Doc. 10667

13 September 2005

Promoting the teaching of European literature

Motion for a recommendation

presented by Mr Legendre and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

Europe has produced many great writers who have not only stood out in the literature of their own country but have also in their writings expressed a keen understanding of the world and universal themes, and this is one of the hallmarks of our continent.

In addition to learning about European history and different languages, young Europeans need to be given the opportunity to become familiar with the rich common heritage of the masterpieces of our writers, poets, novelists and playwrights.

The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers:

-       promote the teaching of the main texts in European literature for all pupils in upper secondary schools, whatever their chosen course of study;

-       highlight the development of literary movements and their mutual influences, echoing the development of music, schools of art and works of architecture, which transcend national frontiers. The same approach should be used in teaching about the literary works which flourished from north to south, from east to west throughout Greater Europe, from the Nordic sagas to the poems of chivalry, from humanism and the Enlightenment to Romanticism, culminating in the modern works reflecting all the questions exercising the minds of contemporary Europeans, following on from the tragedies of the 20th century, themselves revealing a renewal of the values enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights;

-       in order to facilitate this teaching, support the translation of these texts into all the languages spoken in Europe, and take advantage of the European Union’s Lingua programme to encourage these translations;

-       to this end, promote the preparation of a common textbook nurturing among young Europeans an awareness of a shared heritage rooted in the love expressed for each individual region and fertilised by centuries of exchanges. In this way, the image of the hero firing the enthusiasm of young people could cease being that of the warrior and instead become that of the minstrel, forever discovering new ways of expressing eternal and universal feelings;

-       the Council of Europe Youth Centre in Budapest should organise youth colloquies focusing on European literature, contributing for example to the commemoration in 2005 of the first appearance of Don Quixote or the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen;

-       lastly, the governments of the Council of Europe member states should contribute to UNESCO’s endeavours, of which the future Convention on cultural diversity will be a key factor, to promote cultural exchanges and make accessible the great works of humanity.

Signed (see overleaf)

Signed 1:

LEGENDRE, Jacques, France, EPP/CD

BRANGER, Jean-Guy, France, EPP/CD

BRASSEUR, Anne, Luxembourg, ALDE

de PUIG, Lluís Maria, Spain, SOC

ELO, Mikko, Finland, SOC

ERR, Lydie, Luxembourg, SOC

FERRO RODRIGUES, Eduardo, Portugal, SOC

GARDETTO, Jean-Charles, Monaco, EPP/CD

GLĂVAN, Stefan, Romania, NR

GOULET, Daniel, France, ALDE

GOUTRY, Luc, Belgium, EPP/CD

GROSS, Andreas, Switzerland, SOC

IWIŃSKI, Tadeusz, Poland, SOC

LENGAGNE, Guy, France, SOC

LUCYGA, Christine, Germany, SOC

MARQUET, Bernard, Monaco, ALDE

SCHNEIDER, André, France, EPP/CD

SCHREINER, Bernard, France, EPP/CD

SLUTSKY, Leonid, Russia, SOC

1        SOC: Socialist Group