Vital role for churches in education for democratic citizenship

8 October, 2011

The church has a vital role to play in the democratic structures of modern day society. Democracy is an ongoing process, and the church can participate very effectively through educating citizens to be part of that process.

The Conference on Education for Democratic Citizenship – a role for the churches? took place from October 5-7 in Strasbourg. Organised by the Church and Society Commission (CSC) of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), the conference brought together members of churches and church organisations, clergy, lay, NGOs and academics, to discuss and debate how the church can act as a responsible part of civil society. This was confirmed through a dialogue with representatives of the institutions of the Council of Europe and a member of the cabinet of the EU Commissioner responsible for education. The timing of this dialogue is right, in view of the pending launch of the budget for education, which will be raised by 75% to 15,2 bn € (see note 1).

One very encouraging outcome of the conference was the achievement of openness on the part of the officials of the EU and of local government to keep the dialogue with the churches going. That is a promise for the future.


Conference programme 

Europe for citizens programme of the European Commission

"Christianity, Citizenship and Education" by Dr.Liam Gearon, University of Oxford

The work of the European Institutions by Ms Maria Ochoa-Llido

Presentation by Mr Robert Herrmann, Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg

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