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  Editorial 'The interruption’

Dear colleagues,

We are experiencing a situation with an infinite number of unknowns, a dramatic shutdown of social life and an interruption of all routines. The paradoxes and hardships of social distancing are imperatives of a new 'solidarity'. This is a special challenge for a happy post-war generation that has never known fear or panic.
We, the NECE team in Bonn and Berlin, the European partners and the networks outside of Europe must respond to this extraordinary situation. Some commentators see an opportunity for people to rise to the challenge of the crisis with new and creative formats of cohesion, solidarity and communication. Whether this will happen remains to be seen, but strong civil societies and not least the community of citizenship educators in Europe can certainly contribute to this. Please let us know your thoughts and comments on the political and citizenship dimensions of the Corona crisis. Share your stories of how solidarity and citizenship education can be done under “lock down” conditions. We will communicate these (with your permission) via Twitter and Facebook and in the next edition of this newsletter.

Many of our day-to-day activities will be suspended for an indefinite period. We intend to use the time wisely and will be entering a highly challenging and creative phase in the development of NECE. We will be trying to digitalise as many activities and meetings as possible, among them the meetings planned for March and June which are intended to prepare the NECE conference in November 2020 in Berlin.

Be well, take care and stay healthy. Keep in touch.

Warm wishes
Christoph Müller-Hofstede (Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb)

Anja Ostermann plus the NECE Team of labconcepts (Bonn/Berlin)

(Please note: below you find activities and announcements as planned before March 9, when meetings and conferences began to be cancelled. We all hope that activities can go back to normal in the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2020.)

  NEWS about NECE  
  NECE Conference 2020 – #Berlin calling:
“Climate Change and Democracy: Citizenship Education for a Sustainable Europe” (Working title)


5 - 8 November 2020, Berlin, Germany
bcc Berlin Congress Center

On the occasion of the German EU presidency, NECE (Networking European Citizenship Education) - the European platform for Citizenship Education (www.nece.eu) – will hold the 2020 edition of its annual NECE conference in Berlin, Germany. The focus will be on citizenship education and sustainability in times of fundamental change.

Climate change as a symptom of the ecological crisis, the digital revolution and globalisation are shaping people's living conditions. These are issues that reinforce each other and have the potential to trigger political, economic and social upheavals. In the face of a world 'out of joints', many people are losing confidence in the values of democracy and the ability of the state to shape the future. In times when emotions need to be reconciled with facts, citizenship education, providing a pluralistic offer for fair debates, a diversity of perspectives, continuing education and an invitation to participate, is in greater demand than ever.

NECE 2020 will focus on the central role of citizenship education in dealing with the coming changes. Core topics will include the problems of man-made climate change, the transformation to a sustainable economic and growth model (including the European Green Deal) and the possibilities and limits of digital technology. Interactive platforms for 'Knowledge' and 'Action' will offer ideas and best practices as well as practical opportunities for participation. Open and participatory spaces invite participants to network with experts, actors from civil society and policy makers from Europe, the MENA region and Africa. Well-known European and global voices will critically reflect on climate debates and address topics such as 'climate justice' and 'just transition'.

More information, the programme and online registration will be available at the end of April at www.nece.eu & www.nece-conference.eu

Follow NECE on Twitter and check out the NECE Facebook page!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the conference organisers via email:

Christoph Müller-Hofstede
(Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb)


The EENCE (Eastern European Network for Citizenship Education) is making good progress. Each month EENCE is accepting new members, and an updated list of organisations and individual experts that have signed the EENCE memorandum is available. Eleven working groups have been established within the network in 2020 on a range of topics such as SDGs, social entrepreneurship, resilience and strengthening of capacity for citizenship educators, regional conflicts, media literacy, history, etc. EENCE has already announced a call for small grants for working groups. Last but not least, EENCE will organise a week of citizenship education (05.–11.10.2020) in all Eastern Partnership countries and Russia aiming to promote citizenship education in the region.
More information at www.bpb.de/eence or eence-board2019@googlegroups.com


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.

© Tor Birk Trads
“We must help one another or die” by Jan-Werner Müller

COVID-19 is challenging our social behaviour more than ever. Jan-Werner Müller, member of the NECE Advisory Board, talking about the political consequences of the corona crisis.
Read the whole article here.

© European Commission 2018
Conference on the Future for Europe: a work programme laid out by Ursula von der Leyen

The purpose of the Conference on the Future for Europe is to give European citizens, especially young people, a voice in political debates. As a long-term project that runs from 2020 to 2022, its intention is to change the European Union’s decision making culture. What could be a stronger signal in this context than to “give the Strasbourg seat of the European parliament to the citizens”, according to Niccolò Milanese. Read the entire article on euroalter and find out more about the shaping of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

  The Conference on the Future of Europe: An Open Letter

Academics from different disciplines and countries aiming to contribute to the European project wrote an open letter to the President of the European Parliament, President of the Council of the EU, and President of the European Commission. They express their concern about the outcome of the Conference on the Future of Europe. The authors mainly criticise the top-down structure of the proposed blueprint and argue that this contradicts the Conference’s aim to be a bottom-up process in which European citizens can easily participate.
To learn more about their arguments, read here.

© European Union 2019 – Source: EP
Emily O’Reilly reelected as European ombudsman

We had the chance to welcome her at the NECE conference in Marseille, France 2018. It’s great news to have her for another term as European ombudsman.
Read more.

© The Guardian Bookshop
Recommendation: The Bedside Guardian 2019, edited by Aditya Chakrabortty

Rarely has the UK endured such a turbulent year as the past year. Have a look at the ups and downs of our 2019 NECE conference’s host country through the lens of some of the Guardian’s best journalism.
Get the anthology here.

© Participedia
Participedia: a global community sharing knowledge

This online platform seems very interesting. Anyone can join the Participedia community. The database shares knowledge about public participation, political processes and democratic innovations from all over the world.
Have a look here.

© Alpine Space 2014-2020
GaYa’s (Governance and Youth in the Alps) Youth Participation toolbox in the five alpine languages

Many young people are leaving the Alpine region. GaYA tries to counter this trend by enhancing their involvement in regional governance. GaYA’s Youth Participation Toolbox includes the “Thoughts, Models and Methods” brochure, case studies, “Try Different Cards”, the Youth Participation Canvas and posters.
Discover the toolbox or learn more about the project’s results by consulting the comparative report.

© eurac research
Simulation game “Let’s go federal!” by the Institute for Comparative Federalism

The Institute for Comparative Federalism manages the simulation game “Let’s go federal!” Researchers visit schools, universities, workshops, and more, offering the role play in German, Italian, English or even bilingually. They can easily adapt to different levels from beginners to advanced. Participants walk through the different processes involved in creating a federation – “learning by doing”.
Have a look at this very interesting programme!

© Good government – Illustration by Marina Fernandez
Youth attitudes to politics: A report based on three years of research

How do young people do politics in Europe today? The report “Rejuvenating Europe’s Democracy” by European Alternatives analyses political actions of the younger generations and how well their opinions were integrated and truly respected by older generations or even political decision makers.
Find out more about the report.

© 2020 Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft
The European Union and Education for Democratic Citizenship by Dr. Kris Grimonprez

Have a look at this work by Dr Kris Grimonprez who was part of the 2014 NECE Conference in Vienna. The study analyses the legal framework which Member States must take into account when designing their policies on citizenship education.
Get the book here or download the free e-book version.

© Freedom House
Freedom House: Freedom in the world 2020

Freedom House works to defend human rights and promote democratic change, with a focus on political rights and civil liberties. It acts as a catalyst for freedom through a combination of analysis, advocacy, and action. Research topics include the decline in democracy and the reach of authoritarian leaders that reject pluralism.
Explore the map on freedom in the world and have a look at their reports.

COMANITY, a new programme for youth and social inclusion

The Lifelong Learning Platform developed in cooperation with eight European organisations including universities and NGOs, is a programme designed to empower disadvantaged young people in their community. Youth workers or young volunteers become community animateurs to work with those who feel excluded from mainstream society. As the European project is coming to its end, and because it was such a great and successful programme, the LLLP is keen to give it a legacy. This is why it is launching a call for interest and participation.
Find out more.

The (Young) Climate Conference Berlin – learn. claim. act will take place in the second half of 2020!

Join this sustainable and participatory conference in order to tackle the challenges of climate change together, learn from each other’s experience and work towards changing climate politics. Connect with like-minded spirits and transform your knowledge into action! The Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection would like to invite 200 students, trainees, young professionals and everyone interested between the age of 16 and 28!
More information will follow soon.
27th EUROCLIO Annual Conference and professional development and training Course, 10–14 November 2020, Belgrad (Serbia)

“Controversy and Disagreement in the Classroom” is the main theme of the upcoming EUROCLIO Annual Conference. Diversities are growing within social groups, and teachers have to deal with this every day in their classrooms. Creating new educational structures and perspectives using more adjustive methods is very important, designed to give students a proper voice through dialogue, discussion and better listening and speaking skills to avoid intolerance and violence. The Conference will offer opportunities to participate in workshops, interactive sessions, and panel discussions.
Find out more. POSTPONED because of COVID-19.
© 1963-2019, Social Science Education Consortium
Social Science Education Consortium Conference, 16-21 June 2020, Kyiv (Ukraine)

This year, the conference “Preparing Youth for an Uncertain Global Future Through the Social Science Disciplines” takes place in Kyiv (Ukraine). In the 21st century the world’s youth is confronted with migration, climate change, globalisation, economic inequality, social conflicts, and other challenges. How to teach and prepare them in the most effective way is one of the conference’s main questions.
Read more about the Conference!

Save the Date: 5th Summer University, 20-21 September 2020 Brussels (Belgium)
This edition of the ECIT Foundation’s Summer University 2020 will be organised in cooperation with NECE. Civil society activists, researchers and EU policy makers come together to support and develop the transnational citizenship of the modern era. The number of people who experience Europe through work or living in other EU member states and network across borders has doubled in the last decade. The event’s aim is to put EU citizenship on the agenda of the participating stakeholders.
Have a look at the programme.
  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  

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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 & Sabrina Räpple

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