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Conversations for the Future of Europe (2): Addressing the European Solidarity Crisis through Education

Dates:
  • Tue 14 Apr 2020 13.00 - 14.30
  Add to Calendar 2020-04-14 13:00 2020-04-14 14:30 Europe/Paris Conversations for the Future of Europe (2): Addressing the European Solidarity Crisis through Education

In the early stages of European integration, the founders were insistent on the need to nurture European spirit among citizens to engage them in the project, and identified education as a mechanism to achieve such a goal. However, early cultural initiatives to develop education policy at European level bore little fruit due to the sensitivity surrounding education’s close linked to nation-building and national identity. Education eventually found its way to European level cooperation thanks to a close link to economic objectives, finding an open door via vocational training and a developing need to educate economic migrant workers’ children. More recently, it has risen up the European agenda as part of the Lisbon 2020 strategy to foster a knowledge economy in response to overcoming the financial crises of the late 2000s. While the Erasmus Programme has made a significant contribution to stimulating a sense of Europeanness among citizens, its impact remains relatively limited to intellectually elite circles. 

In the face of increasing anti-European sentiment, there is an emphasis on reinforcing the concept of European citizenship and addressing a supply-and-demand challenge for European solidarity. More recent communications (e.g. COM(2017) 673; COM(2018) 268) show a return to the narrative on fostering European spirit, reviving the explicit connection between education and promoting European identity across all angles of society. Using education to foster European identity, solidarity and spirit remains an effective tool in theory, but in practice, the EU continues to face longstanding challenges.

How can repeating proposals be developed to overcome these challenges? There is a reoccurring suggestion to create educational institutions, including the EUI’s own School of Transnational Governance and the recent launch of the CIVICA initiative. What role can today’s educational institutions, and education more widely, play in developing a sense of Europeanness and increased solidarity among Europe’s citizens of today for the Europe of tomorrow, that overcomes the obstacles of yesterday’s initiatives?

Conversations February - May 2020

Objective: To guide the steps of the European Union and to mobilise its citizens so as to make policy change possible, it is not sufficient to analyse the past and criticise the present. It is necessary to develop concrete proposals for a better future and to subject them to critical multidisciplinary discussion. The Conversations for the Future of Europe aim to contribute to such discussion. The focus of our Conversations will be to consider concrete and politically feasible projects which may guide the future development of the Union. A concern for political applicability, however, is compatible with creativity and boldness. Indeed, it may require it.

Format: Each Conversation will focus on one issue manifesting as a major challenge to the EU. The issue will be briefly introduced by two presenters, each presenting a brief proposal for how to address this challenge. Presentations will be followed by comments from one or two discussants after which, there will be a general discussion.

Output: The aim of the Conversations is to facilitate debate and inspire far-sighted, creative ideas for how to address current policy problems.

Sala Triaria DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala Triaria

In the early stages of European integration, the founders were insistent on the need to nurture European spirit among citizens to engage them in the project, and identified education as a mechanism to achieve such a goal. However, early cultural initiatives to develop education policy at European level bore little fruit due to the sensitivity surrounding education’s close linked to nation-building and national identity. Education eventually found its way to European level cooperation thanks to a close link to economic objectives, finding an open door via vocational training and a developing need to educate economic migrant workers’ children. More recently, it has risen up the European agenda as part of the Lisbon 2020 strategy to foster a knowledge economy in response to overcoming the financial crises of the late 2000s. While the Erasmus Programme has made a significant contribution to stimulating a sense of Europeanness among citizens, its impact remains relatively limited to intellectually elite circles. 

In the face of increasing anti-European sentiment, there is an emphasis on reinforcing the concept of European citizenship and addressing a supply-and-demand challenge for European solidarity. More recent communications (e.g. COM(2017) 673; COM(2018) 268) show a return to the narrative on fostering European spirit, reviving the explicit connection between education and promoting European identity across all angles of society. Using education to foster European identity, solidarity and spirit remains an effective tool in theory, but in practice, the EU continues to face longstanding challenges.

How can repeating proposals be developed to overcome these challenges? There is a reoccurring suggestion to create educational institutions, including the EUI’s own School of Transnational Governance and the recent launch of the CIVICA initiative. What role can today’s educational institutions, and education more widely, play in developing a sense of Europeanness and increased solidarity among Europe’s citizens of today for the Europe of tomorrow, that overcomes the obstacles of yesterday’s initiatives?

Conversations February - May 2020

Objective: To guide the steps of the European Union and to mobilise its citizens so as to make policy change possible, it is not sufficient to analyse the past and criticise the present. It is necessary to develop concrete proposals for a better future and to subject them to critical multidisciplinary discussion. The Conversations for the Future of Europe aim to contribute to such discussion. The focus of our Conversations will be to consider concrete and politically feasible projects which may guide the future development of the Union. A concern for political applicability, however, is compatible with creativity and boldness. Indeed, it may require it.

Format: Each Conversation will focus on one issue manifesting as a major challenge to the EU. The issue will be briefly introduced by two presenters, each presenting a brief proposal for how to address this challenge. Presentations will be followed by comments from one or two discussants after which, there will be a general discussion.

Output: The aim of the Conversations is to facilitate debate and inspire far-sighted, creative ideas for how to address current policy problems.


Location:
Sala Triaria

Affiliation:
Historical Archives
Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Seminar

Organiser:
Brigid Laffan (EUI - Director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies)
Prof. Philippe van Parijs (Robert Schuman Fellow and Université Catholique de Louvain)
Prof. Andrea Sangiovanni (EUI - Department of Political and Social Sciences)
Dr Juri Viehoff (EUI - Department of Political and Social Sciences)

Contact:
European Governance and Politics Programme - Send a mail

Discussant:
Dieter Cornel Schlenker (EUI - Historical Archives of the EC)

Speaker:
Dr. Sarah Katherine St John (European University Institute)
Former MEP Alain Lamassoure

Links:
EUSOL Project
European Governance and Politics Prgramme
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Page last updated on 18 August 2017