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  NECE Conference 2015:
‘Them and Us: Citizenship Education in an Interdependent World’

22-24 October 2015, Thessaloniki, Greece
The focus of the NECE Conference 2015 will be to build on the outcomes of its predecessor event in Vienna, which looked in-depth at conflicts in and around Europe. The jumping-off point for this year’s conference is the proposition that religious, ethnic and cultural perceptions of self and others are playing an increasingly important role in political crises and upheavals, both within Europe and outside its borders. In this paradigm, conflicts that are social, economic or political in context begin to be perceived as ethnic, religious or ‘cultural’. These perceptions in turn lead to a toxic framing of conflicts, actors and repercussions at international, European and national levels. Just as in Vienna, we’re especially looking forward in 2015 to including stakeholders and initiatives in Citizenship Education and civil society from conflict-torn countries in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean region.

The second largest city in Greece, Thessaloniki, is the perfect location for NECE 2015 because it has always been a historic centre of diversity and multiculturalism in Southeast Europe. You can read more about Thessaloniki’s role and potential here. The Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki, which can look back on sixty years of history in the city, will act as a partner for the event.

More information will follow soon. For pre-registration please write to

  Focus Group “Exchange between Europe and North Africa“

Work processes in the focus group’s publication on citizenship education in Europe and North Africa have picked up speed since the beginning of the year. Several authors are currently drafting profiles that explore their countries’ specific features and challenges in the field. As part of this process, the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI) began a comprehensive mapping project in Egypt. In May 2015, there will be an editorial team meeting followed by a focus group meeting, which is slated to take place in Tunisia. The publication website providing the first articles is to be launched in May.
You can find more background information on the work of the NECE Focus Group on the focus group website.

  Focus Group “CLEAR”

Made up of experts from 11 institutions located in eight countries, CLEAR has been a NECE focus group for the last three years. One of its major aims has been to develop and test a methodology that can be applied in a broad range of educational contexts. Applying the CLEAR methodology in different educational settings has resulted in many very positive experiences. In 2014, the project’s website was completely refurbished – a major step towards making results from the CLEAR project accessible to everyone. It now includes a wide range of information and resources that allow users to adapt and apply the CLEAR methodology, and also offers step-by-step explanations of CLEAR methodology and learning modules for use in different educational contexts. In addition, it gives examples of face-to-face, online or blended learning processes based on activities that have been organised by CLEAR project partners.
To find out more, just visit the CLEAR website.

  Focus Group “Hard-to-reach learners and youth”

This year’s first meeting of the project team coordinators took place in Athens from 18-20 February 2015. It was aimed at elaborating and creating work packages, timelines and deliverables for each project team, as well as at identifying synergies and overlapping fields among project teams. Discussions also focussed on participants’ aims and visions, along with options for developing the HTR Focus Group into a more self-organising and expanding European network in the mid-term. From 20-21 October 2015, a public forum will be organised by the focus group prior to and in close connection with the NECE 2015 conference in Thessaloniki. Under the current working title “Beyond Them and Us: Hard-to-reach Learners and their Role in Citizenship Education”, the forum will offer issue-driven workshops, as well as space for networking and cooperation between participants.

Network for European Education and Diversity (NEED): a new initiative for an online platform to promote exchange of best practices

With NEED, the NECE Focus Group Hard to Reach Learners wants to promote the exchange of best practices and concepts citizenship educators who work with marginalised learners:

• Are you developing citizenship education to reduce prejudice and combat xenophobia?
• Are you keen to promote human rights through your citizenship education?
• Are you a policymaker, administrator, trainer, NGO or researcher in these areas?
• Are you committed to sharing best practices and learning from others across Europe?

If your answer to some or most of these questions is 'Yes!', then we’d like to ask you to help us build a new network to share best practices, improve international cooperation and facilitate new, creative support opportunities for people working in the broad field of citizenship education and diversity. Sign up to this online platform to share ideas for collaboration, working projects, useful resources and links, trainings or conferences offered, your areas of expertise or requests for support. All we ask is that you share ideas and practices with others, thereby helping to promote inclusive citizenship for everyone across Europe.

Click here to complete a simple registration form to join the network. And don’t forget to invite your relevant professional contacts also to join and strengthen it! For more information just visit the HTR website or contact us directly at

  Cultural Innovators Network

The Mediterranean region is on the move, and the projects, initiatives and ideas developed by young people there are a very important part of this transformation. By establishing a cross-sectoral network of young activists from countries both north and south of the Mediterranean – one which promotes the mechanisms of democratic, inclusive discourse, exchange of working experiences, acceptance of innovative approaches, and mutual consultation and cooperation – the Cultural Innovators Network (CIN) asks key questions about the future of those societies. The network’s unique personality was created through the “Learning Journeys” travel experiences and the first forum, which at the end of 2012 drew over 100 participants in Istanbul. That event led to over 20 pilot projects. Realized across the Euro-Mediterranean region, they created a kind of backbone for CIN, and also served as incubators for further creative moments and events. You can view the structure of CIN in detail on our calendar page.
The Cultural Innovators Network is supported by the Goethe Institute as part of the German-Arab Transformation Partnership, and is financed by the German Federal Foreign Office. You can check out the new CIN website to discover more details about its innovators and projects.

  Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe (DARE)

The Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe (DARE) Network, which was officially launched on 28 June 2003 in Antwerp, is a Europe-wide network of NGOs and other organisations. Its goal is to raise the profile of Education for Democratic Citizenship (EDC) and Human Rights Education (HRE), promote transcultural and transnational cooperation, and enhance the quality of education within these fields.
DARE is currently active in three fields: (1) ‘We Stand for Human Rights!’ is an international long-term project being conducted by Portuguese member Dínamo. It’s aimed at mainstreaming HRE at the national level by meaningfully enlarging the range of stakeholders and promoting more cooperation between academia and civil society organisations. (2) ‘EDC for ALL – Qualifying and Mainstreaming Education for Democratic Citizenship within Europe’ works on transferring Council of Europe educational materials into Portuguese and German educational contexts, as well as on the development of low threshold entries for those who are unsure about whether they have adequate access to EDC/HRE. To this end, the project has developed a new card game called S/intro. It is currently in the test phase. (3) The EU-funded strategic partnership ‘ENGAGE’ is about taking stock of EDC in practice with children aged 8-12, and developing appropriate educational materials. Its partners are currently conducting national studies on EDC learning with kids in this age group, both in schools and in non-formal learning contexts.

Looking forward to 2015, DARE member Euroclio will be holding the conference ‘Roads to Democracy – How can History Education Pave the Way’ in Elsinore (Denmark) from 20-25 April. The DARE General Assembly and Annual Conference will take place in Oslo (Norway) from 17-19 June.

  Precarious Europe

Political landscapes in Europe are volatile at the moment, with new parties from both the left and far right competing with social movements that want radical democracy, campaigns for self-determination and populist street movements. Plenty of young people between the ages of 16 and 35 are turning for answers to these new and emerging parties and movements, and in many cases are leading from the front. They will determine the future direction of Europe and its crisis-stricken union. Traditional mainstream media is the wrong tool to accomplish this purpose, while new media often expects unpaid labour – particularly from the ‘precariat’ young. The media desperately needs a platform shaped by young people across Europe that offers stability and a fair wage.

Founded by three young journalists and activists leading precarious existences in Britain, Italy and Greece, the Precarious Europe project is a media platform dedicated to documenting the experiences and perspectives of young people in Europe. Its aim is to build a media platform and network where this heterogeneous group can speak out with its own voice, on its own terms.

  New Network to Strengthen Youth Work

The European Network of Local Departments for Youth Work launched its InterCity Youth Network in November. Its overall aim is to enhance the quality of youth work carried out in EU countries. The new network, which represents municipalities involved in youth work, was founded during the 3rd InterCity Youth Conference in ´s-Hertogenbosch (The Netherlands).


The development of public space will only happen in a state of mind critical of the social and economic paradigm under which we live. That is why the European Civic Forum has created a new tool of expression that is capable of seizing on current trends and transformations affecting civil society, both inside and outside Europe. The purpose of Activizenship, which was first issued in December 2014, is to roll ideas and experiences that have had a positive social impact into a single common document.

Activizenship is available in PDF format here. To order hard copies (available in English), please contact the ECF Secretariat in Paris.

  A New Online Campaigning Platform for European Citizens

The right online petitions can have an impact within national borders, and in the future, pressure can also be put on Brussels. Together with its British sister organisation ‘38 Degrees’, online campaigning network Campact is supporting the development of an EU-wide platform based on their own online models. Like the two national networks, the new organisation will launch online petitions that focus on decisions being made at the European level.
Read more here.

  DGs Migration and Home Affairs now Responsible for Citizenship Program

Within the framework of the restructured European Commission – whose commissioners assumed office on 1st November 2014 – jurisdiction for the Citizenship Program moved to the Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs on 1st January 2015. It has been assigned to Directorate A.1 – Institutional Relationships and Citizenship.
To find out more, please click here.

  EPALE – Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe

Over the last few years, the European Union has been working towards the creation of an Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe. EPALE is a multilingual open membership community that, according to its creators, is "designed to be of interest to teachers, trainers, researchers, academics, policymakers and anyone else with a professional role in adult learning across Europe". The platform’s official launch is scheduled for this spring; however, it is already available for testing. We’re sharing this information in the hope that interested participants might be willing to look at the website and provide feedback on what it includes or should include in the future. At this stage of EPALE's creation, the European Commission would very much welcome any constructive input.

  Call for examples: “Culturizing Sustainable Cities - Catalyzing translocal learning and advancement of emerging artistic/cultural environmental approaches”

How can artistic/cultural practices be embedded within the planning and development of more sustainable cities? This research project, which was initiated by the Centre for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra (Portugal), aims to advance knowledge about the relationships between culture and local sustainability through the development of robust empirical evidence about artistic activities on local environmental/sustainability issues. It also seeks to learn more about policy/planning mechanisms supporting this activity, integrating culture into sustainability policies/plans, and the existing challenges and policy gaps. The study has begun with an international call for examples of projects and other initiatives to develop into profiles and case studies.
Read more on the project here. If you wish to contribute, please click here.

  Call for Papers: Civic Education and Art Education

The Journal of Social Science Education (JSSE), an international peer-reviewed academic journal in the area of research on teaching and learning in the field of social science education, is seeking contributions from a variety of European cultures to identify and clarify shared perspectives – as well as divergent views – that would be enhanced by a greater understanding of differing approaches.

Art education and citizenship education can and should co-operate in order to educate responsible citizens participating in societal life in responsible ways. Civic education pursues a variety of goals, including appropriate understanding of patriotism, the responsibilities of citizens in the promotion of effective government, human rights, and obligations to promote sustainability. The arts pursue understanding of comparable issues, but using diverse communication modes, including symbolic and metaphorical representations of the human condition and empathetic narratives of the universal human condition. The issue will explore the use of the arts as a technique for promoting more effective civic education.

To find out more about the conditions and schedule, please visit the JSSE website.

  EESC "Civil dialogue and participatory democracy in the practice of the EU institutions" survey

The European Economic and Social Committee would like to invite you to join the survey on “Civil dialogue and participatory democracy in the practice of the European Union institutions". Answering various questions means an investment in terms of time, but it could pay off in terms of expressing your needs and interests with the goal of having them reflected in future policies of the institutions. EESC thanks all the participants in the anonymous survey and invites you to share it with other interested civil society members

  IAPSS World Congress 2015 on “The Politics of Conflict and Cooperation”

14-18 April 2015, London (United Kingdom)
Cooperation and conflict lie at the heart of the social sciences in general and political science in particular. Social interactions, involving individuals or supra-individual entities such as groups, organizations or states, constitute the fundamental building blocks of the social sciences. In turn, depending on the strategies and actions adopted by those involved in social interactions, they are usually classified as cooperative or conflictual. The structure, significance, function, role, implications and consequences of these interactions in various dimensions of research constitute the broad theme of the IAPSS World Congress 2015.

  Civil Society Forum: “Enhancing the Participation of Associations in Public Decision - making Processes

15-16 April 2015, Vienna (Austria)
The right to participate in the conduct of public affairs has been recognized globally and in domestic settings. Participation in decision-making processes means that the public and civil society in particular, as well as other interested parties and stakeholders, should be able to contribute to the development of policies and legislation which affect or may affect them. The conference aims at discussing the rationale, general principles, guidelines, tools, mechanisms and procedures that have been or are being developed in individual OSCE participating states and internationally. Furthermore, it aims at defining and endorsing concrete recommendations and practical tools in order to enhance the participation of associations in public decision-making processes.

Read more about the conference and the programme

  International Conference "Interculturalism in Historical Education"

20-22 April 2015, Warsaw (Poland)
In partnership with the European Wergeland Center in Norway and with support from the Council of Europe, the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews is organising the first international conference “Interculturalism in Historical Education”. The conference, which will be held in April 2015 in Warsaw, will address the question of how to use knowledge and reflection about the past to build attitudes of openness in today’s globalizing world and harness the potential of diversity at the local level. It will also look at methodologies in intercultural learning, civic education and education on human rights, paying particular attention to the role education can play in preventing and combating discrimination, anti-Semitism, racism and hate speech.

For more information on the conference, please click here.

  International Training Course and Euroclio Annual Conference:
“Roads to Democracy. How can History Education Pave the Way?”

20-25 April 2015, Elsinore (Denmark)
What does democracy mean today, and what will it mean for those who are now attending schools? When we consider the impact of the near-collapse of Europe’s financial system in the last few years, where do we start to teach democracy? When we consider military interventions, how does Europe’s history reflect on our decisions? When democracy is more than just ‘the vote’, what mindset should students across Europe – and beyond – adopt and develop? How could history contribute to this? The “Roads to Democracy” training course is embedded in the 22nd EUROCLIO Annual Conference, which aims to bring together around 200-250 History Educators from all over Europe and beyond for a rich and active programme. Stretching over six days, it will be filled with debates, discussions, presentations, workshops, on-site study visits to commemoration sites, schools and educational establishments, city tours, receptions, and a social-cultural programme that connects colleagues across borders in a fun and friendly way.

You can find out more at the Euroclio website or click here for a draft programme

  Towards a European 'Mienskip': A Public Debate about the Future of Citizens in Europe

23 April 2015, Leeuwarden (The Netherlands)
Traditional power structures are changing. Current institutions and political systems are out of date. People are taking matters into their own hands and are taking the initiative to organise public affairs themselves. On the one hand, this is because they are losing confidence in politics; and on the other hand, it is because some issues are simply not being dealt with by governments any more. The European Cultural Foundation (ECF) alights in Leeuwarden – the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2018 – to start the discussion with local, national and European stakeholders, politicians, opinion makers, entrepreneurs and scientists. The central question of the debate will be how to share power, build alliances and establish not only a genuine dialogue, but an equitable distribution of responsibilities between the State, market and the Mienskip (which means ‘community’ in Frisian) at the local, national and European level.

Please visit the website to find more information on the event and the registration.


You can find more current publications on citizenship education in Europe at the NECE website.

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The NECE Newsletter is published regularly and distributed via e-mail. It is available to anyone on the website. The newsletter is published by the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb), which is responsible for its content according to definitions laid down by the German Telemedia Act.

Further contact information:
German Federal Agency for Civic Education
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If you have any questions please e-mail to:

The NECE newsletter contains information about current professional debates in the field of citizenship education in Europe. We hope it will serve as an important tool of communication and co-operation among stakeholders and institutions in Europe actively engaged in citizenship education. Our aim is to increase transparency for national actors in this field and for the growing NECE network.