EURead, a coalition of the continent’s most influential organisations committed to reading and literacy, called on Europe’s leaders to recognise the ability to read as a fundamental human right and as essential to the protection of democracy.

The six-point Statement on Reading and Literacy draws on extensive evidence which shows the widespread impact of being able to read and reading regularly on the ability of individual citizen’s to fulfil their potential, participate in society and identify fake news. The statement also calls for further investment in book gifting programmes for families with young children, school and public libraries and in reading promotion as being essential for the development of critically literate citizens.

The statement was announced at the EURead Annual General Meeting in Athens where 21 organisations from over 15 countries participated from across the continent which was followed by an open forum on “Literacy and Democracy in the Era of Technology and Information: Facts, Challenges, Strategies,” organized in light of the EU elections. Guest speakers at the AGM and forum included Katarina Barley, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Andreas Schleicher, Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills, OECD, Andrew Kay, CEO of World Literacy Foundation, Prof. Adriaan van der Weel of Leiden University, Prof. Venetia Apostolidou of Aristotle University, Thessaloniki and Marc LambertCEO of Scottish Book Trust.

In launching the Statement on Reading and Literacy, Dr Jörg F. Maas, Chair of EU Read, said:

“The contribution of reading to the defence of democracy and the functioning of society in so many different ways is grossly underestimated. Ensuring that the citizens of Europe can not only read, but can read critically and love reading is fundamental to sustaining European values for future generations. Governments at regional, national and pan-European level must take action but so must a wide range of other social actors. Reading is not just an issue for ministries of education and culture but for everyone who cares about the future of Europe. We must come together to protect our way of life.”   

EURead members call on all politicians at both the national and EU levels to support reading and literacy by rethinking their importance for the well-being of all citizens and the preservation of our vibrant and robust democratic societies.

От ноември 2023 г. в България действа Националният пакт за четенето, чрез който призоваваме всички политици, бизнес лидери и граждани да припознаят четенето като основно човешко право. Повече информация за целите на Пакта ще откриете тук, както и линк към петицията, която всеки гражданин може да подпише. 

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