The main focus of the Council of Europe Programme “Learning democracy and human rights” (2010-2014) is the development of sustainable mechanisms for the promotion of citizenship and human rights education. The key objectives are as follows: 1) Supporting policy development and implementation; 2) Promoting partnerships and networking; and 3) Putting Council of Europe instruments into practice. The Council of Europe Charter on Citizenship and Human Rights Education (Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)7), builds on 13 years of intergovernmental cooperation in this field, and provides a framework and a springboard for future action.
Regional cooperation is supported through the Baltic/Black Sea Network, the Nordic Network and the South East Europe Network. The Summer Academy on “Democracy at School” (open mainly for school teams from the Eastern Europe) is a joint project of the Polish Ministry of National Education, Polish Centre for Education Development, the European Wergeland Centre and the Council of Europe.
The Council of Europe strives to promote synergies and cooperation with other international institutions and organisations. In 2011, an International Contact Group on citizenship and human rights education was set up, with a view to ensure close co-operation among regional and international initiatives in this field.
The Council of Europe supports and promotes cooperation in the field of citizenship and human rights education among the 50 states party to the European Cultural Convention. The main partners of the Council of Europe are the co-ordinators for Education for democratic citizenship and human rights (EDC/HRE coordinators). The key event in 2012 will be a Conference on “Human rights and democracy in action - looking ahead! The impact of the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education” (Strasbourg, 28-29 November 2012).
Support to specific countries is provided in the framework of the Joint Programmes between the European Commission and the Council of Europe. Such programmes allow making use of the expertise and best practice collected and developed through multilateral cooperation.
The Council of Europe Education Department works in close cooperation with many other partners within the Organisation, including the Youth Department, the Programme “Building Europe for and with Children”, the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner, the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.