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(Image: © BpB/BILDKRAFTWERK/Peter-Paul Weiler)


Dear Colleagues,

2020 will be remembered by all of us as a unique year of worldwide disruption and upheaval: the pandemic has worsened inequalities and poverty worldwide, and democracies are facing new tests. With the NECE CAMPUS 2020 and the digital NECE Conference 2020, we tried to build new spaces and use new tools for our work. We will continue to benefit from this great leap into the virtual world beyond the pandemic. The essential work of networking and transnational exchange will also be facilitated by the new NECE website. I hope this year will be remembered as watershed moment not only for NECE but also for citizenship education in Europe – as proposed in our Declaration which has been signed by a great number of networks, scholars and citizens already.

Last but not least, I’d like to inform you that the end of this historic year also marks the end of my working life in the bpb - and with this my role as NECE Coordinator. Petra Grüne, who has been involved in the management of NECE from the very beginning, will be taking over as the main contact person together with Anja Ostermann from labconcepts. For those who’d like to stay in touch please send a note to nece-network@labconcepts.de who will provide you with my new contact details.

I thank Petra Grüne and my colleagues at the bpb for their ready advice and assistance at all times. For many years, Anja Ostermann and her team at labconcepts have been doing a wonderful job to keep NECE alive and kicking. Thanks for your energy and creativity! Last but absolutely not least many thanks to you: the readers of this Newsletter and the ‘NECE citizens’ all over the world for supporting our work in so many ways. Your commitment is needed more than ever in view of the accelerating transformation of the geopolitical, ecological and social map of our world.

On this note, I’m sure we’ll keep rolling on… like these guys in a historic session:

Best wishes! Keep well! Peaceful holidays!

Christoph Müller-Hofstede (Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb/NECE coordination)

Anja Ostermann plus the NECE Team of labconcepts (Bonn/Berlin)

  NEWS about NECE  

Documentation of the NECE Conference 2020 at nece.eu
On the occasion of the German EU presidency, NECE held the 2020 edition of its annual conference in an online format with live broadcasting from Berlin, Germany. An impressive line up of key note speakers such as Thomas Krüger/bpb, Johannes Ebert/Goethe Institut, Andreas Görgen/Foreign Office and Maja Göpel, The New Institute discussed the need for more and better citizenship education in view of global challenges and accelerating transformations. The conference provided a pluralistic offer for fair debates, diversity of perspectives, and a learning space for participation. A great diversity of European and international stakeholders, networks, experts and practitioners participated. New digital spaces and tools offered the possibility to network with experts, civil society actors and policy makers from Europe, the MENA region and Africa. Videos of live streams and sessions are published on our NECE documentation page!

Under the heading ‘Time for Action’, the ‘declaration’ offers a list of recommendations to the Council of Europe, the European Commission, the European Parliament, national governments, cities and municipalities. Numerous organisations, institutions and citizens have already supported the ‘declaration’ with their signatures! Sign up for more and better citizenship education – for further information, please click here. (Image: © Gabriele Schlipf)

‘Without teachers, there are no citizens, and without citizens, there is no democracy.’
Quoting Ursula von der Leyens’s statement in the wake of the horrific murder of Samuel Paty, Niccolò Milanese (NECE Advisory Board member) explains the main ideas of the NECE declaration here.

CONNECT, DISCOVER, EXCHANGE – NECE launched its new website
NECE just launched the new NECE website containing many new features such as the NECE toolbox, NECE experts and a NEWS section. It also provides a list of European flagship projects and experts in citizenship education. The aim is to strengthen citizenship education by adding a European and transnational dimension, facilitating exchange and the sharing of information among partners and stakeholders of NECE and its corresponding networks. We look forward to your feedback! Is this website useful for your work in citizenship education? www.nece.eu!

Reopened call: MyNewEurope – Apply now!

What are your ideas for a sustainable future Europe? What lessons for the future can we draw from the current crisis? How will society and politics transform in the future? And most importantly: What initiatives and projects can implement ideas with formats and methods of citizenship education in 2021 in an innovative and sustainable way? Apply now for the re-opened call MyNewEurope of the NECE platform (www.nece.eu). Up to 15 applicants will be selected to present their project to a broad audience in a virtual event in the first quarter of 2021! Read more.

Putting European Citizenship in the Agenda: ECIT Conference in Brussels
The conference held on 1-2 December 2020 and organised by ECIT was a vibrant exploration of European citizenship. A key theme was that citizenship education should have a greater European dimension. Every child should be educated about this first transnational citizenship of the modern era. The conference followed on from NECE’s event the previous month and was an opportunity to promote its Declaration to representatives of the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament and stakeholders. Main action points: engage MEPs and others in informal dialogue to encourage implementation of the Declaration; promote a pilot project for a centre of excellence; prepare a European Citizens’ Initiative. Read more.

Cultural and Linguistic Identity Portfolio
The Cultural and Linguistic Identity Portfolio (CLIP) is one of the results of the NECE Focus Group Competences for Democratic Culture, which will finish its work by the end of 2020. The group brought together educators and multipliers from diverse educational contexts who explored the implementation of the Council of Europe’s Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (www.coe.int/rfcdc) in their institutional, local or national contexts. Read more.

Zentrum fir politesch Bildung: Catch the Democracy Train!

On the 20th of November, the third edition of the “Democracy Train” took place. The format allows kids and Members of Parliament to discuss children’s rights. Due to the current circumstances we carried out a digital version. 5th and 6th graders from primary school identified problems and presented their ideas to members of the “Chambre des Députés” via Zoom. Together both the children and politicians thought about the first steps to solve this issues.

Duerchbléck – Check this educational booklet on social and political topics!
duerchbléck, ‘(clear) view’ in Luxembourgish, is an educational booklet for teachers in secondary schools. It is available in German and French and for selected issues also in English. This booklet offers background information, introductory activities and worksheets on social and political topics. The methods described in the booklet encourage students to consider multiple perspectives and later to form their own opinion. The material has been conceived mainly for classes related to social sciences, but can also be used across disciplines. Editions are available in English. More information is available here.

INSIDES FROM EENCE (Eastern European Network for Citizenship Education)

The EENCE Annual Conference 2020 – 1:0 COVID-19 pandemic
Despite the current challenges caused by the pandemic and global conflicts, EENCE organized its Annual Conference 2020 during October 31 – November 14, 2020. Speakers and experts from non-governmental organizations and state agencies from the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia shared their knowledge, expertise and best practices on a wide range of real life issues. The conference offered the audience the opportunity to outline international needs and challenges and identify possible areas for future development. Please find more information here.

  Restarting Europe  

More funds and possibilities for CSOs in EU
In November great news came from Brussels: the European Parliament and EU Member States in the Council, with the support of the European Commission, finally agreed that the Rights and Values Fund will receive an additional 800 million euro, taking the total to 1.6 billion euro. These resources will be available for civil society organizations fighting for democracy, the rule of law and human rights in their countries and local communities. Read more.

European Democracy Action Plan for a better future
To promote free and fair elections, strengthen media freedom and counter disinformation the European Commission presented its European Democracy Action Plan on December 3, 2020. Responding to challenges of the digital revolution, this plan sets out measures to strengthen and protect European democracies as well as free participation of citizens and journalists. Read more.

Safeguarding European values: The case for a European Agency for Citizenship Education
VALUES UNITE proposes a European agency for citizenship education. Together with the European Policy Centre they have just published a joint discussion paper on how to strengthen the quality and impact of citizenship education in general and especially with a European dimension. Download the paper here.


Applications welcome for the programme “The Future of Democracy”

THE NEW INSTITUTE opened a second call for fellowships for the programme ‘The Future of Democracy’ which aims to face current challenges and failures of the democratic system. They will bring together globally leading scholars and practitioners to imagine how democracy can be reconfigured to be fit for purpose and capable of evolving in the future. The work will be interdisciplinary and trans-sectoral and very much solution-oriented, in the spirit of the aim and ambition of THE NEW INSTITUTE. More information is available here.
(Image: © Maurizio Cattelan & Pierpaolo Ferrari)


Making the #righttoeducation a reality in times of #COVID19
The Conference of Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe supported a Political Declaration accompanied by a Roadmap for Action on the Council of Europe Education response to COVID-19. Read more.


Art matters in languages and intercultural citizenship education

This introductory paper briefly discusses the pressing need for intercultural citizenship education in a human world made small, currently shut down due to a pandemic. Find out more. (Image: Unsplash/Bryan Garces)

  Historiana: An online educational multimedia tool for history educators across Europe

The online platform Historiana promotes the acquisition of cross-border historical knowledge and the development of critical thinking, digital and other transversal competences important for preparing a young generation for active participation as citizens of the 21st century. Visit website.

  A one of a kind European exchange project by VPRO and Euroclio

Last year, EuroClio and Dutch broadcasting company VPRO joined forces to launch a very exciting and unique exchange project for European schools: In Europe Schools. It is a one of a kind project that encourages a transnational approach to teaching crucial and challenging topics like gender equality, migration and climate change. It focuses on the development of research skills and media literacy through documentary-making. The Education Kits offered include all the necessary materials – no preparation needed! Find out more.

  The Last Europeans – Jewish Perspectives on the Crises of an Idea

Parallel to the exhibition at the Jewish Museum Hohenems (until October 3, 2021), the website http://www.lasteuropeans.eu/en/ offers interviews on the development of Europe and recordings of events at the “Very Central European University”. It also offers a critical European diary that is well worth reading. For a whole year the “Very Central European University” is the venue of an open debate on the future of Europe, calling for a discourse on the real and ideal substance of the European Union, on potential threats and opportunities and on forward-looking and outdated concepts.

  Global Monitor of COVID-19’s Impact on Democracy and Human Rights

An online monitoring tool provides access to democracy and human rights-related information on COVID-19 measures by country, region and worldwide. Visit the website!

Please note: Any links provided are for information and discussion only. The views expressed are not necessarily shared by NECE as a networking platform.

  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 do you want to enlist their support/advice? We’d love to hear from you! Send your contributions, ideas, comments, and questions to: nece-newsletter@labconcepts.de or share your stories and projects via Social Media using our Hashtag #digitalNECE.


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The NECE Newsletter is published regularly and distributed via e-mail. The NECE Newsletter is published regularly and distributed via e-mail. It is available to anyone on www.bpb.de/veranstaltungen/netzwerke/nece/. 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

Editorial support:
Sabrina Räpple & Susanne Pöschko

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