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Workshop 6: Towards a xenophobic Europe? Intolerance and racism in European societies: Responses by politics and citizenship education

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Workshop 6: Towards a xenophobic Europe? Intolerance and racism in European societies: Responses by politics and citizenship education

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The outcome of the 2014 European elections has alarmed politicians, citizens and activists and further negatively altered the discourse on migration and minorities in Europe. Amid Europe’s economic and social crisis a general climate of intolerance and xenophobia, an often diffuse ‘fear of others’ appears to be spreading: for example, the proportion of Britons advocating a large reduction in immigration has grown by more than 40 percentage points since the EU’s 2004 enlargement. Equally worrying are the relevant reports from both the European Fundamental Rights Agency and European NGOs that work against racism and intolerance. In a kind of arms race with populist parties and currents, some mainstream parties claim that Europe's immigrants and minorities are a cause for citizens’ fears and worries. Not only migration from third countries has long been the subject of renegotiation but also the freedom to travel and settle within the EU. Europe’s democratic constitution must also and especially allow it to be measured against its policy in respect of minorities. Therefore, given a growing divide between proclaimed standards and the problematic realities in European societies, politics and citizenship education are facing enormous tasks. How can Europe survive as a freedom project (Navid Kermani)? How can racism and xenophobia be prevented more effectively than before and what measures are necessary in order to change the migration-hostile climate of opinion? How can the relevant arguments of populist and migration-sceptical citizens be encountered?

This workshop analyses the political and economic causes of the rise of migration-hostile currents and will attempt to formulate recommendations for citizenship education’s appropriate dealing with racism and intolerance at the European level.

Interner Link: Rainer Münz, Erste Group Bank (Austria) & Hamburgisches WeltWirtschaftsInstitut (Germany)
Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos, The European Fundamental Rights Agency (Austria)

Moderation: Petr Cap, Civic Education Center (Czech Republic)