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  Wishing you a reflective Advent Season and a good start into a happy and peaceful New Year 2014!

  NECE goes Social Media

Follow NECE at twitter and linkedIn.

  NECE Conference 2013
“The EU and the Promise of Democracy: What can Civil Society und Citizenship Education contribute?”

14-16 November 2013, The Hague (The Netherlands)
At this year’s NECE Conference more than 200 experts, practitioners and citizenship education activists from 30 countries – among them many EU Member States as well as Tunisia, Egypt, Korea and Japan – gathered in The Hague to discuss critical challenges for the European Union and its legitimacy six months before the European elections. Participants stressed that the societal and political debate on the European Union and its future is entering a crucial phase. Against this backdrop, they focussed on the role of a European citizenship education, the contributions of a civil society able to address European citizen concerns and frustrations, as well as on creating new political spaces for a democratic revival of the European project. ProDemos Director, Kars Veling and the President of the Federal Agency for Civic Education, Thomas Krüger, opened the NECE Conference this year. Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, well-known Dutch publicist Paul Scheffer and Lorenzo Marsili from European Alternatives also gave inspiring keynote speeches. For two days during the conference, participants were asked to identify the most important aspects and topics of the EU’s 'democratic deficit', to define the role citizenship education plays, and to suggest practical approaches and projects. To serve as a frame of reference for the discussions, four different scenarios projecting the EU in 2030 were presented in a short movie clip. Results of three world cafe sessions were fed into the various workshop sessions, where participants worked on key propositions for a “Conference Paper” Three days of active participation and intense debates contributed substantially to the success of this NECE conference, particularly when it came to the compilation of the "Conference Paper", which sums up the most important conclusions and recommendations made in The Hague. The draft of the “Conference Paper” was further improved by integrating participants' comments and suggestions. The latest version is now available at the NECE website. Please note that this paper is still work in progress. Your comments and suggestions are highly appreciated - even if you haven't had the chance to participate in our conference. Comments can be posted until 10 January 2014. Recommendations and conclusions of this paper will be presented and discussed at the New Year Reception of the NECE Initiative on 28 January 2014 in Brussels (Belgium) with Members of the European Parliament. The conference documentation with all papers and presentations will also be soon available at the NECE website.

  NECE Conference 2014

16-18 October 2014, Vienna (Austria)
The next NECE conference will take place in Vienna (Austria). We are going to look at the meaning of the centenary of the First World War for European citizenship today and ask how citizenship education can help solve or prevent conflicts and frictions at the local, national and transnational level. Further information will be available in the coming months.

Pre-registration is possible via e-mail:

  NECE New Year's Reception

28 January 2014, Brussels (Belgium)
The NECE initiative invites Members of the European Parliament, media representatives as well as practitioners and stakeholders in citizenship education to discuss the following issues in the run-up of the European Parliament elections 2014: What is the value of citizenship education in Europe today in the light of an obvious crisis of trust in the European project and the rise of populist ‘anti-European’ parties and movements in many member states? How can trans-national networks of citizenship education help to increase voter participation in the European Parliament elections 2014? How can investment in and political support for citizenship education be organised in the coming years? Recommendations and conclusions of the 2013 NECE Conference in The Hague (the Netherlands) on these questions will be presented and discussed in Brussels as well as four scenarios on the future of the EU in 2030. Well-known Dutch publicist Paul Scheffer will be present to talk about the future of the EU in times of change. The goal of this evening is to spark a dialogue between citizenship education and European policymakers. More information as well as the programme are coming soon.

Pre-registration at:

  Focus Group “Exchange between Europe and North Africa”

The meeting at this year´s NECE Conference in The Hague started with an interactive worming up exercise facilitated by Hatem Hassan, theatre director and culture projects manager from Egypt. At the same time this exercise gave an idea about the complicated situation in Egypt by “physical” experience. Then an introduction into the societal and political developments along statistical figures by Candace Hetchler, El Sadat Association for Social Development & Welfare (Egypt) followed. The subsequent discussion round focused on the controversial evaluation of a new legislation that is under preparation and shall regulate the foundation of NGOs in Egypt. Participants from Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt compared the situation of NGOs in their country including the situation of those specialised in citizenship education. Afterwards, Annegret Wulff described the work of the Theodor Heuss Kolleg. She emphasized cooperation at eye level as one of their principles and asked for suggestions how this could be realised best in a project that they are planning in Egypt. Participants from North Africa and Europe agreed that eye level communication is an essential criteria for successful citizenship education in general, no matter where it is established. They underlined that generalised ideas about “target groups” like “the youth” should be avoided and the heterogeneity should be taken into account. The idea of participation was emphasised. If you want to reach people you should regard them as experts for their needs and include them already in the planning of projects. Finally, interests of further exchange and cooperation was summarised by the participants. The members of the Focus Group will gather again on 11 December 2013 in Alexandria, Egypt. This meeting follows up the Civic Education Conference (CEC 2013) in Alexandria on 8-10 December 2013.
Find out more at: Focus Group

  Focus Group “Hard-to-reach learners and youth”

The Focus Group convened in The Hague for the second time after a successful kick off workshop in Berlin, 25-26 October 2013. Initial results of the Berlin workshop, including a working definition in progress of what and who is “hard to reach” and ideas for a working programme of the group, were presented and discussed in The Hague.
More on the presentation and the working programme of the Focus Group here: FG Hard-to-reach

  Focus Group CLEAR

The Focus Group took part in the Project Pitch Session at the NECE Conference 2013 and set up a display at the project market. Two workshops were organised by the project group. The first - an open workshop - presented CLEAR to NECE participants. Based on reflective and participatory concept learning processes, as well as a variety of teaching activities that were organised by the group members, the CLEAR approach drew a lot of interest. A new member was also welcomed into the focus group. In light of the progress made in developing the CLEAR approach, methodology and its successful application in a number of learning activities, the project group has decided to focus on the dissemination of these resources during the next stage of development. Priority in the next phase will be given to making the CLEAR website a useful tool for sharing the CLEAR approach, resources and experiences..
Find out more at: CLEAR

  CLEAR workshop with students from Norway and Germany

25 October 2013, Trondheim (Norway)
In late October, education students from the University of Hamburg and the Norwegian University for Science and technology (NTNU) met for a workshop in Trondheim. Although the teachers-in-training had never before met face-to-face, the CLEAR methodology quickly helped them engage in a lively discussion. The students initially talked about their personal understanding of concepts, relating them to both diverse and shared cultural, socio-political and historical references. Each concept was later systematically placed within a framework of historical developments and different contexts.

Read the full article at: CLEAR

Focus group activities can be found under the hashtag #NECE_FG.

  From Cairo to Madrid – Cultural Innovators Network (CIN) brings together creative thinkers

In 2011, a wave of protests swept across the countries surrounding the Mediterranean. From Cairo to Madrid, young people took to the streets demanding freedom, social justice and equality. The CIN is seizing this momentum to bring together creative thinkers from around the Mediterranean and Germany. Through an exchange of ideas and experiences, participants take home new ideas and impact their societies through positive cultural change. At the crossroads between culture, art and politics, the CIN is asking questions about the future of our societies. How can we reorganise social order? How can we express our demands artistically? How can we generate more participation? You can find detailed information at the NECE website, as well as on the Cultural Innovators Network website.

  AdB publishes documentation on its German-Tunisian cooperation project

Berlin, 13 November 2013 (Nr. 9/2013)
The Arab Spring has lost much of its momentum, and current political processes in Tunisia are proving to be tough going. In the midst of negotiation processes, the Association of German Educational Organizations (AdB) and its members worked hard throughout 2012 to set up relationships with Tunisian NGOs. Development options and topics involving democratic youth education were also explored in two German-Tunisian forums dedicated to the field. They gave rise to six projects that were carried out by AdB members in 2013. Throughout the cooperation, educational facilities have provided safe opportunities for young people to learn more about civic education, and these locations have blossomed into areas where democratic participation for youths and infant Tunisian NGOs could receive support in setting up their own civic education structures aimed at the younger generation. The published brochures present the results and experiences of the German-Tunisian cooperative project, which was carried out by the AdB and the Unite Euromed IV Jeunesse (Tunis).

For more information, head for: German Educational Organizations (AdB)

  City of Errors – a social network for civic commitment

City of Errors is a multimedia platform dedicated to the promotion of civic commitment in large cities. It’s a space for documentaries, interviews and – most importantly – user-generated content that provides ideas, examples and lessons on how to be an active citizen. Its aim is to create a social network that provides inspiration, motivation and fun tools for finding and fixing problems in your city, and a platform for sharing your experiences with the world. To facilitate use, we are now developing a smartphone app that will function as a tool for capturing, tagging, uploading and sharing your civic commitment experiences with the community. Are you contributing to your city’s problems, or are you already part of its solutions? If you can’t say for sure, just visit: City of errors, or take a look at this trailer to find out!

  DARE policy recommendations: Rethinking education

The DARE networks board has proposed a critical investigation of the European Commission proposal “Rethinking Education: investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes”, which was published in November 2012 [COM(2012) 669 final]. DARE welcomes the Commission’s vision on the future of education as a valuable contribution to the discussion, but believes more reflection is vital to developing a common vision for the future.
Find out more at: DARE.

  European Commission agrees framework for its new Citizenship Programme

The European Commission has published its 2014 working guidelines for the implementation of its new “Europe for Citizens (2014-2020)” programme. The preliminary guidelines will come into force after final adoption of the regulations involving the “Europe for Citizens” programme by the Council.
Find out more at: European Commission

  Eurydice Update October 2013 - Education in the Europe 2020 Strategy and the ET2020 Strategic Framework

Eurydice at NFER has just updated the ‘Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments’ topic for England, Wales and Northern Ireland on Eurypedia, the European Encyclopedia on National Education Systems. The topic includes education in the ‘Europe 2020 Strategy’ and the ‘Education and Training 2020’ framework for strategic cooperation in Europe covering lifelong learning and mobility. Eurydice is the information network on education in Europe. Its ‘Education in the News’ bulletins bring together a range of recent European education news items collected from education websites, ministry websites and other publications.
Find out more at: Eurydice

  Report on the activities of the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions (2012)

According to its latest report, which was published in October, the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions last year made good progress in addressing citizen requests and complaints in the area of social issues, as well as in topics involving citizen rights and the environment. Most of the 1,986 petitions submitted in 2012 came from Germany, Britain, Italy, Romania and Spain. The Committee on Petitions is responsible for investigating petitions on possible citizenship infringements of EU citizens or legal residents of an EU Member State pertaining to activities within the scope of the legislation (Art. 227 of the Treaty on the European Union).
Find out more at: European Commission

  EP approves report on volunteering and voluntary activity in Europe

The European Parliament approved a report on volunteering and voluntary activity in Europe on 17 October 2013. It indicates that volunteering is a key facet of active citizenship, and asks the European Commission to frame integrated European volunteering policy. In addition, the European Parliament is encouraging Member States and the European Commission to adopt special measures that will continue to encourage an enabling environment for volunteer activities in Europe.
Find out more at: European Parliament

  The European Citizens’ Initiative: Three out of eight initiatives will get necessary support

A deadline to collect the required number of statements of support for the first eight European citizens’ initiatives expired on 1 November 2013. Three initiatives were able to collect more than a million citizen signatures in across many Member States. The “Right2 Water” initiative is campaigning against viewing water as a trading commodity. “One of us” wants the EU to end financing for activities that presuppose the destruction of human embryos. “Stop Vivisection” is demanding a halt to animal experiments.
Find out more at: The European Citizens Initiative

  Call for papers: "Young Europeans in an Era of Crises – Citizenship Education in a New Perspective"

The Journal of Social Science Education has launched a call for papers with a special focus on young Europeans’ understanding of civics and citizenship and their perceptions, attitudes and behaviors with respect to specific European-related civic and political issues, institutions and policies. Deadline for submissions is 20 December 2013.
Find out more at: Journal of Social Science Education

  2014 European parliamentary elections poster competition

Together with the European Parliament and the European Commission, Germany’s federal government is sponsoring a poster competition in the run-up to the 2014 European elections. Entries should be aimed at inspiring and motivating EU citizens to take part in next spring’s vote, as well as spotlighting their opportunities for participation: Cast your vote – and help shape Europe! The winning designs will be displayed at all ICE train stations in Germany, as well as at S-Bahn stations in Berlin. The deadline for submissions is 20 December 2013.
For more information (in German), head for: Poster Competition 2014

  Call for papers: “Youth work, non-formal education and youth participation”

The main aim of the special issue of the “Italian Journal of Sociology of Education” (IJSE) is to further develop the analysis on the concepts of youth work and non-formal education, on the dimensions involved within the validation of non-formal learning and the recognition and professionalization of youth work, as well as on their relationship with the initiatives to promote and enhance youth participation. The deadline for submitting abstracts for the special issue is 15 February 2014.
For more information, head for: IJSE

  Call for experts EACEA/2013/1

There has been a call for expressions of interest in establishing a list of experts to assist the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) within the framework of the management of European Union programmes in the fields of education, audiovisual, culture, youth, sport, EU aid volunteers, citizenship or any other programmes delegated to the Agency. The call for expressions of interest is open for the lifetime of the programmes managed by the Agency (until 31 December 2020). Experts can register at any time prior to the last three months of validity of the call.
For more information, head for: European Commission

  EU Research & Innovation: Project Management and Financial Reporting

12-13 December 2013, Vienna (Austria)
This two-day training course will introduce the first crucial steps for getting a Horizon 2020 Project off on the right foot, provide practical tips to ensure sound technical implementation of the project, and explore the issues of financial management and reporting.

For more information, head for: EUtrainingsite

  International conference on right-wing populism and extremism in Europe

17-18 March 2014, Cologne (Germany)
The German Federal Agency for Civic Education, in cooperation with the European Commission's Regional Office in Bonn, will host a two-day conference on right-wing populism and extremism in Europe. During this convention, phenomena, transnational cooperations on the far right and their relevance in the run-up to the European Elections 2014 are to be addressed. Distinguished researchers, experts and civil society actors from all over the European Union will enlighten about current challenges to European democracy from ideologies of inequality. Given the shift to the right in the political arenas of major European Union member states, questions of handling right-wing populist and extremist parties or movements become more and more salient. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, is invited to give a keynote speech.

For more information, head for: NECE Newsletter

  European Youth Event 2014 (EYE) – European Parliament

9-11 May 2014, Strasbourg (France)
Under the slogan "Ideas for a better Europe", this event will bring together several thousand young Europeans aged 16 to 30 from all over the EU. Participants will be invited to meet with European decision-makers and speakers with a wide range of professional experience to exchange ideas and perspectives on youth-related issues. They will also be looking at how to develop new, innovative pathways and solutions to crucial questions for the future, and experiencing the rich cultural diversity within the European Union through the staging of various cultural performances.

For more information, head for: European Parliament


Current publications on issues involving citizenship education in Europe can be found at the NECE website.

You receive the NECE Newsletter because you subscribe 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 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
53113 Bonn (Germany /

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.