Meeting of Ministers of Education – 26 November 2019 – Paris

Creation of an Observatory on history teaching in Europe

Ministerial Declaration

Achieving a greater unity between the member States is a statutory task of the Council of Europe, whose aim is to promote human rights, democracy and rule of law. History teaching is crucial to this purpose. The Council of Europe adopted the European Cultural Convention on 19 December 1954 in Paris, to which 50 States have acceded, as well as a large number of recommendations and intergovernmental projects. It is now time to continue the work undertaken by the Organisation over the past 70 years.

The way history is taught can foster reconciliation within and between nations.

Given the risks of manipulating history, it is more important than ever to promote history teaching that helps to educate all young Europeans in democratic citizenship and contributes to the emergence of a common European sense of belonging.

The participants at the Conference of European Ministers of Education exchanged views on the subject and expressed their interest in promoting co-operation between European states in the field of history teaching.

The States mentioned below express their willingness to work for the creation of an Observatory on history teaching in the framework of a new enlarged partial agreement of the Council of Europe. All member States are welcome to join this work and the Observatory will be open for accession by all the States Parties to the European Cultural Convention and relevant international organisations.

The Observatory will provide an opportunity to promote practices encouraging history teaching in line with the values of the CoE enshrined in our conventions. The Observatory will not aim to standardise the way history is taught in Europe. It will respect each country’s prerogatives in this field. It will ensure that its activities tie in with the Council of Europe's work on history teaching.

To achieve the objective of this initiative, the States mentioned below express their wish to finalize the statute of the new enlarged partial agreement as soon as possible and preferably before November 2020, and support the introduction of a transitional phase, with the backing of the Council of Europe Secretariat.

The States mentioned below encourage all the States Parties to the European Cultural Convention as well as other relevant international organisations to join this initiative.

Albania – Andorra – Armenia – Cyprus – France – Georgia – Greece – Ireland – Italy – Liechtenstein - Luxembourg – Republic of North Macedonia – Malta – Moldavia - Monaco – Montenegro – Portugal - Russian Federation – Serbia - Slovenia – Spain – Switzerland - Turkey