Initiatives organised or supported by top-level authorities for promoting intercultural awareness and combatting discrimination among young people (September 2019)
The European Union is based on a set of common, fundamental values, which include respect for human rights, dignity, freedom, equality and the rights of people belonging to minorities. However, these values have been challenged in recent times by occurrences of intolerance, racism and discrimination, which seem to be on the rise across the EU. Many European policy initiatives – such as the EU Youth Strategy or the Council Recommendation on promoting common values, inclusive education, and the European dimension of teaching – therefore call on Member States to equip citizens – and in particular young people – with intercultural awareness and competences and to combat all forms of discrimination.
In more than half of the surveyed countries, top-level authorities organise or support initiatives aimed at promoting intercultural awareness and to combat discrimination among young people both in formal and non-formal education. Amongst the remaining countries with top-level initiatives in only one area of education, most focus on non-formal rather than formal education.
Initiatives in the field of non-formal education include dedicated programmes or funding for projects that encourage intercultural learning and dialogue; campaigns such as ‘I’m not a refugee’ in Luxembourg or ‘Cross out discrimination in the labour market’ in the Netherlands; and websites, handbooks and training for employers, schools, professionals and citizens more generally.
Initiatives for promoting intercultural awareness and combatting discrimination among young people in formal education include efforts to teach these issues through curriculum subjects, such as citizenship education or intercultural education, or to provide educational resources or training for teachers and other staff in education institutions.