The European Youth Forum welcomes the strong statement made by the EU education ministers.

March 19, 2015

The European Youth Forum welcomes the strong statement made by the EU education ministers and Commissioner Navracsics on their common responsibility in nurishing humanistic and civil values and active citizenship through education systems.

This statement demonstrates that there is a need to refocus the purpose of education: to move away from the recent trend in gaining specific skills to fit the requirements of the labour market and encompass a holistic approach to both the personal and social development of young people and society.

However, it is a shame that such an atrocity had to take place before we realised why this holistic view of education is necessary. The idea that education is a driver for inclusive societies should never leave our thoughts.

The European Youth Forum has always advocated that quality education (see our policy paper on quality education), together with youth work, is essential in order to equip young people with the necessary competences, such as political literacy and critical thinking (see our policy paper on citizenship education) and further capacity to learn throughout their lives. These competences are needed more than ever for young people to take up their roles and responsibilities as active citizens, and to encourage youth participation in a diverse and inclusive society.

The Youth Forum welcomes the emphasis on the framework for equal opportunities for all. All young people must have access to quality education that also leads to equality in attainment – both in formal and non-formal settings – and systematic support, especially for disadvantaged youth. This is key in ensuring completion and achievement of the expected learning outcomes.


Efforts need to be focused on providing the relevant training and ongoing support to teachers and educators to nurture intercultural, civic and social values among young people in view of fostering social cohesion and active engagement in civic and political activities.


The Youth Forum expects the revised Education and Training 2020 to reflect these commitments and for member states to translate them into visible outcomes, including increased support to youth organisations’ educational work through the Erasmus plus programme. Furthermore, many Member States have slashed their education budgets and privatisation of education has sharply increased. Given that all 28 Education Ministers have recognised the vital role that education plays in society and have pledged to support it at the national level, this declaration presents a good opportunity to call for the resources needed to make these words a reality.


Read more :
The Declaration of the EU education ministers to tackle intolerance, discrimination and radicalisation.
– Our Policy paper on Quality Education
– Our Policy paper on Citizenship Education– See the joint statement from our members OBESSU and ESU.

European Youth Forum AISBL

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With the support of
The European Commission
The European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe