OECD figures (1998-2002) reveal a sharply increasing flow of foreign workers into European countries. Ethnic diversification has become a generalized matter of fact. At the same time, rapidly developing technology and `intellectual globalization' processes the world wide web-have also become a reality. This complex cluster of changes has an impact on the perceptions of the self and of the other. Multilayered belongings and paradoxical meanings enter into interethnic relations in sometimes most surprising and unpredictable ways from outside of the boundaries of local communities. But the developments also create new and very positive opportunities for education/schooling and social cohesion. The paper critically examines this changing context and also Europe's educational responses to the new challenges: the European Socrates programme, the initiatives in the field of intercultural citizenship education and the issue of combating deprivation.
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