NECE Conference 2015: "'Us' and 'Them': Citizenship Education in an Interdependent World"

22-24 October 2015, Thessaloniki, Greece


Conference Blog & Documentation, Interviews, etc.

The 2015 NECE Conference in Thessaloniki built on the 2014 NECE Conference in Vienna, which focused on the conflicts in and around Europe. Starting point of the 2015 conference was the question of how to reimagine and define the role of citizenship education in increasingly divided and polarized societies. Fundamentalist religious, ethnic and cultural perceptions of ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ play an ever more important role in the ongoing crises and upheavals in today’s world.

NECE Conference 2015: "'Us' and 'Them': Citizenship Education in an Interdependent World"

The NECE Conference 2015 was looking into the causes and the implications of this phenomenon in four areas relevant for citizenship educators:
  • Europe’s economic, social and political divisions, which have triggered discourses of fear and dissociation in core countries of the EU and have helped nationalistic and populist movements gain ground.
  • The perception of an open confrontation between proclaimed values of the 'West' and the 'Islamic World' which has led to dangerous developments in societies on both sides of the Mediterranean.
  • The impact of the refugee crisis on European societies in the short, medium and long term.
  • The repercussions of the war in Ukraine and relations between Russia, Ukraine and the EU that have led to ideological and nationalist regression and hatred.
The second largest city in Greece, Thessaloniki, has been the perfect location for NECE 2015 because it was always a historic centre of diversity and multiculturalism in Southeast Europe. You can read more about Thessaloniki’s role and potential here. The Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki, which can look back on sixty years of history in the city, has been acting as a partner for the event.

Video impressions from the conference

Picture gallery

Conference programme and report

PDF-Icon Conference programme
PDF-Icon Conference programme (short version)
PDF-Icon Overview Open Format, 22 October 2015 (2.30-4.00pm)
PDF-Icon Dossier of biographies
PDF-Icon Conference report by Ivo Pertijs

Conference venue

22-24 October 2015
Makedonia Palace Hotel
2, Megalou Alexandrou Avenue
54640 Thessaloniki

Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki
Vas. Olgas 66
P.O.B. 508 23
GR-540 14 Thessaloniki


Federal Agency for Civic Education (Germany)
ProDemos (the Netherlands)
Federal Ministry of Education and Women’s Affairs (Austria)

In co-operation with

Civic Education Centre (Czech Republic)
Citizenship Education Centre (Poland)
DARE Network (Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe)
University of Ljubljana – Faculty of Social Sciences

Supported by

Robert Bosch Stiftung (Germany)

Partner of the NECE conference 2015

Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki (Germany)
HAiE (Greece)

Media partner



 lab concepts GmbH (Germany)

 on behalf of Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb

 Phone +49 (0) 30 259 227 59


Federal Agency for Civic Education

Petra Grüne

Adenauerallee 86

53113 Bonn

Phone +49 (0)228 99515-289



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!
This book presents a new conceptual model of the competences which citizens require to participate in democratic culture and live peacefully together with others in culturally diverse societies. The model is the product of intensive work over a two-year period, and has been strongly endorsed in an international consultation with leading educational experts.