Position of Cemea, concerning the project of the EU

The document has prepared for the European elections. It sumarizes the positions of Ceméa, concerning the project of the European Union. The focus is made on Education and the role of the european civil society in a social european project.

European Elections 2019–2024

The European elections get a crucial dimension in this context of social, ecological and economic crisis, with the rise of populist movements and a tendency to take refuge in national self-interest. CEMÉA (Training Centers for methods of Active Education) and their partners provide training and support to stakeholders and institutions in the development of European and international projects.

The EU remains a place of democracy and rights, which must be constantly strengthened, not least in light of its bureaucratic excesses. This social and solidarity-based Europe “united in diversity”, bearing hope and fighting against inequality, exclusion and discrimination, cannot be achieved without everyone’s commitment. This must be built as an alternative to liberal Europe, which has often forgotten the importance of social questions, hospitality and solidarity. In these European elections, it will be a matter of choosing how we want to deal with these challenges.

For CEMÉA, a movement of popular education present internationally and in the French overseas territories, these issues are related to fundamental rights such as education, employment, health, culture and leisure, which must be dealt with practically at the European level. For CEMÉA, education and training are matters of public interest and public utility: these services must be excluded from market logic and not be subject to the sole rule of competition.

For CEMÉA, education in European citizenship, which contributes to peace education and sustainable development, must be strengthened.

A policy of education and training that meets democratic and public interest challenges CEMÉA are very committed to public services and common resources, the foundations of social justice and solidarity in democracy. They reject a liberal conception of education and promote a global approach, which leads to individual and collective emancipation in service of greater citizen participation within the democratic, economic and social spaces of society. CEMÉA follow the Europe 2020 strategy, insofar as they implement lifelong learning in their training paths and support the integration of all education systems – formal and non-formal – and the creation of bridges between them. CEMÉA are an educational and pedagogical research movement that supports innovation in the service of individual talent and critical education, a bulwark against the rise of nationalism that stands against the project of creating a Europe of the peoples.

For a policy of respect for the rights and obligations of citizens, for a fairer, non-discriminatory and united society The European social sphere can’t only be defined by its labour market regulations. It must be based on living together, learning about differences and recognising all human rights. CEMEA supported the vote of the European Pillar of Social Rights as a first step towards the emergence of a social Europe, beyond an economic approach. Today’s environment is as local as it is international. Education for European and global citizenship, in terms of knowledge, critical reading and understanding, is a challenge for today and tomorrow. CEMEA are involved in this education in three ways: - Education to European matters through actions to raise awareness of Europe’s political project, to discover and learn about European diversity. - Education in Europe by joining educational struggles (such as fighting the commercialisation of education or supporting the right and access to mobility for all and the recognition of non-formal education). - Education in the world, through geopolitical education and the promotion of all forms of solidarity between groups, peoples, countries and cultures.

Putting education at the heart of the ecological transition CEMÉA demand a social project that takes into account the complexity of social, cultural, economic, environmental and ecological interactions. They support the global objectives of social equality and the preservation of natural resources. In their actions, CEMÉA mobilize the levers that are environmental education, education for all forms of consumption while respecting humanist principles and the preservation of environments, challenging production methods, the use of resources and their sharing. CEMÉA claim that it is time to act and that citizen engagement in that action is essential.

Faced with the challenges of citizenship, education and culture, building European Internet regulation and democratic governance In a context of industrial and American domination through the GAFA companies, inducing a commercialisation of education and human relations, citizen movements are essential for democratic governance. They have to participate to the regulation of the Internet, through a multi-stakeholder process where all actors, including civil society, are represented. CEMÉA’s principles and values regarding digital technology and media promote an access for all to quality information, diversity, net neutrality, protection of privacy, data portability, platform plurality and the existence of open, non-market, cooperative and solidarity-based solutions. To these, CEMEA add two priorities: system efficiency, because the climate emergency is inseparable from the digital emergency, and critical emancipating education in media and digital technologies.