european dimension of education

Democracy and human rights for Europe – The Council of Europe’s contribution


Over 800 million Europeans can individually obtain a ruling from a European court against their State if it has violated their human rights. There is an assembly in Strasbourg where members of the Icelandic, Russian, Portuguese, German, Georgian and other European parliaments all sit together. A Congress exists whose sessions are attended by representatives of 200 000 local and regional authorities of Europe… All these statements relate to the Council of Europe, the first of the European institutions to be founded. Now 47 member states strong, the Council – which is to celebrate its 60th anniversary this year – has become one of the main institutions of intergovernmental co-operation.

This book looks at the political role of the Council of Europe, which is now not only a forum for democracy and a gage of stability, the home of human rights and the forum of cultural diversity, but also the crucible of Europe and the future for politics. The author examines all that is specific to the Council of Europe within the European architecture, particularly vis-à-vis the European Union. This book is essential reading for anyone wishing to study the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe, understand how it operates and find out about the contribution that it makes.


Words to say it, an institution to do it
A question of words: politics/politique and role
A question of aims: Europe’s values
A question of instruments: standard-setting texts
A question of custom: seeking Europe’s identity – And saving its soul?
Some problems – And how the Council may help to solve them

Part I – Forum for democracy, gage of stability

Chapter 1 – An institution born of history – And compromise
1. Blueprints for union – Bordeaux 1940, The Hague 1948
2. Compromise in London: the treaty of 5 May 1949
3. From paper to practice: striking the right balance
4. Develop, diversify, expand
5. Point of departure: building on compromise

Chapter 2 – Reuniting Europe, fostering democracy
1. History – Process ongoing or completed?
2. “Making politics” – What Europe’s leaders wanted
3. Democratic engineering: Demosthenes, Venice Commission, CEPEJ

Chapter 3 – Grass-roots Europe: garden of delights – And seedbed of democracy
1. The Congress: “Act local, think European”
2. Broadening and deepening: the tension behind the democratic ideal

Part II – The home of human rights and the forum of cultural diversity

Chapter 1 – An exceptional achievement with a political content: human rights
1. A code: the European Convention on Human Rights
2. An arbiter: the European Court of Human Rights
3. Court practice: some emblematic – and political – cases

Chapter 2 – Europe right side out: culture at the heart and cultural diversity at the head
1. The European Cultural Convention: a policy of audacity
2. The defence of diverse cultures and protection of the heritage
3. The response to the instrumentalisation of culture

Chapter 3 – The culture of human rights: law at the service of a political ambition
1. The cognitive function of the combat for human rights
2. The championing of human rights
3. The pedagogic function of human and social rights education

Part III – The crucible of Europe and the future for politics

Chapter 1 – The Council of Europe and the European Union: a new and vital synergy
1. The stork and the cuckoo: the ambiguities of a common ancestry
2. The institutional aspect of relations with the European Union
3. Stronger partnerships, effective but sometimes too low-profile

Chapter 2 – The Council of Europe: regenerating a Europe stuck in the mud
1. Remembering tragedies to gain release from them
2. Taking a chance on citizens and following different approaches (European Pharmacopoeia, Eurimages, etc.): a long-standing practice of enhanced co-operation
3. Playing a full political role and putting Europe on the world map

Reference: Council of Europe

T-Kit No. 11 – Mosaic: The training kit for Euro-Mediterranean youth work (2010)


In 1998, the Council of Europe and the European Commission decided to take common action in the field of youth. Both institutions initiated a partnership agreement with the aim “to promote active European citizenship and civil society by giving impetus to the training of youth leaders and youth workers working within a European dimension”.

In 2003, additional agreements were signed in the fields of “youth research” and “Euro-Mediterranean youth co-operation”. Since 2005, the partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of Youth activities have been focusing on the following topics: European Citizenship, human rights education and intercultural dialogue, quality and recognition of youth work and training, better understanding and knowledge of youth and youth policy development.

The partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Commission in the field of Youth brings together the two institutions’ experience in non formal education, youth policy, youth research and youth work practice. The co-operation between the two institutions covers a wide spectrum of activities such as training, seminars, workshops, networking and dialogue design.

Results and other material are made available on the partnership website ( and in various publications, including the Training Kits (T-Kits).

T-Kits are thematic publications written by experienced youth trainers and experts and constitute easy to use handbooks for educational activities.

All activities and publications enhance the exchange of experience and good practice between the actors involved and contribute to the implementation of the political objectives of both partners.


List of figures and tables
List of abbreviations

1.    Introduction
About Mosaic
An intercultural production process 18 A mosaic of themes and activities
The educational approaches in Mosaic
Using and adapting activities from Mosaic 26 A word about terminology

2.    Themes
1 The political and institutional context
2 History and memory
3 Intercultural learning
4 Youth participation and active citizenship
5 Human rights and human rights education
6 Gender equality
7 Cultural diversity and minorities
8 Religion and tolerance
9 Peace and conflict
10  Environment

3.    Activities
1 A family row
2 All that we are
3 Believers
4 Camels go far without water
5 Challenge beauty
6 Did I forget something?
7 Euro-Mediterranean quiz
8 For and against the motion
9 Ideal woman – ideal man
10 Let’s cross the sea
11 Look around you
12 Lose yourself
13 Making memories
14 Mapping the globe
1 5 My history
16 Natural beauty
17 Orange blue
18 Our village
19 Paper factory
20 Pass it on
21 Pieces of cake
22 Rebels and freedom fighters
23 Reshaping racism
24 Responsible tourists
25 Selection panel
26 Talking proportions
27 Time line of history
28 Turn it over
29 Where is dignity?
30 Young people’s paradise

Reference: Council of Europe