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First Annual Conference of the Council of Europe’s Observatory on History Teaching in Europe



The Observatory on History Teaching in Europe, currently with 17 member States, will hold its first Annual Conference entitled “Preserving Democracy: Why does history education matter?” on the 2-3 December 2021.

Strasbourg, 25 November 2021

The Observatory on History Teaching in Europe, established on the initiative of the French government in November 2020, will hold its first Annual Conference on 2-3 December 2021 in Strasbourg. The theme of the Conference, “history for democracy”, reflects the Observatory’s mission to strengthen the democratic culture in Europe through history education. “In times of increased challenges to democracy, often connected to the manipulation of history, such an Observatory is vital. Being situated in an intergovernmental organisation is highly advantageous because it shows the commitment of the member States to transform our societies and to contribute to building new generations aware of the past and prepared to preserve democracy and human rights,” states the Executive Director of the Observatory Ms Aurora Ailincai.

The event will bring together over 150 participants and allow education professionals, government representatives and other interested parties to engage in high-level debates on the state of history teaching in Europe and related policies. High-level participants include, among others, Ms Marija Pejčinović Burić, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President of the European Commission, and Mr Jean-Michel Blanquer, Minister of National Education, Youth, and Sports, France.

As the Observatory’s first thematic report will be conducted on the subject “Pandemics and Natural Disasters as Reflected in History Teaching”, the Conference will also give room to discuss what lessons can be drawn from outbreaks of epidemic diseases in history. This includes a talk given by the world-famous historian Mr Niall Ferguson.

In order to join the Conference online, please register here.


For further information please see the Website of the Observatory on History Teaching in Europe or contact:



Phone: +33 (0)3 90 21 5856

Notes for the Editor:

  • The whole programme can be found here.
  • The Observatory’s main purpose is to collect and make available, through a series of regular and thematic reports, factual information on the state of history teaching in all participating countries. The main aim is to facilitate exchange of good practice and mutual learning. It also serves as a platform for professional development and networking for European professional associations and institutes active in the field of history teaching.
  • Initially with 17 member States, the Observatory will operate as an enlarged partial agreement. It will build on the Council of Europe's decades-long experience in history education, while complementing and strengthening its intergovernmental programme. Its member States are currently: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Cyprus, France, Georgia, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Republic of North Macedonia, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey.
  • The Council of Europe is the continent’s leading Human Rights Institution and includes 47 member States, out of which 27 are also members of the European Union. It promotes human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The European Court of Human Rights operates under the roof of the Council of Europe. For more information, see the Website of the Council of Europe.