambassador Jacque Varren - a diplomat of remarkable qualities, who managed to work out a consensus between all 41 member States of the Council of Europe and to negotiate an agreement between them on every single word and comma in the text thus ensuring that the draft would be backed by everyone.
The follow-up of the Summit developed at two levels :

- firstly at the operational level, particularly through the project “education for democratic citizenship", which will be presented by the Chairman of the project Mr. César Birzea, in workshop A later this moming. Let me now say very briefly that the project combines activities on concepts and definitions of democratic citizenship, the support and networking of grassroot projects called "sites of citizenship" and the development of a learning and training strategy for democratic citizenship.
- the second level of the Summit follow-up is the political discussions by the Committee of Ministers on May 7th, 1999, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Council of Europe, and adoption of a Declaration and Programme on Education for Democratic Citizenship, based on the Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens. In my view this was a new beginning not only for the Council of Europe, but for the entire continent as well.

A similar issue has been deliberated by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe. The Parliamentary Assembly, too, has passed a resolution to the same effect. At the United Nations a group of former Heads of State have raised the issue as well. As of now, however, their efforts are of no avail.
One of the main points that caused the 7-year long debate at the Cormcil of Europe was the term "responsibilities”. Some misconstrued this to mean obligations and considered them to be abridging human rights. It was determined in the end, and I believe this was conspicuous right from the beginning, that while obligations are a subject of codification, responsibilities constitute a moral category (such as self-control, for instance) and are attainable via enlightening and education. Responsibilities relate to understanding our role and duty in society which is not an environment, but is a common organism rather. This means, too, to understand and exercise our own rights and to respect the rights of others. For our rights end
where the rights of others have their outset, and we are not to violate others’ rights just as the others shall not infringe on our rights.
The notion of responsibility and the empowerment for using rights and taking responsibility are at the core of our democratic culture. Based on individual rights and freedoms, it implies the link between the individual and society, it corresponds to becoming active and is closely connected to the possibilities and the effects of participation in a democratic society.
This is how we deduced the concept of the citizen which is definitely not synonymous to a subject. A citizen, in our view, is a person who is autonomous, aware of his/her rights and responsibilities in society, involved in laying down the  rules for organising public life. In addition, such citizens establish the framework  where everyone’s rights and responsibilities are exercised and where the appointment and control of those vested with the exercise of power is under the supervision of all other citizens. Democratic citizenship is the one that creates such personalities. The difference between the notion of a citizen and a subject, i.e. a resident of a given state, was given recognition in the past as well. Thus, for instance, Prof. Stephan Ballamezov, who authored in the mid-1940-ies a textbook on constitutional law, wrote the following appeal as an ending of his book:

Dear citizen, remember that your rights and liberties have been gained with desperate and strenuous struggle. They do belong to you and no one is authorised to deprive you of them. For otherwise, any time these shall have been abridged or violated by the ruling authorities or through you negligence, you will suffer loss of something that is neither visible nor consumable, but is indeed your everything. It is the awareness that you are a free man. Then you will imperceptibly be turned into a human automaton - duly registered and numbered acting only as instructed, thus becoming a true subject of your own volition."

This was a display of insight or a presentiment right before the communist totalitarianism was forcibly imposed on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
And here is, in fact, the issue which we are to deliberate today.

Ladies and gentleman,

The Council of Europe's mission is to build a freer, more tolerant and just society. This is why in the beginning of the Declaration, adopted by the Council of Europe, I am referring to, the primary role of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms was reaffirmed, and the belief was voiced again that the spiritual and moral values are the true source of individual freedom, political pluralism and the rule of law.
Having regard to all of the above, the Council of Europe emphasised the urgency of strengthening individuals' awareness and understanding of their rights and responsibilities. People need to know and exercise these rights as well as to respect the rights of others.
These concerns of the Council of Europe’s member States stem from the negative phenomena I touched upon before.
This is why a stress was laid on the fundamental role of education, as well as that of training, in resolving those problems. For otherwise such negative phenomena could easily grow into trends thus posing a major threat to peace and democracy both at national and international level. The Declaration made mention of the responsibilities towards present and future generations to safeguard a natural and man-made environment. In other words, a stress was laid not only on the environmental, but on the moral aspect as well. And this was the first ever
mention in a document like this of future generations’ rights.
This text is my modest contribution to this document, but the idea to produce it resulted from a conversation with the renowned French explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, whom I met in Sofia back in l992.
Going back to the declaration I would like to draw your attention to the fact that taking account of all these issues, the Council of Europe declared that education for democratic citizenship is a continual task and a participative process developed in various contexts and environments:
• the family;
• the educational institutions;
• the workplace;
• professional organizations,
• political organisations;
• local communities;
• the media;
• activities for the protection of environment;
• as well as during leisure, cultural activities, and tourism - a powerful source
of knowledge about others, helping us to understand them better.
I stress the need for citizens to play an active part in public life thus shaping their own destiny and that of their society.
lt is necessary to instil a culture which will ensure full respect for human rights and understanding of responsibilities that flow from them. This will prepare people to live in a multicultural society, enriched instead of split by its diversity. lt is important also to deal with difference tolerantly, sensibly, knowledgeably, and morally.
Conscious of the diminishing social cohesion, the Council of Europe recommended that action should be taken to strengthen solidarity in society. There is a need to foster public awareness of the responsibility to come to someone else’s aid, to minister to others’ needs.
Another bright idea deliberated at all levels within the Council of Europe is a Programme aimed at improving the quality of life in disadvantaged urban areas. This was one of the recommendations of the Second Summit of Heads of State and Government. Thus, starting with the family, the neighbours, particularly in apartment houses, and reaching out to the neighbourhood, maybe with just limited resources, but with plenty of ideas, those grey urban zones should become much more attractive. The social effect of such undertaking would exceed by far the aesthetic one.
It is of extreme importance that citizens, inclusive of all age groups and sectors of
society, should be actively involved in everything we talk about here today.
The Council of Europe called on all its 41 States to make education for democratic citizenship, based on the rights and responsibilities of citizens, an essential component of all educational, training, cultural and youth policies and practices and to promote it at national and international level.
This is why at the end of this Declaration the Council of Europe decided to give high priority in its work programme to education for democratic citizenship based on citizens’ rights and responsibilities;
The Declaration set the objectives which formed the basis for adopting the Programme appended to it.

Ladies and gentleman,
You are, no doubt, aware that this Programme must expand beyond the usual meetings and bureaucratic procedures which have no effect on the public and certainly are not appealing to the citizens. It would not be too much to say that the current styles are boring for the people and have no influence on the public.

This is why the establishment of a European framework for the strengthening of  education for democratic citizenship at all levels must include:
• developing effective strategies, means and methods for the strengthening of the democratic fabric of society;
• exploring major issues regarding education for democratic citizenship;
• provision of assistance for reforming educational policies;
• exchange and dissemination of knowledge and experience between all participants in such process;
• developing a platform for networking and partnerships;
• fostering public awareness of individuals' rights and understanding of their responsibilities.
The main issues that need to be clarified through the implementation of the Programme include the evolving concept of democratic citizenship, in its political, legal, cultural and social dimensions.
Also, the relationships between rights and responsibilities as well as the common responsibilities in combating marginalisation, civic apathy, intolerance and violence. Attention should be given to defining the core competencies for democratic citizenship and the development of active citizenship through different innovative methods of learning in a lifelong leaming perspective. This involves learning democracy in school and university life, includmg participation in decision-making, and the associated structures of pupils and students, partnerships with NGOs, local communities, political authorities, as well as between individual educational institutions.
There has been considerable progress in this direction across Western Europe. Attention should be given within the Programme to the nature of and links between the various approaches to education for democratic citizenship (such as human right education, civic education, intercultural education, history teaching, democratic leadership and decision-making training, conflict resolution and confidence building).
The role of the media and the new information technologies in education for democratic citizenship is also instrumental. The forms of voluntary work and participation in civil society at local level, young peoples' lifestyles and their involvement in society are among the key issues of the Programme. Next century lifestyles are of particular importance, too. The main activities under the Programme consist of policy-making, research and data collection, training and awareness-raising.
This involves drawing up guidelines and recommendations, provision of assistance and encouragement in drafting national plans for education for democratic citizenship, ensuring intersectorial and multidisciplinary co-ordination of the activities and projects of various organisations, such as the Council of Europe, the European Union, the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, NGOs, and the private sector.
The modern information technologies could also be of help, including through the Internet (developing web-sites, etc.). Such activities need not be of research nature alone, but practical as well in order to produce a true effect. It would be nice to borrow the experience of the people concerned as well as to ensure the involvement of grassroots.
It is of particular importance, too, that one or more "focal points" should be established in each member State to form an interacting network.

Ladies and gentleman,

I would like, if I may, to once again give full credit to the worthful gentleman who initiated the adoption of this Declaration - Mr. Svetlozar Raev. It was not just an impetus to the realisation of a historic project. It proved, too, that representatives of small nations could make an equal contribution to the advancement of the European process.
This Conference plays an important role in the Council of Europe’s activities. It creates a link between European initiatives and national and local practices. Your discussions and your examples of good practices will feed into and enrich the European debates. The hope in the future is too strengthen even further these exchanges, for example through the organisation of an awareness-raising campaign on education for democratic citizenship.   
The time is ripe for us to move on from words to deeds in the interest of our common future, the future that we wish to share. This is something we owe not only to ourselves an to our children, but to the future generations, too – our posterity, to whom we must bequeath and a happier world.

Thank you for your kind attention and your patience.



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DECLARATION AND PROGRAMME ON EDUCATION FOR DEMOCRATIC CITIZENSHIP, BASED ON THE RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF CITIZENS
(Adopted in Budapest on 7-th of May 1999.)
The Committee of Ministers,
1. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Council of Europe,
2. Recalling the Council of Europe’s mission to build a freer, more tolerant and just society based on solidarity, common values and a cultural heritage enriched by its diversity;
3. Reaffirming its attachment to the spiritual and moral values which are the true source of individual freedom, political pluralism and the rule of law, principles which form the basis of all genuine democracy;
4. Underlining the primary role of the European Convention on Human Rights and the other Council of Europe and United Nations fundamental instruments which guarantee to individuals the exercise of their inalienable rights;
5. Having regard to the Final Declaration and Action Plan adopted at the Second Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe which emphasise the need to develop education for democratic citizenship based on the rights and responsibilities of citizens;
6. Insisting on the urgency of strengthening individuals’ awareness and understanding of their rights and responsibilities so that they develop a capacity to exercise these rights and respect the rights of others;
7. Stressing the fundamental role of education in promoting the active participation of all individuals in democratic life at all levels: local, regional and national;
8. Recognising the action of the Council of Europe in all areas that have a bearing on fostering responsible citizenship in democratic society;
9. Concerned by the development of violence, xenophobia, racism, aggressive nationalism and religious intolerance, which constitutes a major threat to the reinforcement of peace and democracy both at national and international level;
10. Conscious of the responsibilities towards present and future generations to safeguard a natural and man-made healthy and high quality environment,
11. DECLARES that EDUCATION FOR DEMOCRATIC CITIZENSHIP BASED ON THE RIGHTS AND
RESPONSIBILITIES OF CITIZENS:
i. constitutes a lifelong learning experience and a participative process developed in various contexts: in the family, in educational institutions, in the workplace, through professional, political and non-governmental organisations, in local communities and through leisure and cultural activities and the media, as well as through activities for the protection and improvement of the natural and man-made environment;
ii. equips men and women to play an active part in public life and to shape in a responsible way their own destiny and that of their society;
iii. aims to instil a culture of human rights which will ensure full respect for those rights and understanding of responsibilities that flow from them;
iv. prepares people to live in a multicultural society and to deal with difference knowledgeably, sensibly, tolerantly and morally;
v. strengthens social cohesion, mutual understanding and solidarity;
vi. must be inclusive of all age groups and sectors of society;
12. EMPHASISES the importance of the current activities on education for democratic citizenship carried out as part of the Strasbourg Summit Action Plan;
13. CONSIDERS that further action is necessary to implement education for democratic citizenship (on a sustainable basis) at all levels and in all areas;
14. CALLS on member States to:
- promote democratic citizenship based on the maintenance and further realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms;
- make education for democratic citizenship based on the rights and responsibilities of citizens an essential component of all educational, training, cultural and youth policies and practices;
15. DECIDES to:
- give high priority to education for democratic citizenship based on citizens’ rights and responsibilities in the Council of Europe work programme;
- adopt the Programme which is appended to this Declaration and agree to its co-ordinated implementation by the Council of Europe sectors concerned;
- adopt guidelines and recommendations to member States before the end of the year 2000 in the light of proposals made by relevant Conferences of Specialised Ministers.

PROGRAMME ON EDUCATION FOR DEMOCRATIC CITIZENSHIP BASED ON THE RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF CITIZENS
1. INTRODUCTION
The Heads of State and Government of the member States of the Council of Europe, meeting in Strasbourg for their Second Summit, expressed their “desire to develop education for democratic citizenship based on the rights and responsibilities of citizens, and the participation of young people in civil society” (Final Declaration).

2. OBJECTIVES
The Programme aims to implement the Final Declaration by providing a European framework for the strengthening of education for democratic citizenship at all levels. Based on its past and current activities, the Council of Europe, in the years to come, should step up its efforts to:
2.1 identify and develop novel and effective strategies, means and methods for the strengthening of the democratic fabric of society;
2.2 explore major issues regarding education for democratic citizenship based on citizens’ rights and responsibilities;
2.3 exchange and disseminate knowledge, experience and good practice across Europe;
2.4 provide assistance for reforms of education and other relevant policies;
2.5 develop a platform for networking and partnerships;
2.6 foster public awareness of individuals’ rights and understanding of their responsibilities.

3. KEY ISSUES
The following specific issues will be given attention within the Programme:
3.1 the evolving concept of democratic citizenship, in its political, legal, cultural and social dimensions;
3.2 human rights, including their social dimension and each person’s obligation to respect the rights of others;
3.3 the relationships between rights and responsibilities as well as common responsibilities in combating social exclusion, marginalisation, civic apathy, intolerance and violence;
3.4 the core competencies for democratic citizenship based on citizens’ rights and responsibilities;
3.5 the development of active citizenship through different innovative methods of active and participative learning in a lifelong learning perspective;
3.6 learning democracy in school and university life, including participation in decision-making and the associated structures of pupils, students and teachers;
3.7 partnerships between educational institutions, local communities, non-governmental organisations, and political authorities;
3.8 the nature of and links between the various approaches to Education for democratic citizenship based on citizens’ rights and responsibilities such as human rights education, civic education, intercultural education, history teaching, democratic leadership training, conflict resolution and confidence building;
3.9 the role of the media and new information technologies in Education for democratic citizenship based on citizen’s rights and responsibilities;
3.10 changing patterns of work and their implications for processes of socialisation;
3.11 forms of voluntary work and participation in civil society, particularly at local level;
3.12 young peoples’ lifestyles and the different forms of their involvement in society.

4. ACTIVITIES
The main activities of the programme will be:
4.1 Policy-making
4.1.1 Draw up guidelines and recommendations on education for democratic citizenship based on citizens’ rights and responsibilities to be presented to the forthcoming Conference of European Ministers of Education (Cracow, 2000) as well as to other appropriate ministerial conferences;
4.1.2 Provide assistance in the establishment of national plans for human rights education as part of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education;
4.1.3 Encourage the establishment of national plans for education for democratic citizenship based on citizens’ rights and responsibilities in member States;
4.1.4 Provide assistance to member States in the reforms of the educational and training systems (curriculum and textbook development, teacher training), so as to include education for democratic citizenship based on citizens’ rights and responsibilities in programmes at all levels;
4.1.5 Examine the setting up of instruments for the recognition of voluntary involvement in society and of informal learning periods as a means of promoting education for democratic citizenship based on citizens’ rights and responsibilities.
4.2 Research and data collection
4.2.1 Explore the above-mentioned key issues in seminars, colloquies and through action research;
4.2.2 Survey, in the different countries, developments in education for democratic citizenship at national level in close co-operation with non-governmental organisations and civil society at large;
4.2.3 Provide expertise and information on available resources and projects in and outside the Council of Europe;
4.2.4 Collect and evaluate examples of good practice.
4.3 Training and awareness-raising
4.3.1 Produce training and educational tools in particular using audio-visual means and new technologies;
4.3.2 Develop a practitioners’ forum through the Internet;
4.3.3 Increase and strengthen the organisation of and support for national, regional and local information and training workshops and seminars;
4.3.4 Relate existing Council of Europe training programmes to the above-mentioned key issues;
4.3.5 Prepare practical, action-oriented awareness-raising materials;
4.3.6 Make plans for the setting up of a European campaign for education for democratic citizenship based on citizens’ rights and responsibilities.

5. WORKING METHODS
The activities should:
5.1 be both exploratory and operational, focusing on innovation, training and awareness-raising, and the transfer of knowledge and know-how;
5.2 be carried out through intersectorial and multidisciplinary co-ordination within the Council of Europe and in member States;
5.3 seek close co-operation and joint projects with other international organisations active in democratic citizenship education, such as the European Union, the United Nations, Unesco and the OSCE as well as with non-governmental organisations and the private sector;
5.4 rely on an interacting network of “focal points” to be established in member States;
5.5 develop, whenever possible, an action-research process in member States so as to ensure the participation of the people concerned as well as the involvement of grassroots in the use of research results.



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