Shared Histories for a Europe without Dividing Lines

EPA was invited as a stakeholder to contribute to this very interesting and very important project of the Council of Europe that has just finished. The outcome of the 5-year project is a ground-breaking inter-active e-book on shared European histories. It has been launched nearly on Europe Day (May 5), marking the 60th anniversary of the Council of Europe’s European Cultural Convention. Apart from the fact that there is a part of the book that is provided by EPA, it is a good tool to widen our knowledge as parents, to share it with our children and also to recommend it to history teachers for classroom use.


ICT in Schools - contribute to the survey

The Danish company, Skoleskyen (school cloud) is conducting a EU-wide survey of parents on the use of ICT in schools. The aim of the survey is to find out how much technology is used at schools in Europe. The topic is in line with our conference in Lisbon. This is the reason why we are happy to the share information about the survey to get more parents to participate on request of our Danish member, SOF.


15 May - the International Day of Families

The International Day of Families, annually held on May 15, celebrates the importance of families and the work started during the International Year of Families established be the United Nations. 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the International Year  and that makes this International Day very special. The theme of the Day today is "Families Matter for the Achievement of Development Goals - International Year of the Family + 20". A special event is held to commemorate the day in the UN Headquarters in New York.


ALCUIN Award 2014

EPA’s ALCUIN Award is a prize for excellence in the field of education which primarily focuses on the role of parents.
This award is assigned to the best educational initiative judged on the following criteria:
The project should have the quality of being new and original. The characteristics of uniqueness and singularity are difficult to appreciate/achieve in Europe. If the concept is based on existing activities the original sources need to be declared. The minimum requirement for a proper ALCUIN-candidate is the adaption to local or national needs with respect to a specific (multi)cultural situation. The project should demonstrate inventiveness, imaginativeness, a certain extent of audacity, authenticity, individuality and rarity.
 Contribution to education
The project should be a good example in the sense of LifeLong Learning showing the influence and input of parents in the learning process of their children. EPA especially appreciates a holistic approach to education. Implementation of non-formal and informal learning and the involvement of parents as “lifelong learners” – educators, trainers, role model and learning adults …
 Involvement of parents as a characteristic
Parents and parents’ associations should be the main actors in the project. The project should have a real interest and advantage for parents and schools
 Constructive approach to home-school relationships in education
To see “Parents as Primary Educators” is EPA’s core paradigm. The ALCUIN award is intended to give a floor to successful support of this parental role in partnership with educational institutions. The project should be characteristic to the actors and recipients and have strong personal features.
 Its potential as a “role model” in Europe with easy dissemination and applicability
Every impacting activity is governed by optimum adaption to specific needs. The ALCUIN trophy can only be rewarded to initiatives that exhibit good performance along a clear vision. Disseminating experiences from a winner project should encourage member associations to implement their own activities based on these examples.

Candidates can be put forward by
  • a member of EPA
  • a Ministry of Education
  •  The European Commission

The prize will be rewarded in the GA of EPA in November 2014.
To present the project most effectively it is crucial that one person is present in the ceremony to introduce and explain the specific characteristics. We kindly ask to already nominate this person in the application.
Please explain the main characteristics of the project in English in the application form and take your time to link to the five criteria listed above. Though additional information in English is appreciated we encourage to also add whatever is available in national tongue (leaflets, posters, brochures, recordings, videos etc.).
To win the ALCUIN trophy all five criteria need to be fulfilled. The board explicitly decided to accept more than one submission from a country if they represent different independent local or regional projects.
The jury is chaired by Michèle Retter (FAPEL Lux). Its members come from different European countries and represent various stakeholders in education.
The jury will judge on the projects with respect to the specific environments.
Proposals for candidates must be sent in to the EPA office by 15 September 2014.
via e-mail:
via snail mail:
European Parents’ Association (EPA)
Strozzigasse 2/Zi. 418
A-1080 WIEN
Please fill the downloadable application form with the basic information and explain in detail, how the project is run.

We are curiously awaiting your application and look forward to new successful ideas.

Families in the Crisis: Finding work-life balance in difficult economic context

The first official event of the Year of Reconciling Work and Family Life was held on 29th April in Athens under the Greek Presidency of the European Union. The event started with an opening speech delivered by László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion who acknowledged the difficult situation families got into as a result of the crisis and austerity measures, but at the same time emphasised that families - including parents - are in the focus of policy makers in Europe. The basis of the conference was the new publication of Eurofound, Quality of life in Europe: Families in the economic crisis.

Quality education and language competences for 21st century society: traditions, challenges and visions

This somewhat belated blog entry is the report of the 20-21 March 2014 Council of Europe conference held at the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) in Graz. EPA was represented by Vice Secretary Arja Krauchenberg and our Ambassador, Johannes Theiner. The event was organised by Austria, holding the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers.

Council of Europe Conference on the Picture and Professional Ethos of Teachers

EPA was invited to represent the view of parents as stakeholders at this event held on 24-25 April 2014 on a very important topic: what the demands of the 21st century are for teachers to stand up for the challenges of this very complex world to educate the new generations towards a democratic life in a society that is diverse in many ways. EPA was represented by or Vice President, Oren Gostiaux who participated in a round table discussion entitled "What is the perfect teacher for you?"