On 12 November 2020, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe decided to create the Observatory on History Teaching in Europe. Initially with 17 member States*, the Observatory will operate as an enlarged partial agreement. It will build on the Council of Europe's decades-long experience in history education, while complementing and strengthening its intergovernmental programme.
The initiative for the Observatory was taken in May 2019, under the French Presidency of the Council of Europe ."It is a project for the future of young people that can help consolidate peace and European unity that is taking shape today", stressed Ambassador Marie Fontanel, Permanent Representative of France to the Council of Europe when the Committee of Ministers adopted the resolution establishing the Observatory.
Together with the declaration on the education response to COVID-19, adopted by the European Ministers of Education on 29 October, the creation of the Observatory will also be an important legacy of the Greek Presidency of the Council of Europe and "a valuable tool in the fight against dangerous revisionism and attempts to falsify historical truth", as underlined by Mr Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece.
The Observatory’s main purpose will be to collect and make available, through a series of regular and thematic reports, factual information on the state of history teaching in all participating countries. The main aim will be to facilitate exchange of good practice and mutual learning. It will also serve as a platform for professional development and networking for European professional associations and institutes active in the field of history teaching.
(*) Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Cyprus, France, Georgia, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Republic of North Macedonia, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.