“History may be taught in ways that encourage reconciliation within and between nations, by avoiding prejudice, clichés and biased thoughts”. This is the task that the new-born the Council of Europe’s The Observatory on History Teaching in Europe has set out for itself. The Observatory “will face the challenges of the way in which history is taught in the continent”, by focussing its first annual conference (Strasbourg, Palais de l’Europe, 2-3 December) on “history for democracy”. The event, called “Preserving democracy: why does history education matter?”, will bring together professional educators, government delegates and experts to discuss the state of history teaching in Europe and its policies. The secretary general, Marija Pejčinović Burić, will give the welcome speech with the French Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer (a video message), and the deputy president of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas. The opening session will be attended by the Italian ambassador to the Council of Europe, Michele Giacomelli, on behalf of the Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers. The Observatory has worked at a first report called “Pandemics and natural disasters as reflected in history teaching”, which will be introduced by historian Niall Ferguson.