The idea of toleration in the educational project of the European Union

Gonzalo Jover Olmeda


This paper looks into the concept of toleration that underlies the educational project of the European Union. First, it discuss the main institutional initiatives of the Union against recurrent attitudes of intolerance, as well as the activity in the field of education, specially the recent Resolution of the Council on Responses of Educational Systems to the Problems of Racism and Xenophobia. The author argues that many difficulties for a firmer action are due to the principles regulating educational policy set up by the Treaty of the European Union, namely the principle of respect to cultural diversity and the principle of subsidiarity. The trouble is that each of these principles can denote not only two distinct political stands, but also two different notions of tolerance: the liberal concept and the communitarian one. Finally, an attempt of joining these two different perspectives is located in the idea of human rights as substantive content of a moral education for toleration.

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