Strasbourg, 17 October 2018

What does it take to build a democratic culture? This is the title of a video recently released on the impact and results of the European Union/Council of Europe Horizontal Facility Actions on Education implemented in Albania, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo*.

“The methodology we use in our projects in the Western Balkans to promote a democratic school culture is an integrated approach” emphasised Sarah Keating, Head of the Co-operation and Capacity Building Division, Council of Europe Education Department in the video.

“We work at the grassroots level with schools and their communities to see what works and what does not work and then with Ministries of Education to develop evidence-based policies to bring up to the system as a whole” Ms Keating added.

The four Actions on Education contribute to foster a democratic school culture in the beneficiaries.

In Albania, the Action on Education “Fighting bullying and extremism in the education system” has resulted thus far in the establishment of a National Day against Bullying on 21 November and school policies developed by teachers of the pilot schools will be used as reference when drafting the National Action Plan targeting bullying.

In the context of the Action on Education “Fostering a democratic school culture in Montenegro”, experiences from the work with pilot schools will be brought to the policy level. The third Strategy on inclusive education is currently being drafted and a Framework of Competences was developed in co-operation with local stakeholders and university academics.

The activities implemented in the context of the Action on Education “Fostering a democratic school culture in Serbia” involved teachers and school directors in peer learning events and saw the participation of many students and teachers in initiatives such as “Democratic School Days”.

In Kosovo*, a new curriculum is being implemented since last year, promoting democratic values in schools and a Diversity Day was established on 26 April to raise awareness and promote social inclusion. These changes took place as a result of the Action on Education “Fostering a democratic school culture and diversity in schools in Kosovo*”.


*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.