The European Wergeland Centre Inauguration Event in Oslo
The theme of the opening event is “Building Bridges: Education for Intercultural Understanding, Human Rights and Democratic Citizenship, from Policy to Practice”, and it will mark the opening of EWC, as well as bring further attention to the important tasks set out for the centre. Well-known keynote speakers and panelists will during the conference elaborate on different aspects of the mentioned themes.
The invited guests will include ministers, politicians, experts and representatives from regional and international organizations, from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
The EWC is a European resource centre on education for intercultural understanding, human rights and democratic citizenship. It is a cooperation between Norway and the Council of Europe, located in Oslo, Norway.
Henrik Arnold Wergeland (1808 – 1845) was a romantic poet and an important historian. He worked for the independence of all nations, was an advocate for democracy, and an eager defender of freedom of faith and freedom of expression.
Wergeland realized that the young Norwegian nation was in need of active citizens in order for development to take place, and true power was to be found in knowledge. He thus made his home library available to everyone, working to make people proud of their own language and culture. Wergeland also wrote several speeches, poems and songs in connection with the Norwegian Constitution Day (the national day). Among other things he wrote the first national anthem for children.
Few other Norwegians have contributed so much to the amendment of the Norwegian constitution with respect to opening the country’s borders to Jews, and throughout his whole life he held an uncompromising focus on compassion and tolerance.