The European Wergeland Centre is a centre on education for intercultural understanding, human rights and democratic citizenship. The Centre was established by Norway in cooperation with the Council of Europe in 2008, and opened in february 2009.
– In selecting the name it was natural to bring forward Henrik Wergeland, our great advocate for human rights, freedom and tolerance, says the Minister of Education and Research, Bård Vegar Solhjell.
The Wergeland Centre functions as an European resource centre on education for intercultural understanding, human rights and democratic citizenship. The Centre builds on and, will promote, the work performed by the Council of Europe and Norway within these areas. The main task of the Centre is to promote democratic culture and social belonging through its work with education.
The Centre will carry out research and provide in-service training for teachers and teacher trainers. Furthermore, the Centre will disseminate information, serve as a platform and create a network for relevant actors within the field. The Centre has international staff, and the working language is English.
The target groups of the Centre are teachers, teacher trainers, multipliers, scientists, practitioners, decision makers and other relevant actors.
The Wergeland Centre is established as an independent legal entity, according to Norwegian law. The Centre is for the first couple of years to be located at Oslo University College. Further on it is planned that the Centre will be located at the Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities (HL-senteret).
The cooperation agreement between the Government of Norway and the Council of Europe (CoE) was signed in Strasbourg 16 September 2008, by the Council of Europe Secretatry General Terry Davis and Norwegian ambassador Petter Wille. Ana Perona-Fjeldstad was appointed Executive Director in November 2008.