European Identity and the Learning Union

Jo Ritzen, Annemarie Neeleman, Pedro Teixeira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterProfessional


Europe and the european union are close in values, in culture and in attitudes. Yet the eu has made little attempt to jointly reinforce the emotional attachment to europe. Member states stress their differences in national identity through education and language. When the eu made the borderlines between european countries less visible, the language boundary remained, standing in the way of easy communication between citizens of different eu countries. We advance the “learning union” as a necessary complement to the eu. The learning union has three components: contributing to a sense of european belonging, the “communication eu” as well as the “competency eu”. Belonging should be reinforced by aiming the content of education at underlining the common heritage, history and the common future. In communication every eu citizen should learn in school to be competent in one common european language (english is the likely candidate), next to one’s own language. Competency is essential for competitiveness. Competency is bred by learning in settings decided by pedagogics, not by (the whims of) well-meaning politicians. The learning union is at “arm’s length” distance from governments with autonomy and funding designed to incentivize learning goals as well as equality of opportunity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Second Chance for Europe
Subtitle of host publicationEconomic, Political and Legal Perspectives of the European Union
EditorsJo Ritzen
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-57723-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-57722-7
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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