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Citizenship Education within the Context of Migration and Minorities | NECE - Networking European Citizenship Education |

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Citizenship Education within the Context of Migration and Minorities 18-20 November, Krzyzowa

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As a consequence of historical and current migration flows deriving from European integration and globalisation processes, mobility and migration have become important features of describing modern European societies. European societies today have to deal with the meeting of different world views, cultural traditions, languages, religious beliefs as well as notions of human existence.

Since the inception of European unification, Europeans have increasingly become mobile. There are different reasons for this mobility, among them employment, education, and partnership. In addition to European national and cultural heterogeneity, globalisation as well as the history of labour migration and colonialism brought about cultural encounters and conflicts that go beyond traditional European cultural parameters. Due to such changes, Europe has long been composed of multicultural societies – although many societies only slowly become aware of this fact. Immigrants from within and outside the European Union have established themselves and have added new features and perspectives to European societies. Another dimension of diversity is the situation of (national) minorities, in particular in the post communist European societies. Awareness of this dimension increased only after 1989.

The year 2005 marks not only the 60th anniversary of the end of the World War II that caused many migration flows all over Europe, but also marks half a century of post-war labour migration. From the mid fifties on, for example, the German government signed treaties with countries like Italy, Spain and Greece, later on with Portugal, Turkey, Morocco and former Yugoslavia in order to recruit so called guest workers to temporarily fill the lack of labourers in the booming German industry at the time.

In the early 70ies it became clear that many of the so called guest workers had become immigrants. Families were fetched; children were born in the host countries, own businesses, and an ethnic infrastructure were established. The receiving European societies had to recognize the immigration that had taken place and develop strategies of integration for the newcomers and their children with regard to education, social services, work and political participation. Taking into account the outlined developments, the workshop "Citizenship Education within the Context of European Migration" addressed the following questions: How can we provide migrants and their children with real access to education, culture and politics? Keeping the backdrop of European migration history in mind, in what ways can European citizenship further developed? What could a 3 Viola B. Georgi, NECE, Migration, Kreisau model of multicultural citizenship in Europe look like? What is the role of the major religions with regard to integration?

The workshop took place at the historical location of "Kreisau" - Krzyzowa - (Poland) and was carried out as a co-operation of the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) and the Polish Krzyzowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe. The workshop was officially opened by Ronald Hirschfeld (bpb) and Annemarie Franke (Krzyzowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding in Europe). Discussants from different subject areas and professional backgrounds (research, education, project co-ordinators etc.) from seven European countries (Poland, Rumania, Portugal, The Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Hungary) participated in the discussion.