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NECE Conference 2013 - Online registration now open! 14. – 16. November 2013

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NECE Conference 2013 - Online registration now open!
Register now until 7 November!
NECE - Networking European Citizenship Education - Conference

“The European Union and the Promise of Democracy: What can Citizenship Education and Civil Society contribute?”
14-16 November 2013, The Hague (the Netherlands)

Europe’s ongoing economic crisis has engendered a crisis of confidence in the European project and the costs and benefits of further European integration. The democratic deficit of the European Union has now become more and more visible and contributes to the backlash in support for the EU. It has also become very clear now that the economic crisis is dividing Europe and may ultimately lead to the break up of the EU. Against this background this year´s NECE Conference will deal with resulting challenges for citizenship educators across Europe. With an eye to the elections to the European Parliament in May 2014, NECE 2013 will explore the topics of participation and democratisation and focus on the EU's democratic deficit for discussing possible consequences and the role for citizenship education. The conference in The Hague will offer opportunities for a critical debate on four levels:

1. Scenarios and outlines for the future of the EU
2. European civil society and the 'democratic deficit' of the European Union
3. Role of citizenship education in the European crisis
4. Practical approaches and projects of citizenship education


Opportunities to actively take part will be provided in numerous workshops, a world café and an open forum. Also, a project market for European models and good practice projects in citizenship education is offered. At the end of the conference, participants are invited to draw up a public ‘Conference Paper’ with recommendations on the topic of democratisation and participation in the EU.

Frans Timmermans, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, the well-known Dutch publicist Paul Scheffer, professor of European Studies at Tilburg University and Lorenzo Marsili, executive director of European Alternatives have already confirmed their participation.

The current conference programme is attached. Conference language is English (without simultaneous translation). There is no conference fee. The organisers do not cover travel and accommodation costs. Places are limited! Register here: https://lcem.lab-concepts.de/registration/nece-conference-2013/en

We are looking forward to welcoming you in The Hague - hometown of our NECE partner ProDemos - House for Democracy and the Rule of Law and centre of governance in the Netherlands, as well as home to many institutions aimed at improving international justice and peace!

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the conference management at:

lab concepts GmbH
on behalf of the Federal Agency for Civic Education, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 30 / 252 932 56
Fax: +49 (0)30 / 252 932 61
E-Mail: nece-thehague2013(at)lab-concepts.de
Web: www.nece.eu


Kind regards
on behalf of the Federal Agency for Civic Education
Juliane Rast

lab concepts
the Laboratory for Conception and Realisation
for Politics, Education and Culture GmbH
Friedrichstrasse 206 | 10969 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0) 30 / 252 932 56
Fax: +49 (0) 30 / 252 932 61
Office Bonn
Am Hofgarten 18 | 53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 (0) 228/ 24 98 110
Fax: +49 (0) 228/ 24 98 111

 

The European Union and the Promise of Democracy:
What can Citizenship Education and Civil Society contribute?
Conference . 14 – 16 November 2013 . The Hague, the Netherlands

The societal and political debate concerning the future shape of the EU is entering a crucial phase. In the recent hectic years of crisis management, more and more decisions have been taken by fewer and fewer co-players in the democratic machine called Europe. According to recent surveys, many citizens now take a critical or even hostile stance towards the European Union, as it seems to have nothing to offer them but austerity and social sacrifices. National and populist feelings demonstrate the extent of a great collective uncertainty in European societies. We believe European citizenship educators are facing at least two major challenges resulting from this state of the European Union.

Firstly, Europe’s ongoing economic crisis has engendered a crisis of confidence in the European project and the costs and benefits of further European integration. Fewer and fewer citizens are prepared to transfer power and competences to ‘Europe’. The democratic deficit of the EU (once hidden by the ‘implicit consensus’ of European citizens in the early decades of the EU) has now become more and more visible and contributes to the backlash in support for the EU.

Secondly, the economic crisis is dividing Europe and may ultimately lead to the break up of the EU. Centrifugal forces are pulling European public opinion apart, separating the French from the Germans and the Germans from everyone else. The southern nations of Spain, Italy and Greece are becoming ever more estranged as evidenced by their frustration with Brussels, Berlin and the perceived unfairness of the economic system.

This is where the central questions begin that will be the focus of NECE 2013. “Participation Now!” was the motto of NECE 2012 in Córdoba (Spain), which concentrated on dialogue with grassroot movements of the Arab Spring. With an eye to the elections of the European Parliament in May 2014, NECE 2013 will continue to explore the topics of participation and democratisation and focus on the EU´s democratic deficit. However, deploring the democratic deficit in the EU is one thing. Citizenship education, on the other hand, must critically examine its European policy campaigns and projects in terms of their coverage and effectiveness. And it should concentrate more on the criticism and doubts of frustrated European citizens. The conference in The Hague will offer opportunities for a critical debate on four levels:

1. Scenarios and outlines for the future of the EU
2. European civil society and the ‘democratic deficit’ of the European Union
3. Role of citizenship education in the European crisis
4. Practical approaches and projects of citizenship education

Opportunities to actively take part will be provided in numerous workshops and forums. At the end of the conference, the participants will draw up a public ‘Conference Paper’ comprising recommendations on the topic of democratisation and participation in the EU.