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  NEWS about NECE  
© Caroline Dutrey
NECE 2018, 6-9 September, Marseille: Brave New Worlds?! The Future of Democracy and Citizenship Education

In full anticipation and in full swing of preparations, NECE is happy to announce the complete programme of this year’s NECE conference in Marseille! And we are in good company: The state and the future of democracy has become a widely discussed issue in recent months globally and on the European level: Foreign Affairs, the leading US magazine on international relations, discussed in its May/June issue the question “Is Democracy Dying?”; and the New York Times’s Athens Forum in September 2018 will convene around the topic “Democracy in danger”. That’s good news, the bad news being is “that the world is experiencing the most severe democratic setback since the rise of fascism in the 1930s”, as Ronald Inglehart put it.

Please note: As we are sure you have come across lots of other stories and analyses about the threats to democracy and shrinking spaces for civil society please send us your suggestions for “further reading”: we will put them on our conference website as material recommended to prepare our debates in Marseille.

Back to the Marseille meeting: As much as we count on you to bring in your ideas and projects we also are happy to present great speakers and intellectuals from all over Europe and the Mediterranean in the programme:

For the opening on 6 September, we are honoured to host Latifa Ibn Ziaten, whose son Imad Ibn Ziaten was the first victim of the Islamist terrorist attacks on 11 March 2012 in Toulouse, for a message about her initiative to spread tolerance and peace in a heterogeneous society. Other speakers such as Jan-Werner Müller, Claire Demesmay, Niccolò Milanese, Vincent F. Hendricks, Karolina Wigura, Basil Kerski, Edit Inotai, Alberto Alemanno, David Lopez, Hanane El Bahraoui, Léonore de Roquefeuil and many more will further enhance the conference programme. Emily O’Reilly, the European Ombudsman, will give an important keynote and discuss how we can improve citizens’s participation and citizenship education on the European level.

On 7 and 8 September, an IDEA CAMPUS with more than 20 lectures, workshops, roundtables and training sessions will accentuate the festival-like spirit of this year’s conference in Marseille’s great location “Friche La Belle de Mai”. An OPEN SPACE and a European project market as well as field trips by local initiatives from Marseille will round up the conference programme.

The conference is open to all and free of charge. Please register soon as only a few places are left! REGISTER HERE

Last but not least: Have a look at our conference teaser!

We are looking forward to seeing you in Marseille after the summer break.

(Christoph Müller-Hofstede)

  Review: NECE Preparatory Workshop, 16-17 May in Marseille (France)

From 16-17 May, stakeholders from the fields of politics, administration, culture, education, science and the media in France as well as relevant civil society organisations were invited to participate in a dialogue concerning the forms and conditions of “education citoyenne” in France. 14 local organisations mainly from the Marseille region presented their projects and initiatives in a speedlab: How do local and regional civil society organisations perceive the many challenges in this city and how are they addressing them? What would they like to discuss with players and activists from other parts of Europe during the NECE Conference 2018?
Find the full workshop report here.

  NECE Warm-Up on “Digitisation and Civic Education”, 5-6 September 2018, Marseille (France) – Register NOW!

Prior to this year’s NECE conference, NECE is organising a conference warm-up focusing on “Digitisation and Civic Education”, fostering a European exchange on how digitisation is affecting civic education and how digital technologies can be used in civic education.
If you are interested in joining, please find more information online and register here!

  Civics Innovation Hub (CIH) kick-off meeting

The Civics Innovation Hub (CIH) will gather and connect people coming from different countries and various professional backgrounds, such as life sciences, architecture, business, big-data/digitalisation/media, migration and others. Over a two-year process, CIH will serve as a platform for both transnational and transdisciplinary exchange and learning for professionals in civic education as well as the transfer of civic education tools to other disciplines. The project is supported by the bpb within the context of NECE and initiated by Sofia Platform (Bulgaria). It will be kick-started in Marseille in September 2018 and will be organised and coordinated by labconcepts.

  NECE focus group exploring uses of the CoE Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (RFCDC)

The core element of the Council of Europe’s Reference Framework is a comprehensive model of values, attitudes, skills and knowledge and critical understanding that are needed for the active participation in pluralist and diverse democracies. The scope of the Reference Framework is not limited to the field of civic education; competences for democratic culture can be developed in all subjects and through a whole school approach. Find the three volumes of the Reference framework here.
If you are interested in joining the focus group, please contact Claudia.lenz@mf.no or patricia.hladschik@politik-lernen.at or get in touch with the focus group during the IDEA CAMPUS at the 2018 NECE Conference in Marseille on 7 September!
  NACE Citizenship education Conference (CEC), 3-7 December 2018, Casablanca (Morocco) – Save the Date

From 3-7 December 2018, the third edition of the Civic Education Conference (CEC) will take place in Casablanca (Morocco). The dialoguing platform, inspired by NECE, will focus on assessing the development of the sector and discuss the current state of civic education in the MENA region covering a variety of themes (digitisation, research in the Arab world, preventing violent extremism and rebuilding citizenship in post-conflict societies). 200 participants from the MENA states, Europe and other regions involving various backgrounds (civil society, academia, Media, corporate institutions and governmental bodies) will be invited.
Find out more here.

  Egyptian Subnetwork initiated under the umbrella of NACE

An Egyptian National Network for civic education stakeholders was initiated with a kick-off meeting in October 2017 under the umbrella of NACE by the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI), Goethe-Institut Cairo and Tahrir Lounge and aims at creating a platform for civic education practitioners in Egypt while contributing to the strengthening of active citizenship in the country. The first regular meeting took place at Goethe-Institut Cairo on 20 March 2018. Around 30 stakeholders from the field of civic education attended (both with and without institutional affiliation). The second meeting took place on 2 July 2018.


This is a new section of the newsletter where we invite NECE partners and members of the Advisory Board to send us assessments and analyses of the changing political landscape we are confronted with.

© Emily O’Reilly
Emily O’Reilly answering our questions about citizenship education, the European Citizens’ Initiative and the new Rights and Values programme by the European Commission

We are honoured that Ms Emily O’ Reilly, the European Ombudsman, accepted our invitation to contribute with a keynote to this year’s NECE Conference in Marseille. For this edition of the NECE newsletter she was so kind as to answer a few questions regarding citizenship education, the European Citizens’ Initiative and the new Rights and Values programme proposed by the EU Commission.
Read Emily O’Reilly’s answers on our conference website.

→ Spotting NECE 2018: Listen to the keynote by Emily O’Reilly live on 8 September at 06:00 pm.

  Brikena Xhomaqi, director of Lifelong Learning Platform LLLP, explains how LLLP fosters citizenship education in Euope

“…The very main mission of LLLP since its establishment has been to promote the idea of democratic education systems that foster active citizenship through education and training in Europe. Being an advocacy organisation LLLP runs several activities in this regard most of which take the form of policy debates with European institutions on the importance of democratic education systems and citizenship education. More concretely, LLLP has produced position papers on the topic and gathered a number of good practices mostly coming from the non-formal education sector. One example could be the work of LLLP and EAEA with European Parliament members of the Lifelong Learning Interest Group that has hosted several debates on the topic and provided recommendations to policy makers and Member States on how to promote active citizenship through education and training…”
Discover more about Brikena Xhomaqi and the LLLP’s activities here.

→ Spotting NECE 2018: Get in touch with Joke van der Leeuw-Roord from the LLLP during the IDEA CAMPUS in Marseille and meet the LLLP at the European project market.

  “Reality LOST” – New Publication by Mads Vestergaard and Vincent F. Hendricks soon available for free in Open Access

In their recent publication, Vincent F. Hendricks and Mads Vestergaard from the Centre for Bubble Studies, Copenhagen (Denmark) analyse which mechanisms make us perceive information as being true or false and thus that it is up to us as humans to prevent The Digital Age turning into disruption of democracy and freedom.
Find more information about the book here.

→ Spotting NECE 2018: Listen to the keynote by Vincent F. Hendricks on 8 September and join the panel discussion with Mads Verstergaard on 7 September.

  Sofia Platform: Feeling the Bulgarian pulse of democracy

Supported by America for Bulgaria and in cooperation with the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science, Sofia Platform kick-started a two-year civic education road-show, targeting high-school students, teachers and citizens at large. In 15 schools across the country and with the help of a 20 people strong expert team, Sofia Platform promotes and tests a variety of civic education modules centered around attitudes and skills. In 25 towns, discussions will focus on what democracy means to Bulgarians as a post-communist society. The initiative is completed by teacher training programmes for some 300 teachers from all over the country.

  ZpB launches a series of publications in simple language

In order to make citizenship education more accessible, the Centre for Citizenship Education (ZpB) in Luxembourg has launched a bilingual series of publications in simple language (Check Politik). Simple language follows specific rules in order to make texts easier to understand. Up to this point, two publications about local and national elections can be downloaded free of charge in French and German. The project was implemented in close collaboration with the office for simple language Klaro.
Access the free publications here.

  Goethe-Institut Cairo realising a Traing-of-Trainers for participants from Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia

Within the scope of the “Dialogue & Transition” programme and developed in cooperation with the Center for Applied Research (CAP) of Munich, the Goethe-OInstitu Cairo is realising a Training-of-Trainers bringing together trainers with different backgrounds from civil society organizations from Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. The first and second modules already took place from 6-12 May in Egypt and from 19-25 May in Germany, whereas the third one will be implemented from 4-10 November in Tunisia.
Read more here.

  Questionnaire: Make your voice heard and contribute to the European Republic

The European Republic is a EUtopia for a democratic future in Europe: A republic where all European citizens enjoy political equality. Ulrike Guérot (founder of the European Democracy Lab) and other researchers and professors are conducting a survey to continue their research into Europe’s future and democracy. Make your voice heard in the European debate by answering this questionnaire in less than 10 minutes!
Go to the questionnaire.

→ Spotting NECE 2018: Meet and listen to the panel discussion with Ulrike Guérot live on 7 September.

  Open Letter: 63 civil society organisations call for European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) reform

As the impact of successful ECIs on European policy-making has been perceived as being marginal by many ECI organisers and civil society organisations, a proposal by the EU Commission to revise the ECI regulation is currently being negotiated within the European Parliament and EU Council. An open letter currently calls upon the European Parliament to take its responsibility for this participatory instrument by committing itself to debate and vote on every single successful ECI in a plenary session before the Commission adopts its formal response.
Read the open letter here.

  Joint contribution on the Future of Erasmus+

With negotiations on the Erasmus+ successor beginning shortly, a recent paper outlines the vision of the Erasmus+ Coalition on the future generation of the Erasmus+ programme. Set up in 2015 by the Lifelong Learning Platform and European Youth Forum, the Erasmus+ Coalition is an informal alliance of civil society organisations with extensive experience in working with the Erasmus+ programme.
Read the full text here.

  Express your concerns, hopes and expectations about the future of the EU!

Get involved in the current EU consultation and express your concerns, hopes and expectations about the future of the EU. Created by a Panel of citizens, the questionnaire intends to make the citizens’ voice heard by EU leaders to help them steer the right priorities for the years ahead. This questionnaire was selected on a random basis. It complements other initiatives from the European Commission on the Future of Europe.
Acces the questionnaire here.

  Network of experts on the social dimension of education and training – application open until 24 July

The Network of experts on the social dimension of education and training will be the direct successor to NESET II. It will provide access to key knowledge and evidence from the most relevant European and international research on this topic. The network will also contribute to the dissemination of policy-relevant knowledge and evidence on the social dimension of education and training. The application process is open until 24 July 2018.
Find out more and apply here.

  Reshaping European Democracy project by Carnegie Europe

The Reshaping European Democracy project is an initiative of Carnegie’s Democracy and Rule of Law Programme and aims to analyse, debate and help to improve the state of European democracy via a series of publications and events. The project will follow two main streams of activities by producing a range of evidence-based assessments and, together with European Movement International, it will regularly convene a wider European Democracy Group of experts and officials to debate issues related to democracy.
Find out more about the programme here.

  Rethinking inclusion – submit your application by 31 July

The European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM) has partnered with Impact Hub in order to identify socially innovative solutions located in an EU, EFTA or Western Balkan country that address inclusion challenges concerning young migrant men and women with a whole-of-society approach. Up to 20 shortlisted solutions will participate in a case-study analysis and will be matched with stakeholders interested in adapting the solution in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Portugal or Sweden. Applications are possible until 15 September. Early applicants will have the possibility to improve their application based on a first feedback.
Find out more about the call here.

  Reporters in the Field programme: The grant for your cross-border research

The program “Reporters in the Field” by the Robert Bosch Stiftung aims to support cross-border stories by media professionals from all over Europe. International teams with professional freelance or staff journalists can submit their application until 16 September 2018. Selection criteria are feasibility, relevance, cross-border effects with a European perspective, originality and a functional team structure. Since 2015, the program supported 128 Fellows of 52 research projects from 34 countries.
Find out more about the call here.

  “What Comes After the Nation State?” – European Alternatives hosting a one day Congress in collaboration with the international literature festival Berlin 2018
Berlin (Germany), 15 September 2018

At the 18th international literature festival, the civic network European Alternatives will be holding a one-day congress on 15 September to investigate the question of which alternative organisation forms might follow as the nation state is being plagued by continual crises in our times. The financial crisis is still taking a toll on the continued economic stagnation of many countries; extremist movements and parties have been in an upswing for some time, while liberal democracies seem to be on the defensive. Activists, artists, intellectuals and politicians will debate this range of issues. The congress is open to everyone.
Find the full programme here.

  History Festival "War or Peace. Crossroads of History 1918 | 2018"
Berlin (Germany), 17-21 October 2018

On the occasion of the centenary of the end of the First World War, the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) and the Maxim Gorki Theatre Berlin invite international guests and artists in order to discuss questions relating to “War or Peace” throughout history. The participants are invited to investigate how notions, expectations and the reality of War and Peace differed throughout space and time and how memory and mutual understanding have strong effects on current political and civic activity. In addition to innovative and unexpected methods, the Maxim Gorki Theatre Berlin will contribute a corresponding cultural programme.
Find more information here.
  Preparing Global Leaders Forum
Blagoevgrad (Bulgaria), 12-19 August 2018

Organised by members of the international network of PGLF, which operates in Russia, Croatia, Jordan and Brazil, the forum brings together exceptional international students in order to improve their key leadership skills to succeed in business, non-profit or public sectors with the overall aim to advance the global public interest. Students and young professionals will take part in a range of leadership simulations and will learn how to develop an opposable, interdisciplinary mind with an ability to work with and across ideological, national, religious, class and racial differences.
Find out more about the forum here.
© Evens Foundation
Review: Do we really need to know? -– The first ever summer school on democracy and memory in Bulgaria’s former communist concentration camp of Belene
Belene (Bulgaria), 25-29 June 2018

At the end of June, Sofia Platform gathered 24 youngsters from across Bulgaria for a week of lectures, site visits, archival work and discussions on whether we need to remember the communist past in order to be good citizens and democrats today. Meeting Halil Rassim from Kardzhali, who spent 20 years in prison for being part of the ethnic Turkish minority of Bulgaria was one of the most memorable and emotional encounters. According to a 2014 representative study roughly 90% of young people know little or nothing about communism. Therefore the summer school aimed to sustain a community of memory ambassadors.
Review: DARE (Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe) Mini-conference on Populism and Democratic Resilience
Nafplio (Greece), 14 June 2018

From 6 - 12 June the STEPS consortium and a wide range of experts from the EDC/HRE and youth field met in Nafplio (Greece) to discuss the key findings of the STEPS project. For the last 1.5 years, 16 organisations around the DARE network focused on the challenges arising with post-truth, right-wing populism and radicalisation for EDC with young people in Europe. A textbook on STEPS to be published in summer 2018 will deliver evidence on the state of affairs from the perspective of non-formal educational providers working with youth. A set of concrete policy recommendations is currently being developed in order to develop a systemic and systematic approach on these topics.
Find more information on STEPS and the findings of the project here.

  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 you want to enlist their support/advice? Tell us about it! We love hearing 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:
Petra Grüne
Christoph Müller-Hofstede

Editorial support:
Susanne Pöschko & Sandra Mayer

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