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  Save the Date: NECE 2018 / 5 - 9 September, 2018
Erosion of Democracy? New Challenges and a New Role for Citizenship Education (working title)

As announced in our previous edition, NECE 2018 will be held in Marseille. For logistical reasons, we have now shifted the conference date to early September 2018. Please save the date!
NECE 2018 will be held in cooperation with partners from all over Europe, including the Goethe Institut Lyon/Marseille. Our location in Marseille is Friche La Belle de Mai – a public space and socio-cultural hub that will play a role throughout the conference.
The programme will be developed over the coming months in close cooperation with NECE partners, the emerging NACE network in North Africa and our new advisory board. We envisage a rich programme that allows space for debate and the controversies surrounding the state of democracy in Europe, and looks at the reasons why some see it as being under threat. The programme will also feature workshops, present local and transnational projects and showcase artistic inputs. All in all, it will provide a great networking opportunity for everybody!
We look forward to getting in touch with you about the programme, and will regularly update pertinent information on our website and in this newsletter.

(Christoph Müller-Hofstede, bpb)

  NECE Advisory Board – New Expertise and Networking Opportunities

In the last few years, demand for transnational debate and good practice in citizenship education and a new political culture has risen dramatically. In trying to meet that demand, NECE has grown and evolved into a more complex platform.
Our new advisory board is made up of stakeholders and experts with a variety of perspectives and backgrounds from core regions in Europe and its neighbours to the south and east. We are now happy to announce that many renowned experts – among them Nelly Corbel, Claire Demesmay, Boris Jokic, Michalis Kakos, Karolina Wigura, Claudia Lenz, Niccolo Milanese, Markus Lux, Jan Werner Müller, Louisa Slavkova and Hessel Nieuwelink – have agreed to serve on the board.
Board members will be involved in the preparation of our conferences and other formats, helping us raise awareness about citizenship education and its role in democracy in European and international institutions. The Advisory Board will work in close cooperation with NECE partners. A kick-off meeting is planned for September 2017.

  ‘Hard to Reach’ Focus Group – New Directions, New Coordination. Your chance to get involved!

Labelling learners ‘hard-to-each’ immediately suggests that the problem lies with the learner rather than the educational system. The focus group is now seeking a more appropriate name as we encourage more people to improve the relevance, inclusivity and effectiveness of citizenship education for an increasingly diverse Europe. Do you have any good suggestions? The School Development Support Agency (SDSA) in Leicester is to provide new direction and coordination for the network and community that has formed around the ‘hard-to-reach’ topic in the last few years. For more information and a chance to speak out about your views and needs, take an online survey here.

  Civic Education Centre: Designing a CE Framework for Czechia

Under the auspices of the Czech Ministry of Education, the CEC has been piloting a modern citizenship education approach in schools since 2016. Many ideas and tools used in this new methodology were inspired by the annual NECE talks. The CEC is designing a basic framework of citizenship education together with governmental offices, which should lay the foundation for a systemic solution for CE in Czechia. All of the country's political parties and third sector organisations are involved in the process.
Find out more here.

  Zentrum fir politesch Bildung, Luxembourg – a New NECE Partner

The Zentrum fir politesch Bildung (ZpB - Centre for Citizenship Education) is an independent foundation created in October 2016 to strengthen existing efforts and launch new initiatives related to citizenship education in Luxembourg. Although many of the organisation's activities address the general public, the ZpB places a special emphasis on its work with children and young adults.
As the concept of citizenship education is still nascent in Luxembourg, the ZpB intervenes at several levels. First, it seeks to inform and raise awareness about socio-political issues through debates, lectures and exhibitions. These events are generally organised with other partners through the foundation's networking function. It also promotes participatory and democratic structures in formal (e.g. schools) and non-formal education (e.g. youth and after-school centres), as well as on the municipal level. For instance, the Centre has been working in close collaboration with the University of Trier and a local secondary school to evaluate, test and promote best practices in the area of student participation. Along the same lines, the ZpB organises various workshops; for instance, a simulation activity that allows participants to better understand political decision-making processes in a democratic state. Finally, the small ZpB team elaborates on a range of education material and offers specific training courses – currently only for teachers, but in the future, plans are in place to extend the service to youth and childcare workers.
Although the ZpB is still a very young organisation, its team is fully committed to making a significant contribution to the development of active and informed citizenship in Luxembourg and beyond. We are pleased to announce the ZpB's new partnership with NECE.

(Michèle Schilt, Vice President, ZpB)
Find out more here (French website only) .

  Politische Bildung International / Political Education International

In Heppenheim (Germany) from 19-20 June 2017, participants in the meeting "Politische Bildung International" discussed political education in ten different countries. After a short general introduction of the topic, countries were presented in small panel sessions that focused on political education and each country's characteristics. Further discussions widened the discussion to include participant needs and interests. In conclusion, participants looked at how to find a common ground that will allow discussions to continue on an eye-to-eye basis, and talked about the necessary framework for developing a common understanding of concepts, fostering interest for further networking and signalling that the neglected field of adult education needs more attention. The event was organised by the "Haus am Maiberg". Six members of the NECE Focus groups Exchange/NACE and MOE/EENCE contributed with their country profiles.

  NACE – Networking Arab Civic Education

From 22-25 Mai 2017, the NACE advisory board and steering committee met in Tunis to discuss the current needs of civic education in the region and NACE's next steps. The committee agreed the organisation needs to develop further if it is to consolidate the network as a platform in the Arab world. Following the Egyptian mapping study, more studies will now be conducted in additional countries. The workshop concluded with a meeting that looked at possible future NACE partners.


Welcome to a new section of the newsletter, where our aim is to give European intellectuals and practitioners of citizenship education a voice. What’s your assessment of the current situation in Europe? What effects are political developments having on citizenship education? In this issue, we’ve decided to get the ball rolling with a statement from:

  Jon Worth, Blogger (Berlin)

*** What are the purposes and aims of your blog? “My blog started as a kind of depository for my thoughts about politics, and I thought I could explain the EU with greater factual accuracy than the UK media does. Those motivations are still true to this day – 12 years on and after more than 2,000 posts and 700,000 words! I earn no money from my blog, and it is a solitary activity writing it. But it starts debates with all sorts of people, forces people to think, and hopefully helps to increase our overall understanding of how politics – and especially the politics of the European Union – works. The blog should also be seen together with my activity on Twitter (@jonworth), where I am also highly active debating politics.”
*** How do you see the new pro-European momentum and the hopes for breaking the populist wave after the French elections? “I think Europeans looked into the abyss with Brexit and Trump and have recoiled from that. It is more a fear of the alternative than any genuine momentum for the European Union. 'Maybe what we have is not so bad' is the sort of reaction we have seen, and that has been reflected in higher levels of support for the EU in a number of EU Member States. But there is no room for complacency. Many of the underlying issues that gave rise to Brexit and Trump (and previously Le Pen, Orbán and the FPÖ) have not gone away. Parts of our societies feel economically and culturally left behind, the benefits of economic growth seem to accrue to few in society, and the problems of the EU – imbalances in the Eurozone, and the lack of proper democracy at the EU level – have not gone away. Were a further financial crisis to hit, I'm not sure the EU would be better placed to cope now than it was in the last decade, and then the populists would come roaring back.”

Check out Jon Worth’s Euroblog here.

  Civic BarCamp in Marseille and Hamburg: “Democracy in danger? A French-German Answer”

Changing the field of citizenship education through a French-German partnership
Carried out by the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb), the Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO) and the French NGO Vote&Vous, this project was aimed at connecting people involved in citizenship education in France and Germany through the organization of two BarCamps in Marseille and Hamburg.
60 young people (aged 18-30, among them migrants) from Germany and France who are involved in projects discussed and re-shaped their respective approaches in the field of citizenship education over four days in Marseille and Hamburg. The BarCamp method gave the participants a framework to freely talk about their projects and ideas. Each result was kept, shared and disseminated with social media tools both within and outside the workshops. The results from Marseille flowed into the Hamburg BarCamp, and led to concrete decisions – among them the creation of a platform for young practitioners to work on developing new methods and translating best practices from one country to another.
Alongside those activities, institutional representatives from France and Germany met during “Round Tables” and also worked together one afternoon with the BarCamp participants. This first contact gave representatives the opportunity to discuss different institutional and political conditions, and compare the respective role citizenship education plays in the two countries. Marseille and Hamburg created a link between French and German complementary institutions, and fleshed out what could be a long-term cooperation on civic education between the two countries. In mid-September 2017, the networking will continue during a small workshop to explore joint projects.

(Benjamin Kurc, Project Manager, Vote&Vous, Paris)
Find out more here.

  Leicester and Prague: An Inspiring Exchange on Migration and Integration in Schools

A remarkable new connection between Prague and Leicester was created through NECE and the ‘Hard to Reach’ focus group. Why new? One is the capital of a somewhat homogeneous country, while the second is considered a laboratory of inclusive and citizenship education in the UK. Both cities were connected through study trips made by school representatives in 2017 that was organized by the Czech Centre for Integration of Foreigners (CIC) and Leicester's School Development Support Agency (SDSA). Students from the two nations visited different schools and took part in inspiring seminars exploring good practices. If you are interested in a similar study or research programme, please contact the SDSA, which is working in partnership with NECE.

  Review: IRRESISTIBLE? A Symposium on the Phenomenon of CORRUPTION

Can societies function without corruption? Is corruption a matter of culture or gender? What are the most effective weapons in the fight against corruption? These and other highly relevant questions were discussed in Berlin from June 16-18 at “IRRESISTIBLE? A symposium on the phenomenon of corruption”. The German Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb and the Goethe-Institut Ukraine invited over 200 international participants and speakers from the fields of academic research, journalism and art to the event, along with civil society activists, to discuss the highly complex phenomenon of corruption and its reception. The event documentation is constantly being updated. Check it out regularly for new insights on the topic!

  A Nomadic School of Citizenship:
The Beit Project in Europe

The Beit Project is a specific urban and pedagogical project aimed at transforming heritage sites into educational platforms for dialogue and debate, linking history and contemporary issues.
The idea of bringing together young people from across a city who live in worlds that are different, yet similar – whether they come from different religions, classes or cultures – is a particularly strong element of the project’s philosophy. Its focus is on encountering the city, the people who live there, the buildings, the history, and the issues it raises for us today. ‘Encountering the other’ is made possible through the various stages of the project. As a complement to traditional curricula, the students are encouraged to work through the values of autonomy and interdependency, freedom and responsibility, democracy and participation.
Launched in Paris in 2011, the project worked at first on urban heritage sites linked to local Jewish history. Since then, it has widened in scope to revisit the memory of heritage sites in general. To date it's been held in Barcelona, Rome, Brussels, Berlin, London, Lodz, Marseille, Tangier and Sofia. Skopje will host it next. The project has won several awards from the Europe by Citizens Programme of the European Union. We are proposing to carry it out in Hamburg in May-June 2018, and are currently looking for partners and support for its development (municipalities and regions, museums and other relevant organizations in the field of heritage preservation, citizenship, education for tolerance and against discriminations, etc.).
If you would like to be part of it, please contact founding director David Stoleru: +34 630 161 377

Find out more at

  Political Critique – a New Magazine on the European Scene

Political Critique is a pan-European online magazine for democracy, equality and culture beyond the nation-state. The magazine focuses on the most important phenomena and trends in today’s politics, culture and society. One of its main premises is to break the artificial limits between politics and art, and it publishes written and audiovisual content from the most relevant authors in the fields of sociology, philosophy, art and culture theory, always seeking to combine and confront different perspectives.
Find out more here.

  A remarkable keynote from Brendan Cox about his fight against political extremism

Brendan is a humanitarian campaigner and founder of ‘More in Common’, as well as the widower of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered shortly before the Brexit referendum. Intriguing because of its clarity and its advice on how to build bridges to majorities and change the tone of progressive campaigns, this keynote was delivered on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the European Council for Foreign Relations.

  How to teach citizenship in schools (The Economist)

Close NECE collaborators Alicja Pacewicz (Center for Citizenship Education, Warsaw) and Bryony Hoskins (Roehampton University) are quoted in this article, delivering critical commentary on the state of citizenship education in Poland and the UK.
Read the article here.

  Tunisia joins Creative Europe

Creative Europe is the Union programme supporting cultural diversity and competitiveness in the European cultural and creative sectors, and it also foresees participation from countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Tunisia's participation is scheduled to begin in 2018. It will enable the country's cultural and audio-visual operators to participate fully in the Culture sub-programme and partially in the MEDIA sub-programme (participation limited to training, film festivals, film education and market access activities).
Find out more here.

  Austrian Conference on Contemporary History 2018 (Zeitgeschichtetag, ZGT)

Now in its 25th year, the ZGT will take place from 5–7 April 2018. This time the event will be hosted by the Department of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna. Entitled “History in the Making”, the conference will focus on social change in the present. The themes on the programme are very relevant for citizenship education. In an opinion poll conducted in Austria in 2017, some 40 percent of respondents expressed the feeling that things were falling “into disarray”. A new historical overview is evidently called for, and contemporary history must apply itself to the task of contextualising current events. “ZGT18” is therefore inviting proposals for papers that respond to changed social parameters.
Find out more here.

  Council of Europe Raoul Wallenberg Prize 2018

Since 2014, the Council of Europe Raoul Wallenberg Prize has been awarded every two years to honour extraordinary humanitarian achievements by a single individual, a group of individuals or an organisation. The €10,000 prize will be awarded at a ceremony to be held at the Council of Europe on January 17th – the date of Raoul Wallenberg’s arrest in Budapest in 1945. The deadline for submission of candidates for the 2018 prize is set for 31 Oct 2017.
Find out more here.

  Summer University on European Citizenship 2017

Brussels (Belgium), 30 August - 1 September 2017

Students, academics, policymakers and civil society representatives from all over Europe will meet in Brussels at the end of this summer to exchange views on the gaps and future challenges of European citizenship. The organisers promise that this event will be very different from the usual European conference, with real content, brainstorming and the right atmosphere and environment to test out your ideas and learn from others.
Find out more here.

  EAAB Summer School on Democracy and Development

Pristina (Kosovo), 14-23 August 2017

"International Development, Decentralization, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Societies – Kosovo and the Balkans" is an educational programme that provides students enrolled in universities outside the region with the chance to spend two weeks in Kosovo studying and learning about development in practice in a post-conflict area right in the middle of Europe. Participants in the programme will also visit two other Balkans countries – Albania and Macedonia.
Find out more here.

  Wanted: Your Contribution to the NECE Newsletter!  
  You're involved in citizenship education in Europe or North Africa? You already initiate projects aimed at promoting democratic values and tolerance in your country or region? You think NECE (and the readers of this Newsletter) should pay more attention to a specific issue, and you want to start a debate? Tell us about it! We love hearing from you! Send your contributions, ideas, comments, and questions to:


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

You receive the NECE Newsletter because you subscribed and have confirmed that you wish to receive information about the NECE-Networking European Citizenship Education initiative. If you would like to unsubscribe, please click here.

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 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

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.