Today, the concept of "Europe" appears not so much geographic as value, because European values are the main foundations of liberal democratic institutions of the West European space, the borders of which are not limited to geographical features of belonging to the European part of the world. European values are embodied and embodied in America, Asia and Australia. Europe gave secular philosophy to mankind, Christianity as a world religion, religious tolerance, tolerance to the beliefs of other people and other values. Values are the core of the culture of every nation, nation, society. G. Hofstede, a modern researcher of values, is convinced that values are at the deepest level among decision-making levers, because they determine the ideological beliefs of individuals and the motivation of their actions.
The core of European values is the liberal fundamental rights and freedoms of man, the democratic principles of the state system, as well as the legal and social state. It is these values that have emerged as the principles of functioning of the state and political institutes of modern European countries and the European Union.
Despite the existence of other values (aesthetic in the form of beautiful, religious as a belief in God, scientific in the form of truth), moral values play an essential role in social life. Moral values remain in the European society a powerful regulator of behavior and people's relationships. When legal norms turn into values, it means that a person does not commit coercion, but an internal obligation. In this case, as noted by the famous German philosopher I.Kant, external coercion turns into an inner duty, and law - to morality. Because morality always involves taking into account the individual's interests and values of another and of society as a whole.
The core of the moral standards of European society today is the rights and freedoms of each individual and the equality of all before the law. The fulfillment of these same moral standards today becomes a vital orientation.
The shared values of the various European countries contributed to their integration beyond Western Europe. The Council of Europe (1949) became the first organizing party to unite the countries and block the realization of the ideals and principles that are their common good. Currently, these organizations account for 47 countries. Ukraine - 1995. The documents accepted by this organization provide implementation of such moral norms as tolerant attitude to all people and the prohibition of discrimination against people according to linguistic, cultural and national characteristics. The Council of Europe is the first organization to recognize gender equality (first and foremost, equality between men and women in rights and freedoms).
After the Second World War, Europeans began the process of economic and political integration in order to prevent the emergence of new totalitarian regimes in Europe, and also to unite efforts to build democratic institutions. As a result, in 1992 the European Union was created, which was aimed at embodying the values of peace and democratization of the whole European space.
Basic European values and norms do not exist and are not implemented as vital orientations, but are implemented as a holistic system in which each base value determines and specifies another basic value. Yes, freedom is determined through the equality of all before the law, responsibility and dignity. But justice is impossible without legal equality and social solidarity. Democracy exists only in conjunction with the values of citizenship and the rule of law.
Modern European appreciates, first of all, those features of a person that are the result of personal effort. Therefore, if one can define the content of the basic European norms in one sentence, it will be as follows: "Freedom of self-realization in conditions of democratic political equality and social justice". Education in the modern European society has a major role in the education of basic European values. The Council of Europe is developing powerful projects to develop common standards for European education, which would be based on the formation of democratic citizenship and tolerance.
Thus, in 1997, the project "Education for the Education of Democratic Citizenship" was launched, the purpose of which was to involve young people in active citizenship. The Council of Europe's "Languages, Diversity, Citizenship" project focused on the interpenetration of different languages and cultures in school education. The result of another project of the Council of Europe "Study and Teaching of the History of Europe in the 20th Century" was the manuals and teaching materials for teachers, as well as the introduction of standards for European historical education, expanding the content of the course from political and military history to a dialogue of cultures with the everyday life of ethnic groups.
Consequently, the formation of a European society is impossible without taking into account and adhering to moral values, which is one of the basic elements of the existence of a liberal-democratic state. Modern European society is secular, it is not imposed on values, and not by the state, and not by any community. On the contrary, the state protects against the coercion of certain values, ideologies and beliefs. This does not mean that in such a society, moral standards lose their existence. On the contrary, only in such a society they become the result of the free choice of the individual, for which the latter bears responsibility.