As early as 1954, the founding members of the Council of Europe recognized the importance of history and history teaching in the building of a peaceful Europe.

In an enlightened text that has lost nothing of its far reaching vision, they expressed the need for developing mutual understanding among the peoples of Europe and reciprocal appreciation of their cultural diversity through the safeguarding of European culture, the promotion of Europe's common cultural heritage, and the respect of each other's languages, history and civilisation.

By then, the work of the History teaching division had already started a few months earlier with a first conference in Calw, Germany, which had launched the reform of history textbooks that would continue for years.


The governments signatory hereto, being members of the Council of Europe,

Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members for the purpose, among others, of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage;

Considering that the achievement of this aim would be furthered by a greater understanding of one another among the peoples of Europe;

Considering that for these purposes it is desirable not only to conclude bilateral cultural conventions between members of the Council but also to pursue a policy of common action designed to safeguard and encourage the development of European culture;

Having resolved to conclude a general European Cultural Convention designed to foster among the nationals of all members, and of such other European States as may accede thereto, the study of the languages, history and civilisation of the others and of the civilisation which is common to them all,

Have agreed as follows:

[…] Each Contracting Party shall, insofar as may be possible,

encourage the study by its own nationals of the languages, history and civilisation of the other Contracting Parties and grant facilities to those Parties to promote such studies in its territory, and
endeavour to promote the study of its language or languages, history and civilisation in the territory of the other Contracting Parties…


The European Cultural Convention