Ahead of the 12th meeting of the Council of Europe Education Policy Advisors’ Network (EPAN), its Bureau convened on 27 February to discuss the upcoming agenda and outline key priorities for the Network. At the forefront of discussions was the European Space for Citizenship Education, part of the Council of Europe Education Strategy 2024-2030 “Learners First – Education for Today’s and Tomorrow’s Democratic Societies”, which will provide a comprehensive framework ensuring quality citizenship education across Europe and fostering collaborative endeavors among member States committed to upholding democratic values ​​and principles.

During the meeting, Bureau members engaged in-depth discussions regarding the key milestones and concerted actions necessary from member States, educational institutions, and civil society to make the European Space for Citizenship Education a reality. The proposed two-year development process is designed to be both realistic and aspirational, ensuring that the initiative remains grounded in practice while striving for significant educational change.

The official launch of the preparatory phase of this comprehensive initiative is scheduled to take place at the upcoming EPAN meeting in Tbilisi in May, which is being organized in collaboration with the Georgian authorities, marking a crucial milestone in advancing European citizenship education.

Furthermore, the Bureau received updates, including on the final review of the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (RFCDC), the initiation of a new phase of the project on the RFCDC in Vocational Education and Training, and the new initiatives on the RFCDC and education for sustainable development. Additionally, they were briefed on the development of an Inclusive Education Toolkit, a resource-rich compilation from the Education Department’s co-operation projects which will be made accessible to all member States.