Workshop 1: Creating a bottom-up Europe: Can citizenship education interact or co-operate with civil society movements?

The forms of European initiatives, which call for more direct citizen participation at the EU level and the inclusion of transnational debates in political decision processes, are many and varied and have constantly expanded in the recent years of the EU crisis. It is hoped that the positions formulated here will help to overcome the prevailing democratic deficit and contribute to a bottom-up citizens’ Europe. Based on two examples, the workshop will pursue the question of how a European civil society can be strengthened and can help to overcome the crisis. What should be the next steps on the way to a democratisation of the EU? What recommendations and demands are of crucial importance? And finally, how can citizenship initiatives and other civil society alliances integrate their social and political interests into the political process on the European level? The issue of whether citizenship education can work together with civil society initiatives will also be discussed. Can alliances amplify the respective effects and does cooperation thus offer itself up? Are European initiatives the ideal hotbed for critical European citizenship education or should education and action always be thought of as strictly separated from each other?


“Citizen's Pact”
The “Citizen's Pact” is a three-year long effort to bridge the infamous democratic deficit in Europe and provide bottom-up feedback to the 2014 European elections. Through more than 70 panels, 13 international forums and 2 hearings in the European Parliament, thousands of citizens, networks and organisations from throughout the continent have participated in the bottom-up drafting of a Manifesto presenting specific policy proposals for an alternative Europe.
by PDF-Icon Lorenzo Marsili, European Alternatives (Italy)

European Citizens' Initiative (ECI)
The ECI is one of the major innovations of the Treaty of Lisbon, aimed at increasing direct democracy in the European Union. The new democracy instrument enables one million EU citizens, who are nationals of a significant number of Member States, to call directly on the European Commission to bring forward an initiative of interest to them in an area of EU competence. The ECI has been in place for 18 months now but has it already unfolded its potential to democratise the EU?
by PDF-Icon Carsten Berg, The ECI Campaign (Germany)

Introduction & Moderation: Alicja Pacewicz, Center for Citizenship Education (Poland)
Rapporteur: PDF-Icon Christine Rose, Freelancer (Germany)

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    Please take a look at the new NECE Newsletter:

    NECE Magazine 2016
    The NECE Magazine brings you up to date on citizenship education in Europe and its neighboring countries.

    NECE Blog 2016
    Keeping up the tradition, NECE is running a conference blog. The blog will not only provide live documentation of the Zagreb conference but will help you familiarise with the upcoming conference beforehand.

    Interview with Alicja Pacewicz
    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.

    Civic Education in Eastern Europe - bpb publishes collection of essays as free e-book in English and Russian
    The Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb) has published the book "Civic Education and Democratisation in Eastern Partnership Countries". The publication is available as a free e-book in English and Russian language.

    A new Council of Europe reference framework of competences for democratic culture!
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