The 11 members of the Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) were elected by the Governing Board on 4 June 2021, to ensure the academic, scholarly, and methodological quality of the work of the Observatory. This inaugural meeting marked an important milestone in the 2021-2023 work programme. The SAC is made up of high-level experts in the areas of history teaching and history education.
“The credibility of the Observatory will depend on our ability to produce factually accurate reports, and the expertise of the SAC members will guide and support the Governing Board as it leads the Observatory through its programme”
stressed the Director General of Democracy, Ms Snežana Samardžić-Marković, in her introductory statement.
The Chair of the Governing Board, Mr Alain Lamassoure, explained the complementarity between the work of the Governing Board and that of the SAC. He recalled the overall goal of the Observatory to improve the way history is taught, in line with Council of Europe values.
"Teaching history in schools is the primary vehicle for the transmission of values. Education is an exclusive competence of the States, but this does not prevent the multiplication of exchanges of good practices. The need for such exchanges is all the more important as, at this very moment, in almost all our countries, history curricula are being revised and debates are taking place on the role of the discipline in the training of future citizens of our free, independent nations, attached to internal and external peace", he stressed.
The Executive Director of the Observatory, Ms Aurora Ailincai, spoke about the overall structure and functioning of the Observatory, and outlined the specific role played by the SAC within this structure, in particular for the development of the regular and thematic reports and the methodology used. She also highlighted the priorities within the 2021-2023 programme and the expected results for the 2021 Annual Conference.
The project manager, Ms Yuliya Kochneva, presented the main tasks the Scientific Advisory Council will have to carry out in the coming months and introduced the Rules of Procedure for the SAC which were adopted by consensus, and took effect immediately.
The next meeting of the Scientific Advisory Council will take place in September 2021, during which the Chair and Vice-chair will be elected. The SAC members have been invited to put forward their candidatures in advance of the meeting.