In school, learning goes beyond absorbing information. Developing a particular attitude and promoting certain values are also important. These values allow citizens to be more active and feel a sense of responsibility for their communities, their country and the European Union. To transmit this sense of community is a shared political responsibility at all levels of government. Despite this, citizenship education in the EU remains fragmented, with each member state adopting its own approach.

A study conducted by the French Ministry of Education in 2020 found that citizenship lessons are compulsory in 16 of the 27 EU countries, but with varying amounts of instruction time.

According to the study, pupils in Cyprus receive 20 hours of citizenship education, 150 hours in Belgian-speaking countries, and 310 hours in France at the end of secondary education.

Furthermore, only one in two students reported learning about Europe in school in 2016. Based on these data, we can say that civic education is incredibly important for young people’s and can stimulate their engagement in politics, both electorally and otherwise.

Active citizenship and European values are promoted by teachers as role models.

Educational institutions need to ensure that this important attitude is part of the comprehensive education that European pupils receive and that it starts from the earliest stages of education.

Meanwhile, experts stress the importance of separating European values from pro-European positions. Of course, there is a difference between being pro-European, in the sense of pro-EU, and sharing some basic values such as democracy, tolerance. By adding that elements it would be counterproductive to do civic education by trying to encourage students to “say they are European.” For sure you don’t need to have a teacher, for the students guiding who has a glorious view of certain institutions or processes, but they should share certain kinds of values that are probably also values enshrined in the constitutions of their countries.