In 1993, in a context of war raging in a region of Europe, at the Summit in Vienna, the Heads of State and Government emphasized the political importance of history teaching in the fight against racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance.

In 1996, the Parliamentary Assembly made a series of proposals to encourage the teaching of history in Europe.

A few months later, the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education discussed “Education 2000: Trends, Common Issues and Priorities for Pan-European Co-operation"

Reaffirming the fundamental values, aims and the future role of education:

  • enabling all individuals to realise their potential to the full throughout their lives and to meet rapid social and technological change, new patterns of employment and the challenges of the Knowledge and Information Society with confidence, responsibility and imagination;
  • helping young people and adults to become active and autonomous citizens committed to the basic values of the rule of law and human rights, and to the rejection of intolerance and violence;
  • co-operating with other partners involved in solving other crucial societal problems;
  • establishing greater understanding and confidence between the peoples of Europe and encouraging them to respect difference and live together in harmony, both within and between States;
  • building a democratic, peaceful, tolerant, compassionate and dynamic Europe open to the world.

and the Council of Europe's broad objectives:

  • the promotion of active, responsible and democratic citizenship;
  • the fostering of mutual understanding, European cultural diversity and mutual respect within multicultural societies;
  • the development of the debate on educational policies as a factor of social cohesion and democratic security

they called for more activities dealing with the 20th century and expressed their full support for the new project and its aims:

  • to interest secondary school students in the recent history of our continent, helping them to understand the forces, movements, events and individuals that have shaped Europe in the 20th Century;
  • to provide curriculum developers, authors of textbook and multi-media resources, history teachers and their trainers, with practical advice and examples of good practice and innovatory approaches;
  • to deal, at the same time, with positive mutual influences and sensitive and controversial issues;
  • to pay particular attention to links and balances between local, regional, national, European and world history in the school curricula.