«Norway is proud to host the European Wergeland Centre” said Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the opening of the EWC 10th Anniversary conference. She went on to emphasize how EWC’s work is important in view of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and stressed the successful work of the Centre in many countries, mentioning Ukraine, Greece and Norway specifically. In his address, Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland stated that “(…) our expectations of the Centre have been more than met”.
Since 2008, EWC has established itself as a valued and recognized international centre on education for democratic citizenship, human rights and intercultural understanding. The 10 years anniversary was an occasion to take stock and look ahead. Close to 200 policy makers, students, education professionals, educators and researchers from 43 countries took part in the conference, including many practitioners from EWC projects.
Throughout the conference a school exhibition featured prominently, showcasing good practices from schools across Europe. In the panel sessions, 18 schools presented their practices, followed by discussions and comments.
EWC has enjoyed a long and fruitful cooperation with the Council of Europe, and the anniversary conference was a perfect occasion to officially launch the new Council of Europe campaign FREE to SPEAK, SAFE to LEARN – Democratic Schools for All”. The campaign aims to highlight and develop further the commitment to democratic values and principles in the life and culture of schools across Europe.
For the EWC, it was a great pleasure to bring friends, colleagues, partners, supporters and participants together to celebrate 10 years of educating for democracy and human rights!