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The NECE Conference hashtag is #NECE2014.

  Invitation to the NECE Conference 2014:
"1914-2014: Lessons from History? Citizenship Education and Conflict Management"

16-18 October 2014, Vienna (Austria)
The 2014 NECE Conference is aimed at addressing challenges in Europe against the backdrop of its history of war and conflict in the 20th century. It will ask how citizenship education can deal with the wide range of conflicts in and around Europe today. These include strife on Europe’s periphery (Russia, Ukraine, Egypt) as well as an ongoing influx of refugees on the shores of the Mediterranean. Inside Europe’s borders, the political and social struggles that have followed in the wake of the economic crisis have led to a grave loss of trust in the European project. The results of the 2014 European elections have given rise to fears that populist earthquakes in France, the UK and other countries will have an impact on the European Union's future agenda. The implicit consensus that has traditionally shaped citizen attitudes towards ‘Europe’ has been called into question at a fundamental level. Nationalistic and xenophobic resentment poses a risk to the EU’s democratic constitution. Europe’s economic crisis has turned into a political one.
The 2014 NECE Conference offers a platform for pursuing current issues in citizenship education in Europe. Are our current patterns of thinking and discourse still appropriate for dealing with the particular challenges and crises faced by European democracies today?
The President of the Republic of Austria, Heinz Fischer, will open the conference on 17 October. Aleida Assmann, Ivan Krastev and Philipp Blom have already confirmed their participation and will enter into a dialogue. There will also be a project market where you have the chance to present your good practice project in citizenship education, and which offers the great opportunity for European exchange and extensive networking.

For further information, please check the NECE website. Online registration for this year’s NECE Conference and the project market, here at your earliest convenience. Places are limited.

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

10-12 July 2014, Leicester (UK)
The second workshop of the NECE Focus Group “Hard-to-reach learners and youth” will take place in Leicester (UK) at the School Development Support Agency. The workshop’s aim is to create a space for exchange between the focus group members and its recently formed working groups, which will present the initial results of their work. Results from the workshop will be fed into the NECE Network and presented at the NECE Conference in Vienna in October 2014.

For more information: NECE FG Hard-to-reach learners and youth

  CLEAR Methodology presented to EDC experts in Salzburg

Is digital competence a crucial element in civic education? Do digital media contribute to a learner’s democratic competence? On 9-10 of May 2014, these questions were discussed at the conference “Die Nutzung digitaler Medien in der Politischen Bildung” (The Use of Digital Media in Citizen Education) in Salzburg (Austria). Experts from Germany and Austria were on hand for the discussions of theoretical perspectives and practical examples, which ranged from the potential and limitations of online debates in daily newspapers to the uses of online ‘educational’ games. The discussions revealed that the value of digital media should not be reduced to the acquisition of ‘political knowledge’, but also has to lead to the development of the attitudes, skills and knowledge that enable young people to take part in all kinds of democratic processes – including their ‘online’ and ‘offline’ aspects.
NECE Focus Group members Sonja Kmec (University of Luxembourg) and Claudia Lenz (European Wergeland Center) presented the methodology and online platform developed by the CLEAR project as one way to foster critical thinking, multiperspectivity and cooperative skills in diverse learning groups by using a blended learning approach that includes online and face-to-face elements.

For more information: European Wergeland Center and the CLEAR Project.

  The Anna Lindh Foundation

The Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) is an intergovernmental institution that brings together civil society and citizens across the Mediterranean, helping to build trust and improve mutual understanding between cultures and supporting efforts in civil society to shape a common future for the region. Since 2005, the ALF has launched and supported action across fields that impact on mutual perceptions – among them education, culture and media – as well as developing a region-wide network of over 4,000 civil society organisations. Through its action and reflection, the ALF contributes to the development of an Intercultural Strategy for the Euro-Mediterranean Region, provides recommendations to decision makers and institutions and advocates shared values.
Find out more at the Anna Lindh Foundation Website.

  DAWRAK – Citizens for Dialogue

“DAWRAK – Citizens for Dialogue” is a programme launched by the Anna Lindh Foundation that provides civil society organisations and individuals with the skills they need to participate in public life, contributing in the process to the development of open and pluralistic societies. Launched in response to the changes taking place in the Euro-Mediterranean region, DAWRAK aims to offer participants – particularly young people and women – a wide range of spaces, opportunities and tools for intercultural dialogue, participation and advocacy. The programme brings together practitioners from civil society for innovative training, exchanges and networking opportunities. It also facilitates encounters with local, national and international Institutions to promote a culture of dialogue and active participation in public life. The 3rd edition of the DAWRAK-Exchange of DAWRAK-Citizens for Dialogue has set out to implement projects all over the Euro-Med region that are taking place for a period of one to three months from between May and October 2014.
Find out more at DAWRAK – Citizens for Dialogue.

  Umuco – Music and Human Rights

The aim of the project – initiated by Lucerne Festival – is to focus on the interrelation of music and human rights. For that purpose, the students of Kantonsschule Reussbühl, Lucerne (Switzerland) met up with professional musicians of the “Human Rights Orchestra” – a worldwide network of musicians who promote a culture of human rights and social engagement – on three different occasions during the school year and prepared pieces of music with emphasis on human rights. Staff of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights/ Zentrum polis accompanied these musical lessons with workshops on human rights. In 2013/2014 the focus of the project was on “the right to culture“, and accordingly the pieces of music as well as the workshops aligned around this topic. The students performed for example one choral piece called “Umuco”, written by young people in Ruanda, about how important the right to culture is with regard to reconciliation after the war. The project culminated in a concert on 12 April 2014, taking place in Lucerne (Switzerland) and presenting the results of the common work to the public.
For more information (in German), please visit Zentrum polis - Politik Lernen in der Schule.

  Support for EUCIS-LLL Manifesto

The results of the election to the European Parliament as well as the process of negotiating the new head of the European Commission are good examples for the state of democracy and citizen's participation in the EU. There seems to be a lot to do until one can state that some lessons are finally learned. DARE strongly supports the EUCIS-LLL position on the outcome of the elections and would like to add that again it remains highly important for educational civil society organisations to make more and stronger use of their capacity when it comes to European networking and policy making.
For more information, please visit DARE.

  Debating Europe: Will Jean-Claude Juncker revolutionise the European Union?

Jean-Claude Juncker has now been appointed as the next Commission President. His party, the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), received the most votes during the 2014 elections, and he was nominated at a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels (despite the best efforts of British Prime Minister David Cameron). He expects to be officially elected by MEPs next month. Will the election of Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the European Commission be a democratic revolution? Or do most Europpeans not really care who presides over an institution they haven’t heard of? Let Debating Europe know your thoughts and comments, and they will take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions. Debating Europe is a platform where you can debate the issues you care about with European politicians and experts.
For more information, please visit Debating Europe.

  Protest & Participation – Mapping Innovative Participation Practices in Europe

For the first time, the Berlin-based organisation “Jede Stimme e.V.” has mapped innovative civic commitment projects that foster political participation in Germany and Europe in order to boost coordination within civil society and open debates about democracy and participation in the EU. The organisation will connect initiatives and actions across Europe to create further innovative projects for political participation in civil society. Participants and activists will be an essential part of this multi-layered project, which will also connect with politics, academia, and civil society. One major goal is to provide proper feedback to everyone involved in the project through a forthcoming publication and public event to take place in November 2014.
For more information, please visit Jede Stimme (also available in English).

  Education for Democratic Citizenship and European elections 2014

by Olinda Martinho Rio (University of Coimbra)
published in "Diário As Beiras" on 21 May 2014
The debate on future models for the EU is entering a crucial phase. According to recent surveys, many Portuguese have now developed a critical or even hostile attitude towards the EU, because the bloc has increasingly come to stand for austerity and social sacrifice. In her recent article, author Olinda Martinho Rio analyses at least two major challenges facing the European Union Educators for Democratic Citizenship.

Read the whole article at

  Opening of the Centre for Contemporary Greek Studies at the Free University of Berlin

Germany’s largest university opened the doors of its new Centre for Contemporary Greek Studies (CeMoG) at the beginning of June. Aimed at improving integration in Europe, the facility will help coordinate cooperation between Germany and Greece in education and research. The centre’s stated goals include strengthening the field of Greek studies and giving them a higher profile internationally, as well as improving German-Greek networks for scientists and artists to help encourage the exchange of expertise and culture.
For more information, please visit CeMoG (German only).

  “Europe for Citizens”: Funding Initiatives to Strengthen Remembrance and to Enhance Civic Participation at the EU Level

The Council Regulation (EU) No 390/2014 of 14 April 2014 establises the ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme for the period 2014-2020. The aim of this programme is to contribute to citizens' understanding of the EU, its history and diversity; to foster European citizenship and improve conditions for civic and democratic participation at the EU level; to raise awareness of remembrance, common history and values; and to encourage democratic citizen participation at the EU level by developing citizen understanding of the EU policymaking process, and through the promotion of opportunities for societal and intercultural engagement and volunteering at the EU level.
For more information, please visit Europe for Citizens.

  Eurydice: New report on the Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe

The development of quality mass higher-education systems is high on policy agendas at both national and European levels. To expand the knowledge-base and foster innovation and progress within the EU, a growing number of European citizens now need to acquire high-level knowledge, skills and competencies. Higher education systems in Europe should therefore be designed to respond and adapt to the needs of our increasingly knowledge-based economy and societies. To support evidence-based policymaking, this Eurydice report sheds light on current national and institutional policies and practices aimed at increasing and widening access, reducing student dropout, and improving the employability of higher education graduates in Europe.
Download of the Eurydice report.

  The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights: “Youth human rights at risk during the crisis”

On the Council of Europe website, Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks has once again underlined the fact that young people are one of the groups hit hardest by the economic crisis in Europe, with youth unemployment the most common pathology among countries implementing austerity measures. He also says the rights of young people to equal treatment and participation are being undermined, as is their place in society and in Europe. The Commissioner believes that in discussions involving the crisis, a rights-based approach should replace the current neglect of the plight of young Europeans.
Read more at Youth Partnership or the Council of Europe Commissioner.

  Call for Applications: EAEA Grundtvig Award 2014 for Adult Learning

With its call for nominations for the Grundtvig Award for innovation and excellence in adult education, the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) is preparing to honour adult education projects linked to World War I remembrance, peace and conflict resolution. This year's theme is “Remembering World War I for the Future – Adult Education promoting peace and cohesion in Europe”. The EAEA Grundtvig Award highlights project results that produce new ideas, new partnerships, new methodologies and a new understanding of how we can work in adult learning. Projects can include videos, photographs, books, Power Point presentations, slides and posters. The deadline for submission is 7 September 2014. The EAEA welcomes nominations from adult education providers across and outside Europe.
Find out more on European Association for the Education of Adults.

  Call for Papers: Youth Challenges in the Ultraperipheral Regions of Europe

The Youth Observatory of the Azores is organising the international colloquium “The challenges of the Youth in the Ultraperipheral Regions of Europe”. It will take place from 4 to 5 December 2014 in S. Miguel, Azores (Portugal). The organisers invite to submit papers that address any of the subjects related to the problematic challenges of the youth in insular contexts. The proposals for papers or posters shall be submitted and sent by 15 July 2014. The papers may be presented in Portuguese or English, as single-authored or co-authored papers.
Find out more on Azorean Youth Observatory.

  On Europe: The “Salzburger Hochschulwochen 2014”

28 July - 3 August 2014, Salzburg (Austria)
A century ago, the First World War led to the “seminal catastrophe of the 20th century” (George F. Kennan) in Europe. It gave rise to the League of Nations, a body whose political failure ushered in the Second World War. Until very recently, the foundation and growth of the European Union had successfully ended almost all forms of armed conflict on the continent. But now the European Project is being called into question. In an era of financial crises and social upheaval – of unprecedented migration and what British academic Mary Kaldor calls ‘new wars’ – Europe must redefine itself in order to survive.
Taking place in a city that historically has been important in European events, the Salzburger Hochschulwoche 2014 will ask, and seek to answer, important questions about Europe’s future. With its rich religious history and fascinating cultural present, Salzburg has always been a transfer centre for the rest of the continent. Programmed events will examine its European past, but also look beyond Austrian and other national borders.

Find out more on Salzburger Hochschulwochen 2014 (in German only).

  4th Global International Studies Conference 2014: “Justice, Peace and Stability: Risks and Opportunities for Governance and Development”

6-9 August 2014, Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
The goal of this event is to provide an interaction space in which International Relations (IR) research expertise can be shared at an international level, thus contributing to the expansion of a truly global professional network. To this end, IR scholars from around the world will meet up in Frankfurt and present their research to a broad audience made up of scholars and experts from international studies and its many related fields.
In addition to classical issues in diplomacy, security and development studies, panels and round-table talks will pay special attention to novel issues in global politics, including emerging actors in international relations and new forms of south-south cooperation.

Find out more on Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main.

  Bookmarks: Training course for educators and teachers on combating hate speech online through human rights education

15-19 October 2014, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
The Council of Europe has recently published Bookmarks, a manual on combating hate speech online through human rights education. Bookmarks includes educational activities for young people aged 13 to 18 years old. Bookmarks is intended as a key reference of the No Hate Speech Campaign. In 2014 the Council of Europe will organise several training activities in cooperation with national campaign committees. Deadline for registration is 28 August 2014. All interested candidates should fill in the online application form. The training course will be carried out in French.

Find out more on Council of Europe.


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.

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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.