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HREA's Director of Programmes testifies before European Parliament

Brussels, 6 April 2009 -- Frank Elbers, HREA's Director of Programmes, testified before the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday, 2 April. He briefed members of the Culture and Education Committee about the current developments in education for democratic citizenship (EDC) and human rights education (HRE) in Europe.

As part of his testimony, Mr. Elbers warned members of the Culture and Education Committee that measures to combat the crisis should not only be economic in nature but should also include efforts to enhance social and civic competencies of European citizens. EDC/HRE can help to address ills in society like mistrust and violence. Enhancing social and civic competencies through education are critical to fight the negative effects of the current economic crisis. Europe has shown unique, regional leadership in promoting active citizenship and human rights through the European Union (EU)'s Life Long Learning and other education and training programmes. The EU also plays an active role in promoting human rights through its bilateral relations with non-EU states, and, most recently, through the establishment of the European Fundamental Rights Agency. “Now is the time for the EU to take on an even greater leadership role in education for democracy citizenship and human rights”, he concluded.

Frank spoke on behalf of DARE, the Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe Network. The DARE Network currently consists of 44 member organisations from 28 countries in Europe, representing over 10,000 professionals. DARE is a Europe-wide network of NGOs and other organisations devoted to raising the profile of democracy and human rights education; to promoting transcultural and transnational cooperation; and to enhancing the quality of education within these fields. HREA has been an active member of the DARE Network since it was established in 2003.

Read the press release.



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