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  NEWS about NECE  
© Giuseppe Milo
Glasgow calling: NECE 2019 goes to Scotland!

Set against the ongoing Brexit drama, NECE 2019 looks from 24 to 27 October at the growing rifts and inequalities in Europe and its neighbouring regions that are at the heart of the political crises in many democracies. They are “tearing apart the fabric of our societies; (…) bringing new anxieties and new anger to our people, and new passions to our politics.'” (Paul Collier). This is particular noticeable in the United Kingdom (including Scotland and Glasgow) where - according to a UN report - a fifth of the population, 14 million people, live in poverty. (See Statement by United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights)

Under the title “Confronting Inequalities!? The Role of Citizenship Education“ this year’s conference is proposing to discuss how the many forms of inequality are affecting the rights of citizenship in our societies. Our aim is to explore the socio-economic, political, educational and cultural dimensions of inequalities and their impact on approaches and practices of citizenship education in schools and in civil society.

With its heritage of industrialisation, post-industrial decline and social movements Glasgow will be an ideal city to host a conference on inequalities and citizenship education. At the same time, a vibrant and active civil, tech and cultural scene is waiting for us to be explored. Darren McGarvey, a rapper from Glasgow and author of “Poverty Safari; Understanding the Anger of the British Underclass”, will open the conference with a critical examination of narratives that surround poverty and social deprivation.

A Call for Papers and Projects will be out at the end of April. Attendance is free; including coffee breaks and meals.


Christoph Müller-Hofstede, nece coordination, bpb

  Spread the Vote - Young European Elections 2019, 24-27 April 2019, Strasbourg (France)

Ahead of the elections to the European Parliament in May 2019, the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb), the German-French Youth Office (DFJW) and the German-Polish Youth Office (DPJW) are jointly convening the transnational forum "Spread the Vote - Young European Elections 2019" in Strasbourg from 24 to 27 April. Vote&Vous, the French NECE partner, has been of great help in supporting the event in Strasbourg. In workshops with young media makers and other experts, more than ninety young adults from Germany, France, and Poland will develop small sample campaigns to encourage participation in the 2019 European elections. Results will be shown on nece.eu and on the respective websites in France and Poland.
Get more information here.

  EENCE – Eastern European Network for Citizenship Education

In 2019, EENCE working Groups are focusing on formal and non-formal educational fields, civic maturity, women’s issues, unemployment, environmental problems, entrepreneurship and civic participation. The database of the member organisations and network experts will be published soon. In addition, EENCE is currently organising an event in Georgia whose type and scope is unique in the region. Based on best practices that have been pursued collectively in different member countries, discussions will analyse the influence of donors, possibilities for obtaining financial support, and methods and didactical issues when working with various target groups.
For more details visit the website.

  Civic Edutainment Manual (CEM) by NACE and DEDI

NACE and the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI) created the “Civic Edutainment Manual” in order to introduce the concept and to encourage practitioners to adopt it for more interactive learning experiences. The new term of Edutainment refers to the implementation of citizenship education methods through entertaining means and engaging activities. Not only does it enhance participants’ abilities to use their skills in the educational process, it also addresses deeper levels of consciousness, resulting in more transformative learning experiences.
To view the manual, please visit the website.

  Parliaments and Citizenship Education: newly established NECE focus group meets from 17-18 April in The Hague

ProDemos – House for Democracy and the Rule of Law initiated a focus group that brings together members from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK working in the educative departments of Parliaments and/or organisations working with educational programmes in Parliaments. With its workshop agenda, ProDemos aims to share some modules of the programme currently offered in The Hague for secondary school students and to reflect on the latest exchange visits. Another important topic will be the “challenge of renovation” which both the historical buildings of the Dutch and the British Parliament will face in the coming years.
For questions or information, please contact Tatjana Meijvogel-Volk at ProDemos.

© polis - the Austrian Centre
for Citizenship Education
in Schools
CoE Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (RFCDC): Kick-off meeting of NECE Focus Group

On 4 and 5 February, the members of the new NECE Focus Group met in Vienna. Civic educators from Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland shared experiences from piloting the RFCDC in different educational contexts. polis, the Austrian Centre for Citizenship Education in Schools, and the DARE Network coordinate the group. Claudia Lenz acts as lead expert. First results will be presented at the NECE Conference 2019 in Glasgow.
Find more information on the CoE project “Competences for Democratic Culture” here.

© Sarah de Lange (private)
Interview: Our new NECE Advisory Board Member, Sarah de Lange, introduces herself

NECE is happy to welcome a new Advisory Board member: Professor by special appointment at the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam, Sarah de Lange whose research focuses on European party systems. To introduce herself, she commented on the on-going fragmentation affecting many European party systems and its implications for the upcoming EU elections.
Read the full interview here.


In this section we strive to assess and analyse the changing political landscape we are confronted with. Please note: Links provided here are meant for information and discussion only, the views expressed there are not necessarily shared by NECE as a networking platform.

Focus on → Brexit

  Britain is in a hole – Europe, we need you to dig us out by Timothy Garton Ash

As we are editing this Newsletter no final conclusion on a “Brexit deal” has been reached. News about Brexit have become – as one observer said – a new drug which we are consuming daily without ever reaching a high. We do think, though, this comment by British historian Timothy Garton Ash stands out as he asks a fundamental question we should all have in mind: “Is the EU just a union of governments, or is it also a Europe of citizens, peoples, democracy and destiny?”
His arguments for the latter are here!

  Differences in how UK and German textbooks present the EU by Alistair Ross et al.

A recent study compares school textbooks in Germany and England and their coverage of Europe. Alistair Ross, Jean Monnet Professor of Citizenship Education in Europe, and co-authors found that Europe is presented in entirely different ways. They outline how this reflects the respective political context and national narratives.
For the findings and results, read the full article here!


Focus on → European elections

Useful information ahead of the EU elections on nece.eu

More fragmented than ever, Europe is at a crossroads; the European elections on 23-26 May 2019 are becoming an increasingly vital choice. Going to the polls can make a difference, as Brexit and other electoral shocks have shown. Elections do matter! Please check our selection of links providing background information and a list of campaigns to promote and raise voters’ turnout in May 2019.

  • A compilation of relevant links by Maarten de Groot
  • Articles by Alberto Alemanno and Niccolò Milanese
  • A list of campaigns

  VoteMatch Europe

TThe VoteMatch Network offers Voting Advice Applications and can be a great help for citizens who are not informed which parties represent their political views and what to vote in the upcoming European elections on May 26! It was created to give users additional information about parties in other EU countries and the possibility to compare their own political positions with the position of parties in other EU member states. The German adaption “Wahl-O-Mat” will be online as of 3 May 2019 here.

© TalkingEurope
The app Talking Europe fosters pan-European 1:1 dialogue before the European elections

Talking Europe is an innovative chat app that brings together people before the European elections. Diskutier Mit Mir, the non-profit NGO behind this growing European initiative, wants to foster pan-European dialogue and support European democracy. Through Talking Europe, they match people with different political opinion in anonymous chats to enable safe and low-threshold online debates. Modern technology ensures live translation so that users can chat in their native language. Talking Europe is funded by the bpb and has partnerships with other organisations in Europe. NECE’s partner Vote&Vous is the partner in France. German and Swedish versions are already in place. Hungarian and Portuguese versions are on their way.
Go to Talking Europe and join the conversation.

© Zentrum fir politesch Bildung ZpB
Politics in easy-to-read language by the Zentrum fir politesch Bildung

Every year the Zentrum fir politesch Bildung works with a local social organisation to produce a publication in easy-to-read language for mentally disabled people who proofread the content. After an edition on local and national elections, the new one is about the European elections in May 2019. This time it is published in four different languages in order to respond to the multilingual situation of the country.
French, English, and Portuguese editions are available here; for the German edition click here.

  Catch the democracy train! – When politicians and kids sit cross-legged on the ground

Ahead of the general election in Luxembourg in 2018, several workshops were organised in elementary schools to allow the kids to “build” their super politician. The workshop included a video produced by children for children explaining the legislative process and the role of MPs with the help of a “law on a new playground”. The kids captured their thoughts on what an MP should be like and what (s)he should advocate on big human-sized cardboard figures. After the elections, about 100 children from various parts of the country then took their figures to the capital and had the opportunity to discuss their ideas in small groups with the newly elected MPs. Thus, they could not only become familiar with legislative work, but were also able to meet the people who decide about them.
More information is available HERE.

© Dare network
DARE's STEPS project toolkit and policy recommendations published

As a result of a two-years process, in October 2018 DARE published a new textbook/toolkit on populism, post-factualism and radicalisation and how this relates to EDC work with young people. A series of policy recommendations puts these developments into the wider context of global developments and policies closely related to the rise of authoritarian rule and illiberal movements.
The toolkit can be found here.

  Teachers strike ignites civil society in Poland

In her article Zuzanna Ziomecka underlines the significance of the nationwide strike in the Polish school system since 8 April. While the strikes continue, more than half of the population is being supportive by making grand gestures for the teachers and against the ruling party. The author points out that it is not all about the 30% salary raise, but profoundly about political positions and the solidarity against the government. The article also gives possible scenarios of how the strikes might end.
Read the full article here.

Crowdfund secures independence of the European Solidarity Center in Gdansk (Poland)

The Polish Ministry of Culture announced that it would be cutting the annual funding of the internationally acclaimed European Solidarity Centre (ESC) in Gdansk by 3 million złoty (€700,000) unless certain conditions were met - the Minister of Culture, Piotr Gliński, had previously criticized the Centre for failing to be “inclusive”. The ESC refused the conditions, which it saw as an attempt at political interference, in particular in connection with the Centre’s programme for the 30-year anniversary of 1989 this year. Instead, the ESC launched a crowdfunding campaign, which collected more than the amount necessary to continue its programme as planned.
Find more information here.

  Global education monitoring report, 2019: Migration, displacement and education: building bridges, not walls

We would like to take the opportunity to draw attention to this year’s UNESCO GEM Report that monitors progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education and its ten targets, as well as other related targets in the SDG agenda. Migration and displacement take centre stages in this year’s report.
Find the full report here.

© School with Class Foundation

Let’s Play the Fraternity Card! – Messages of Solidarity and Fraternity exchanged between unknown People

Messages of Solidarity and Fraternity are being currently exchanged between unknown people all over Europe. On 21 March 2019, over 150.000 students from France, Poland, Spain and Croatia have sent traditional postcards focusing on topics like discrimination, migration, poverty and tolerance. These children are now waiting for answers that come in every day. The project run by La Ligue de l’enseignement, together with the School with Class Foundation, Fundación Cives and the Center for Peace Studies from Erasmus+ funding is an educational response to growing negative social trends including racism and exclusion.
Find more information here.

  Save the Date: LLLP Annual Conference "Learning Democracy, Values and Participation" from 20-21 June in Brussels (Belgium)

The Lifelong Learning Platform is happy to announce the dates of its next Annual Conference for 19-20 June 2019 in Brussels (Belgium). Against the background of a crucial European election year the LLLPlatform seeks to bring the discussion back to citizenship education, active citizenship, and the values that inform our democracies at all levels – local, regional, national, European, and even international – and the role that a lifelong learning approach to citizenship has to play.
Learn more the programme by visiting the website.
  Save the Date: "Glocal Islamism 2019 – Phenomena, Interdependencies, Prevention" from 15-17 October in Potsdam (Germany)

40 years after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the invasion of the Soviets in Afghanistan and the occupation of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the bpb would like to reflect on how local events affect global developments and vice versa. Through various keynotes and panels the conference will provide a platform for discussing approaches and exchanging experiences with prevention work. The conference also aims to enhance international networking and the transfer of knowledge on "Glocal Islamism".
More information and the detailed programme can soon be found on website.
  Wanted: Your Contribution to the NECE Newsletter!  
  Are you involved in citizenship education in Europe or North Africa? Are you running projects aimed at promoting democratic values and tolerance in your country or region? Do you think NECE (and the readers of this Newsletter) should know about your project and do you want to enlist their support/advice? We’d love to hear from you! Send your contributions, ideas, comments, and questions to: nece-newsletter@labconcepts.de

The NECE team wishes everyone a Happy Easter holiday!


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

Further contact information:
Federal Agency for Civic Education
Adenauerallee 86
53113 Bonn (Germany)

Responsible for the content:
Christoph Müller-Hofstede

Editorial support:
Susanne Pöschko & Marie Serwe

If you have any questions please e-mail to: nece-newsletter@labconcepts.de