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

22-24 October 2015, Thessaloniki, Greece
The focus of this year's NECE Conference 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 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. At the event, we are especially looking forward to welcoming stakeholders and initiatives in Citizenship Education and civil society from conflict-torn countries in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean region. Mayor of Thessaloniki Yiannis Boutaris will open the NECE conference on 22 October 2015 with a contribution looking at the political aspects of the issue. Keynote speakers will include renowned writer and essayist Pankaj Mishra and prizewinning Israeli author Lizzie Doron. Internationally prominent experts like Tatiana Zhurzhenko, Ulrike Guerot, Asiem Difraoui, Audrey Osler and Kenan Malik have also confirmed their participation in the event. ‘Confusion/Diffusion’ – a visual essay by artists Jeanine Meerapfel and Floros Floridis on the difficulties of communication in times of crisis – will be performed during the conference. Our partner in the event is the Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki, which was established in the city around 60 years ago. The conference is open to the general public.
REGISTER NOW HERE: NECE Conference 2015 Seats are available but limited!

Possibility of travel subsidies
Participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine

With support from the German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we are able to offer subsidies to help cover travel expenses to and from the NECE Conference 2015 in Thessaloniki, as well as for accommodation throughout its duration. These subsidies are specifically aimed at providing financial support to small NGOs from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine, and at allowing their representatives (professional or volunteer) to take part in the event even if they face financial constraints. If you would like to apply, download the application form here and return it no later than 25 August 2015. The form also provides more detailed information on application criteria and procedures.

Participants from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia

Within the NECE Conference 2015 framework, the German Federal Agency for Civic Education also offers subsidies for participants from Northern Africa who would like to attend the event in Thessaloniki. The subsidies are aimed at covering travel costs to and from the venue, as well as accommodation expenses throughout the duration of the event. This assistance is aimed at providing financial support to activists (professional or volunteer) from Northern Africa (specifically activists from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia). If you would like to apply, please download the application form here and return it no later than 25 August 2015. The form also provides more detailed information on application criteria and procedures.

  “Beyond Them and Us: Hard-to-reach Learners and their Role in Citizenship Education”: Pre-conference Forum held by the NECE Focus Group “Hard-to-reach learners and youth”, 20-21 October 2015

This public forum is being organised by the Focus Group prior to and in close connection with the NECE Conference in Thessaloniki. Under the working title “Beyond Them and Us: Hard-to-reach Learners and their Role in Citizenship Education”, the forum will offer both issue-driven workshops and space for networking and cooperation. Its aim is to build on results from meetings that took place in Berlin, Leicester and Vienna in 2013-2014.
For more information, visit the HTR website or contact the Focus Group directly at

  Results from the NECE Focus Group “Exchange between Europe and North Africa” Meeting in Tunis in May 2015

Last spring, participants from North Africa and Europe discussed planned articles for the upcoming publication of “The Making of Citizens in Europe and North Africa”, worked and elaborated on the further issues of common concern, and debated the orientation and subjects the group will seek to address at the NECE Conference 2015 in Thessaloniki (22-24 October 2015). Documentation of the meeting is available at the focus group website.
The next Focus Group meeting will take place in Thessaloniki from 20-21 October 2015 in the final run-up to the NECE conference. For more information, contact the group directly at


“Bawabbet El-Midan" (Square Gate) is an online portal designed to bring Egypt’s citizens together with the country’s efforts and initiatives. Its objective is to coordinate and document all of the initiatives in the country that are seeking development and change in an efficient way. Additionally, “Bawabbet El-Midan" also provides a communal space for those who want to live and adopt values that are sorely missed in Egypt. In order for this space to be both safe and distinctive, participants must guarantee a respect for differences – whether these involve ideology, religion, gender, age or social standards. They also have to decide how they are going to manage these differences. When it was set up, the format invited participants to react to a number of questions, including a very important one: would they choose to reveal their differences or hide them? The overwhelming response at El-Midan has been not only to show differences, but even to celebrate them. Differences are a reality, and participants have encouraged others to learn how to deal with diversity rather than hiding it, escaping it or trying to bury it. For more information, head here.

  Citi-Rights Europe

European Alternatives is conducting a transnational project aimed at researching and raising awareness on the incompleteness of EU citizenship. What are my rights in the EU if I experience discrimination based on my gender identity? If I am a political advocate, do I know how to make my voice heard in Brussels? What rights do non-citizens have in the EU, and are they sufficient? A vast gap exists between the rights guaranteed by the EU and our exercise of those rights. Unclear laws, disempowerment or fear of reprisal can prevent people from knowing and enjoying their rights. The Citi-Rights project examines how, when and where people in the EU can individually and collectively protect and advance rights and – where they are limited from exercising their rights – how transnational collaboration can imagine and build a future where rights are actively protected. European Alternatives is implementing the project in partnership with eleven organisations across Europe. The project has several components: researching citizen rights in the EU, providing training for activists in civil society to improve their capacity to protect and extend rights, teaching about rights in schools and universities, and drafting EU policy proposals. More information can be found here.

  Where Now for Greece and the Eurozone?

In this first episode of Social Europe Talk (SET), economists James K. Galbraith and David Lizoain join Vice-President of the S&D Group in the EP Maria Joao Rodrigues and Social Europe Editor-in-Chief Henning Meyer to discuss the possible next moves in the ongoing drama unfolding between Greece and its partners in monetary union.
To watch the episode, click here.

  Open Citizenship – A Magazine and Journal about Citizenship and Participation in Europe

The latest edition of Open Citizenship has been released, and what better way to celebrate five years of Citizens for Europe and Open Citizenship than putting age at the centre of this special issue? “Youth in Europe” looks at the challenges and obstacles young people face across Europe today.
More information can be found here.

  “Towards a transnational democracy for Europe” – Excerpts from a New European Alternative Society Publication

“We do not have the luxury of deciding whether we want or do not want a reform of the European institutional architecture: there is already a quasi-constitutional process happening at the European level in which the citizens are barely having any say because they are effectively divided in national constituencies, allowing the rule of the strongest at the European council to continue to dictate policy choices and changes in the rules in a highly unbalanced way. So far citizens across Europe are only offered two perspectives to partake in this process: on the one hand a deeper integration of the EU on the basis of competition, deregulation and liberalization without democracy and on the other the threat of disintegration of the European space.
Unless this dichotomy is opposed with positive counterproposals on a transnational basis, it is very difficult to see how any member state or minority coalition of the Union can break this logic which has enlisted the financial markets as its firepower. We need to struggle for the construction of a Europe where citizens, social forces, movements and associations return to have a say over their collective future; a Europe based on real democratic and political processes, able to interrupt the hegemony of austerity and reformulate the way out of our multiple crises. This implies taking seriously the constitutional challenge initiated by governing elites, matching it with a powerful counterprocess of a similar constituent character.”

To download the entire 20-page publication, click here.

  The European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy

The European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy (EKCYP) is an online database that provides young people with a single access point for reliable information about the situations youths face across Europe. The goal at EKCYP is to enhance knowledge transfer between research, youth policy and practice through the collection and dissemination of information in those areas in Europe and beyond. EKCYP is linked to a network of national correspondents, many of whom are youth policy specialists responsible for collecting national data.
More information can be found here.

  European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning (EUCIS-LLL)

The European Civil Society Platform was born in 2005 as a response from civil society organisations to the definition and implementation of a European education and training policy within the framework of the Open Method of Coordination. EUCIS-LLL’s historic roots date back further. Even before the establishment of a permanent platform, several of the lifelong learning networks involved came together for the first time in 2001 to share experiences and expertise, and to react to the Europe-wide consultation on the Lifelong Learning Memorandum. Now made up of 39 member organisations, EUCIS-LLL is today Europe’s most legitimate interlocutor for institutions involved in the field of lifelong learning.
More information can be found here.

  The European Democratic Citizenship Awards
Application Deadline: 31 August 2015

As it looks forward in 2015 to the tenth anniversary of its foundation, the European Civic Forum has once again launched the European Democratic Citizenship Awards, which are aimed at promoting citizen and civic commitment. The 2015 awards will be granted against the backdrop of anniversary celebration activities taking place in Strasbourg this October.
The Awards, which have been granted since 2014, are given to outstanding initiatives and civil society stakeholders who combine democratic citizenship principles with innovative approaches that have a concrete impact on community life, whether at local, regional, national or European levels.

The call for 2015 nominations is open! For more information, click here.

  Actors of Urban Change – Urban Development through Cultural Activities and Cross-Sector Collaboration in Europe
Application Deadline: 13 September 2015

“Actors of Urban Change” is aimed at achieving sustainable and participatory urban development through cultural activities. To reach that goal, the program seeks to strengthen competencies for cross-sector collaboration among participants from the spheres of culture, public administration and the private sector. Through local projects, an international qualification program, Europe-wide exchange and individual coaching, its participants are able to put their individual skills into practice. “Actors of Urban Change” is sponsored by the Robert Bosch Stiftung in cooperation with MitOst e.V. After completing a two-year pilot stage, the program is now accepting calls for a second round.
More information can be found here.

  EUROCLIO Annual Conference in Belfast:
Reimagining Remembrance & Dealing with the Legacy of a Violent Past
19-24 March 2016, Belfast (Northern Ireland)

Application Deadline: 1 December 2015

2016 marks the centenary of two important events in the history of Northern Ireland –the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme. Both events have come to be seen as key moments in the history on both sides of a divided society. Mediating these and other issues presents teachers with number of obstacles that have to be overcome. What are the best ways to teach controversial history in a responsible manner?
EUROCLIO (European Association of History Educators) would like to invite you to register for the 23rd EUROCLIO Annual Conference Professional Development and Training Course on ‘Reimagining Remembrance. Dealing with the Legacy of a Violent Past in History and Heritage Education’. The conference will take place in Belfast in Northern Ireland. Educators from all over the world are invited to apply to participate in one of the most significant history education conferences in Europe.

For more information, visit the EUROCLIO website.

  ECER 2015: "Education and Transition. Contributions from Educational Research"

7-11 September 2015, Budapest (Hungary)
Education is defined by transition. From a lifelong learning perspective, we traditionally think of education as contributing to and organising the transition of children, young people and adults from one psychosocial status to another. Education also contributes to the transition of communities from one situation into another. The concept of ‘transition’ itself has developed various meanings in the areas –ontological, social, economic, political and cultural – in which we all live, act, educate and do research. The ECER 2015 conference in Budapest will address different aspects of transition and education across Europe.

More information on the event can be accessed here.

  Athens Democracy Forum: Enhancing Society through Better Governance and Polity

13-15 September 2015, Athens (Greece)
Held on the site where the seeds of democracy were planted 2,500 years ago, the Athens Democracy Forum will reflect on the state of liberal democracies and the major challenges they face in the world today. Coinciding with International Democracy Day, the event is being presented in cooperation with the United Nations Democracy Fund and the City of Athens.
The 2015 Forum will focus on four of the most difficult challenges democracy faces. One is the rise of regimes in states like China and Russia that reject the universality of liberal democracy. Another is the growing concentration of wealth and income inequality, and the impact this is having on governance. Third is the rise of Islamic extremism and its vision of Western democracies as mortal enemies. Last but not least is the rapid rise of new technologies – both the great opportunities they present and dangers they pose. To assess these challenges and what they mean for democracy, the Athens Democracy Forum will assemble scholars, diplomats, politicians, experts and journalists from around the world in ancient Agora, where statesmen, philosophers, artists and orators first proclaimed that people must be the ultimate source of governing power.

If you’d like to find out more, click here

  The 19th Forum 2000 Conference: Democracy & Education

13-16 September 2015, Prague and other Central European cities
There is a growing sense that democracy has entered a period of discontent and is facing new and serious challenges. Has democracy exhausted itself? Are authoritarian regimes gaining the upper hand? Or could it simply be that liberal democracy runs counter to human nature, and its preservation requires constant effort? Can education help us meet the challenge of maintaining and expanding democracy?

More information on the conference is available here.

  9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations:
“The Worlds of Violence”

23-26 September 2015, Giardini Naxos, Sicily (Italy)
Organized since 1992, Pan-European Conferences on International Relations have attracted a steadily rising number of participants over the years. The events are organized on the basis of sections, panels and round-table discussions to enable a maximum number of presentations. Previous conferences were held in Heidelberg, Paris, Vienna, Canterbury, The Hague, Turin, Stockholm and Warsaw, which hosted the 8th Pan-European Conference in 2013. That event attracted almost 50 sections, hundreds of panels and more than 900 participants from all over Europe and beyond.

To check out the conference programme, click here


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
Adenauerallee 86
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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.

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