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

This workshop is 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.

We focused on the following questions:
  • Which are the long-term trends behind the symptoms of crisis in the "West" and the authoritarian developments in the "East"? How are both trends connected and related with each other?
  • What are the new lines of conflict: Is this primarily about cultural or social/economic issues?
  • And how should civic education and civil societies react to these new challenges in an effective way? How can dialogues beyond the progressive mainstream be organised?
The workshop brought together NECE partners and European experts, intellectuals, and practitioners, among them Ivan Krastev, Karolina Wigura, Jan Sowa, Edit Inotai, Marek Cichocki and Wolfgang Merkel. The diversity of perspectives and backgrounds will serve to shape a transnational agenda for civic educators and civil society in times of crises and uncertainty.

Conclusions and papers of the workshop are part of the preparations for the next NECE conference in Marseille in September 2018.

The workshop took place at the Europejskie Centrum Solidarności (European Solidarity Center). The ECS is a cultural institution and museum that commemorates the revolution of Solidarity and the fall of communism in Europe, but it is also an educational, research and academic centre, an archive, library and multimedia library. Last but not least, it is a public meeting space for citizens who feel responsible for the development of democracy: a place where solidarity and citizenship are put into practice.

PDF-Icon Report of the workshop (by Marinko Banjac, University of Ljubljana)

Workshop programme: PDF-Icon NECE Workshop Gdansk Programme

Participants List: PDF-Icon NECE Workshop Gdansk List of Participants

Biographies: PDF-Icon NECE Workshop Gdansk Biodossier

Abstracts of PDF-Icon Marc Soignet / PDF-Icon Karolina Wigura / PDF-Icon Marek Cichocki /
PDF-Icon Wolfgang Merkel / PDF-Icon Edit Inotai

PDF-Icon Presentation of Wolfgang Merkel (Copyright Wolfgang Merkel)

Impressions from the NECE 2017 workshop in Gdansk, Poland

12 - 13 November 2017

Workshop venue
Europejskie Centrum Solidarnosci (European Solidarity Center)
pI. Solidarności 1
80-863 Gdańsk (Poland)

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

Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb
Christoph Müller-Hofstede
Adenauerallee 86
53113 Bonn



Please take a look at the new NECE Newsletter: NECE Newsletter 04/2017 (html-Version)

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

European Civic Academy - NGOs as Drivers for Enhanced, Civic and Democratic Spaces in Europe,
30 September - 1st October 2017 in Bruxelles.
Register here

Inside Our Blind Spots - What we report and what we don't see.
Medienkonferenz in Kyiv on 5-8 October 2017.
Register here

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Short Interview with Jon Worth

Meijvogel-Volk about the Democracy in the Netherlands 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. Read here.

Haci Halil Uslucan about the Turkish-European Relations
NECE spoke to 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. Read here.

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.

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