Evaluation of the '2005 European Year of Citizenship Through Education'

David Kerr, Joana Lopes

20 April 2006

The Council of Europe designated 2005 as the 'European Year of Citizenship through Education' in its 46 member states under the banner 'Learning and Living Democracy'. The Year was part of the Council's Education for Democratic Citizenship (EDC) and Human Rights Education (HRE) project. In mid 2005 the Council commissioned NFER to undertake an evaluation of the implementation and outcomes of the '2005 Year' across member states. The evaluation was conducted through a survey questionnaire completed by EDC coordinators of the 'Year' in member states.

Key Findings

  • The '2005 Year' was viewed as successful in the majority of countries in meeting its aims. It was seen as particularly successful in meeting the aims of bridging policy and practice in the implementation of EDC and HRE and raising awareness of the contribution of democracy learning to participation in resolving societal problems, and to promoting social cohesion.
  • Respondents stated that the '2005 Year' had been successful in making the work of the Council of Europe and EDC/HRE better known in their country. The majority of countries (93 per cent) said that it had raised the profile of the Council's work 'a lot' or 'to some extent'.
  • Overall, member states saw EDC/HRE as unfinished business. Though the '2005 Year' had achieved much there was still a considerable way to go before EDC/HRE was an accepted and sustainable component of policy and practice. Member states were united that the '2005 Year' should signal the start of a new collaborative partnership with the Council of Europe to strengthen EDC/HRE across Europe in 2006 and beyond.