Confronting Inequalities! The Role of Citizenship Education

NECE Conference 2019, 24 - 27 October, Glasgow
Technology Innovation Center (TIC), Strathclyde University

Registration is open now! Please register here.
Glasgow (© Giuseppe Milo)

Set against the ongoing Brexit drama, NECE 2019 looks at the growing rifts and inequalities in Europe and its neighbouring regions that are at the heart of the political crises in many democracies. They are "tearing apart the fabric of our societies; (...) bringing new anxieties and new anger to our people, and new passions to our politics." (Paul Collier). This is particular noticeable in the United Kingdom (including Scotland and Glasgow) where - according to a UN report - a fifth of the population, 14 million people, live in poverty. (See Statement on Visit to the United Kingdom, by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights)

NECE 2019 is proposing to discuss how the many forms of inequality - class, income, gender, race, ethnic origin, talent and geography - are affecting the rights of citizenship in our societies - in other words inclusion and exclusion in society, participation or non-participation in politics, and last but not least individual opportunities in life. Our aim is to explore the socio-economic, political, educational and cultural dimensions of inequalities and their impact on approaches and practices of citizenship education in schools and in civil society. One fundamental question will be how citizenship education as a profession can learn to deal with the effects that inequality and poverty have on the lives of young people and citizens living on the margins of society.

We also propose to start a conversation on how we as citizenship educators can better deal with the background of economic, financial and technological trends that are shaping our lives and affecting citizens and their status and prospects in society and politics. Is it "the economy, stupid" or the "stupid economy"?

Last but not least, as the effects of climate change and global warming have been triggering deep societal concerns and new citizens' movements – such as the transnational "Fridays for Future" school strikes - NECE 2019 will look at the ever more important global dimension of inequality. We will ask how approaches to globalise citizenship education may play a bigger role in the future.

Glasgow will be an ideal city to host a conference on inequalities and citizenship education. With its heritage of industrialisation, post-industrial decline and social movements it provides an opportunity to learn about the still existing evidence of extreme inequalities and poverty in the city. At the same time, a vibrant and active civil, tech and cultural scene is waiting for us to be explored. Last but not least a great number of initiatives and education experts are looking forward to presenting their work and to be part of NECE in October. Darren McGarvey, a rapper from Glasgow and author of "Poverty Safari; Understanding the Anger of the British Underclass", will open the conference with a critical examination of narratives that surround poverty and social deprivation. Other initiatives and speakers from Glasgow, Scotland and the UK are looking forward to be to be part of NECE in October. A Call for Papers and Projects will be out at the end of April. Attendance is free; including coffee breaks and meals.


Your chance to get involved

Market place of European models and good practice projects in citizenship education
We invite you to present your organisation and your projects during the conference! Up to fifteen organisations will have the possibility to present themselves in the project market of European models and good practice projects in citizenship education. Please find PDF-Icon here the terms and conditions for participation in the project market. You can apply by filling in the project market application in the general conference registration tool.

Call for Projects
NECE 2019 is offering the opportunity to contribute to our conference programme by presenting projects about inequalities and citizenship education at the NECE Conference 2019 in Glasgow, UK. Please find PDF-Icon here more information and the terms and conditions. Please submit your proposal or project idea by using the online-factsheet. The deadline for the submission is 15 July 2019. The selection of projects will be concluded by 31 July 2019.

More information on topics and logistics will be available soon here and on as well as via #NECE 2019

For a number of centrally located hotels in Glasgow please consult the PDF-Icon hotel suggestions.

Contact Conference Management

labconcepts GmbH (Germany)
on behalf of the Federal Agency for Civic Education/ bpb

Contact/ bpb

Christoph Müller-Hofstede (NECE Coordination)
Federal Agency for Civic Education/ bpb
Adenauerallee 86
53113 Bonn

NECE is an initiative for networking citizenship education in Europe. A variety of activities have been developed within its framework to encourage the organisation of contacts, co-operation and synergies in the field of citizenship education. NECE is not an institutionalised network, but a forum that allows the spectrum of stakeholders involved in citizenship education to interact with one another. The initiative´s chief goal is to promote the Europeanisation of citizenship education, and to contribute to the creation of a European general public.
NECE Final
Through a number of activities, NECE aims to provide transparency about stakeholders and approaches in citizenship education, and to inspire transnational discussions on the topics and challenges facing the field. It brings together academics, practitioners, and policymakers at the European level, and stimulates knowledge transfer and information exchange on good practices – thereby raising awareness of the impact of citizenship education and fostering co-operation and projects. NECE is primarily directed at practitioners in citizenship and cultural education, along with scholars/experts and trainers. In pursuing its aims, the initiative also reaches out to stakeholders and multipliers from the media, politics and NGOs.

PDF-Icon NECE Magazine (PDF-Version: 10,7 MB)

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New on

The European Flag

Useful information ahead of the EU elections on

More fragmented than ever, Europe is at a crossroads, making the European elections in May 2019 are becoming an increasingly vital choice. Going to the polls can make a difference, as Brexit and other electoral shocks have shown. Elections do matter!
Please check our selection of links providing background information and a list of campaigns to promote and raise voters’ turnout in May 2019.

  • A compilation of relevant links by Maarten de Groot
  • Articles by Alberto Alemanno and Niccolò Milanese
  • A list of campaigns

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Sarah de Lange


Our new Advisory Board member, Sarah de Lange, introduces herself to NECE

NECE is happy to welcome a new Advisory Board member: Professor by special appointment at the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam, Sarah de Lange focuses in her research on European party systems. To introduce herself, she the commented on the on-going fragmentation affecting many European party systems and its implications for the upcoming EU elections.

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The EU budget 2021-2027 & Citizenship Education – Analyses by Maarten de Groot and Tony Venables with regard to the future of NECE

In its ambition to become more involved in citizenship education on the European level and against the background of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) by the European Commission as well as the results of the ECIT summer school (6-7 September 2018) and the manifesto, NECE has asked Maarten de Groot (ECIT campaign manager) and Tony Venables (European consultant and lobbyist) for a first analysis of the current state of play indicating the potentials and motives for NECE.

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Brikena Xhomaqi
Director of Lifelong learning Platform - European Civil Society for Education

Brikena Xhomaqi on citizenship education in Euope

For NECE Brikena Xomaqui, director of Lifelong Learning Platform LLLP, explained how LLLP fosters citizenship education through education and training in Europe.

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NECE Conference 2018 / 6 - 9 September 2018

This year's NECE conference in Marseille will provide a platform for the development of strategies on how citizenship education and civil society can counter the negative trend in liberal democracy and defend the civic space and basic democratic rights and freedoms in our societies.

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NECE Preparatory Workshop, 16 - 17 May, 2018, Marseille (France)

Designed to identify the forms and conditions of political-cultural education in France, with particular attention to the south of France, the workshop brought together players from the fields of politics, culture, education, science and the media in France as well as relevant civil society organisations from the Marseille region. The findings and experiences of the workshop will be incorporated into the further design of the NECE Conference 2018.

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István Hegedűs

Election Thriller in Hungary by István Hegedűs

In this article István Hegedűs draws a concise analyse of the the Hungarian parliamentary elections taking place on Sunday, 8 April 2018. El País will publish a Spanish verison of the article on 7 April. Please read here the English version.

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Lorenzo Marsili

Lorenzo Marsili on the parliamentary elections in Italy

Lorenzo Marsili is transnationally active as a writer and commentator. He is also the founder of European Alternatives, a transnational citizen’s movement. NECE asked Lorenzo Marsili in what way the results of the parliamentary elections in Italy fit in Europe’s current political landscape.

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Group picture of workshop participants


Expert Workshop: "Fragility and Resilience of Democracies in Europe. Where now for Citizenship Education and Civil Societies?"

This workshop was to discuss and reflect on the causes and impacts of the current crises of democracies, in particular the trends towards illiberal democracies in the eastern member states of the EU and electoral "revolts" which took place in the US and the UK in 2016.

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NECE All=In Network

NAME CHANGE: “Hard to Reach” Focus Group now “All=In Network” – Citizenship Learning for Inclusion and Diversity

A book of papers and practice reports from major European countries summarises major insights and ideas shared within the Focus Group: 'Beyond Us Versus Them: Citizenship Education with Hard to Reach Learners in Europe' which can be downloaded here. An animation video ‘How Are We Teaching Citizenship?’ available here summarises issues and questions when speaking of “Hard to Reach learners” and their inclusion.

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Jon Worth

Jon Worth about his Euroblog

Jon Worth is a known and asked blogger who writes about EU policy, Brexit and Germany policy. NECE asked him what he intends with his Euroblog.

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Frau Meijvogel-Volk

Meijvogel-Volk about the Democracy in the Netherlands

After the defeat of the right-wing populist party PVV in the parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, many Europeans have been relieved. But in how far we might speak about a defeat at all, since the PVV gained five more seats in Parliament? We spoke to Tatjana Meijvogel-Volk from ProDemos – House for Democracy and the Rule of Law about the elections results and their effect to the work of civil society platforms like NECE.

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Prof. Haci Halil Uslucan, Universität Duisburg

Haci Halil Uslucan about the Turkish-European Relations

The political situation between Turkey and Europe is currently very tense. The Turkish government has created quite a stir on a number of occasions by making provocative comments against Germany and the Netherlands. Yet it is precisely these two countries that have taken in Turkish migrants for decades. NECE spoke to Professor Haci Halil Uslucan, Professor for Modern Turkish Studies and Integration Research at Duisburg-Essen University about the threat to democracy and Turkey's prospects of joining the EU.

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Almut Möller

Brexit and what it means for Europe

To many continental Europeans it came as a complete surprise when the grand old United Kingdom suddenly became a real-life satire in the aftermath of the EU membership referendum. But Brexit raises some fundamental questions for the EU as a whole, and the remaining member states have to work harder to keep the promise of prosperity, security, and cohesion of the EU-27.

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Demonstration in Łódź, January 23trd, 2016

Interview with Alicja Pacewicz, Vice President of The Center for Citizenship Education (CCE) in Poland

In October 2015, the Law and Justice Party won the elections in Poland and gained the absolute majority in the parliament. NECE talked with Alicja Pacewicz, Vice President of The Center for Citizenship Education (CCE), about the rapid changes in her country following last year´s change of government.

What kind of impact do the changes have on education, especially on teaching history? Which are possible effects of a more nationalist, patriotic version of history on the European and transnational outlook in citizenship education? How are NGOs affected by the political change? And, with regard to the new situation, what can transnational citizenship education networks like NECE do? In the interview, Alicja Pacewicz shares her personal opinion on these subjects and discusses the consequences of the recent political changes in Poland.

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During a NECE workshop preparing the conference of 2013 in The Hague, some forty participants explored various scenarios about the future of citizenship in Europe. Their inputs were used to create four different future images of Europe in 2030: Great Europe, Network of Nations, Unity of Communities and European Spring. The developed clip functioned as a valuable access for discussions during the conference.

Redaktionell empfohlener externer Inhalt "NECE Europe 2030 - YouTube" von bin damit einverstanden, daß externe Inhalte von nachgeladen werden. Damit werden personenbezogenen Daten (mindestens die IP-Adresse) an den Drittanbieter übermittelt. Weiteres dazu finden Sie in unserer Datenschutzerklärung.

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Summary of Workshop Results

Events & Documentation

With a series of regular conferences and workshops, NECE supports exchange on good practices and scientific discourse in citizenship education, as well as its transfer into the arena of practical application. Annual conferences are dedicated to issues of current interest, such as citizenship education in immigration societies.

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Flagge der Europäischen Union.


Three times a year, the Newsletter introduces players, stakeholders, organisations and projects in citizenship education in Europe. It provides insights into current professional debates, reports on important events, and offers information on interesting activities and publications.

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Focus Groups

The NECE Focus Groups are a new tool of the NECE networking process. We have taken up participants’ suggestions for an exchange forum between the yearly conferences and for more transparency about networking results of the conferences. These groups are open to everyone who is interested in a more intensive exchange and continuous work on specific topics and projects.

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NECE - Networking European Citizenship Education


Here you can find relavant publications on Citizenship Education.

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The NECE Database provides systematic information about experts, organisations and projects. It also includes a search function that allows participants to contact potential partners for projects or cooperative ventures throughout Europe. It has been developed by bpb together with the University of Bielefeld.

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NECE Topics

NECE - Networking European Citizenship Education


The NECE activities cover a range of topics relevant for citizenship education in Europe. The statements and articles from experts and practioniers exemplify the diversity of perspectives and working models in Europe.

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Publikationen Teaser

NECE- Networking European Citizenship Education

Citizenship Education in Europe

Initiated and established under different historical and political circumstances and backgrounds, citizenship education discourse differs from country to country. Here you can find a range of contributions that provide insight into the origins, systems, and debates on citizenship education in the different nations that make up Europe.

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NECE - Networking European Citizenship Education

Co-operation Projects

Many national initiatives have discovered counterparts in other countries within the continuously-growing network, and it has given birth to several transnational projects. Here you will find some of the latest pan-European projects launched within NECE.

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NECE - Networking European Citizenship Education

Glossary of Terms

The discourse on the theory and practical experience of citizenship education is not limited to national borders anymore. The transnational discourse is affected by language and translation problems. What is meant by citizenship education in Germany, England or Poland?

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Long time no see: Still remember the NECE database?

The database is designed for networking and transparency among organisations and experts in European citizenship education. So please register yourself or your organisation and keep you profile up to date!
→ Go to the database!


NECE Newsletter 02/2019

Useful information ahead of the EU elections on
Going to the polls can make a difference, as Brexit and other electoral shocks have shown. Elections do matter! Read more about it here.

Interview with Sarah de Lange
Our new Advisory Board member, Sarah de Lange, introduces herself to NECE. Read the interview here.

NECE Conference 2018: Brave new Worlds?! The Future of Democracy and Citizenship Education
6 - 9 September 2018, Marseille (France)
Conference documentation available here.

Lorenzo Marsili on the parliamentary elections in Italy
NECE asked Lorenzo Marsili in what way the results of the parliamentary elections in Italy fit in Europe’s current political landscape. Read the comment here.

bpb statement to the Public consultation on EU funds in the area of values and mobility
The consultation took place as part of the preparations for the Multiannual Financial Framework which will define and shape the EU Budget after 2020. Click here for the PDF-Icon statement and the PDF-Icon questionnaire.

DARE (Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe) Mini-conference on Populism and Democratic Resilience
14 June 2018 in Nafplio, Greece
Find out more

25th EUROCLIO Annual Conference and Professional Training and Development Course: Mediterranean Dialogue
April 21-26 2018 in Marseille
Find out more

Eurydice Brief: Citizenship Education at School in Europe – 2017
In an age where the importance of citizenship education is becoming apparent to deal with the current threats to fundamental European values, many countries are implementing changes in their national policies. Read more here

NAME CHANGE: “Hard to Reach” Focus Group now “All-in network” - Your chance to get involved!
Labelling learners as “Hard to Reach” immediately suggests that the problem lies with the learner rather than the educational system.
Find out more

MAPPING TRANSITION IN EASTERN EUROPE: Experience of Change after the End of Communism, edited by Louisa Slavkova
Click here for the publication

Civic Education in Eastern Europe - bpb publishes collection of essays as free e-book
The publication is available in English and Russian language.