The Action Plan adopted at the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government (in Warsaw on 16 and 17 May 2005) stated that: “The Council of Europe will enhance all opportunities for the training of educators, in the fields of education for democratic citizenship, human rights, history and intercultural education” (III.3) and added the following: “Convinced that dialogue between cultures is also fostered by accurate understanding of history, we endorse the Council of Europe’s work in history teaching and related projects, and decide to intensify our efforts in this direction. We encourage more active involvement of civil society in this work.” (III.6)

The Declaration on the Council of Europe’s Strategy for Developing Intercultural Dialogue, adopted at the closing conference for the 50th anniversary of the European Cultural Convention (in Faro, Portugal, in October 2005), stresses the need to further develop knowledge and awareness of history, cultures, arts and religions, and to highlight elements illustrating both the historical and the contemporary influence of cultures and civilisations on each other, as well as cultural cross-fertilisation. It also advocates the launch of a Council of Europe “White paper on integrated policies for the management of cultural diversity through intercultural dialogue and conflict prevention”.

Bearing also in mind the Committee of Ministers Recommendation (2001) 15 to Member States on history teaching in 21st-century Europe, the project on "The Image of the Other in History Teaching" has the following aims:

  • to promote, by means of educational policy measures and proposed strategies and methods, an approach to teaching and learning history that reflects the increasing cultural and religious diversity of European societies;
  • to contribute to reconciliation, acknowledgement, understanding and mutual trust between different cultures and outlooks and to overcome stereotypes and prejudices by promoting the values of tolerance, openness to and respect for others, human rights and democracy.

The project therefore sought to:

  • produce proposed general guidelines for the development of history teaching with a view to integrating it into the overall work of the Council of Europe on intercultural and inter-faith dialogue;
  • make available to governments – and to other partners including in civil society – proposed strategies, methods and tools for translating the general guidelines into practice in an educational context, both in the classroom and in out-of-school activities with a history-learning component;
  • produce proposals, based on the above, concerning the training of history teachers and others whose work involves the learning of history.