Exchange between Europe and North Africa


The aim of the NECE Focus Group "Exchange between Europe and North Africa" is to support the establishment of a sustainable and long-term forum of exchange, knowledge transfer and co-operation between NECE and stakeholders of citizenship education in the Southern Mediterranean.

Initiated at the NECE Conference in Córdoba in 2012, the Focus Group provides a regular basis for exchange among and with the Arab partners in a growing network. Topics of common concern are discussed and projects across the borders are initiated.

Focus Group participants from Southern Mediterranean and European countries are convinced that both sides benefit from exchange, dialogue and co-operation. Both sides see the need to create networks of activists and experts in the field of citizenship education to strengthen the community to provide mutual support.

The Focus Group is recently working on a bilingual publication on Citizenship Education in Europe and North Africa.

Course of the Focus Group:
Events and Meetings

Focus Group Meeting in Zagreb in November 2016

The focus group meeting from 7 – 8 November 2016 focussed on the project of NACE – Networking Arab Civic Education. After an initial report of the NACE steering committee’s work over the last 6 months, the focus group split up into four different working groups (Communication, Public Relations, Lobbying / Fundraising & Budgeting / Research & Methodology of the Mapping / Follow-up projects & collaboration partners). The working groups developed concrete output to contribute to the next steps of the implementation of NACE. Subsequent to the working group session, it was decided to extend the steering committee and two additional members were elected to continue the further development of NACE.

PDF-Icon Agenda of the Focus Group Meeting November 2016 (PDF)
PDF-Icon List of Participants (PDF)

CEC 2016 and Focus Group Meeting in Tunis in May 2016

From May 13th to 15th 2016, the second CIVIC EDUCATION CONFERENCE took place in Yasmin Hammamet, Tunisia. About 200 experts, academics and practitioners from 31 countries gathered to discuss the current state of civic education in the MENA region. Several Focus Group Members took active parts in the framework of the conference in the thematic workshops.

Immediately after the conference, from May 16th to 18th 2016, the core members of the focus group met in Tunis, Tunisia. One main issue of the meeting was the further development of the NACE Project (Networking Arab Civic Education) that was announced publicly during the CEC. The participants discussed the vision as well as the core values and objectives of NACE and worked on the organizational structure.

In the second part of the meeting, the representatives from DEDI presented the recently completed mapping study “The road to Citizenship Education in Egypt”. They also announced that DEDI is planning to establish a new department to work on this kind of studies. The publication and the planning to extend the activities in this area were highly appreciated by the participants.

PDF-Icon Press Release CEC 2016 (PDF)
PDF-Icon CEC 2016 Recommendations (PDF)
PDF-Icon DEDI-Publication "The road to Citizenship Education in Egypt" (English) (PDF)
PDF-Icon DEDI-Publication "The road to Citizenship Education in Egypt" (Arabic) (PDF)

Focus Group Meeting in Thessaloniki in October 2015

The Focus Group met from 19 to 21 October 2015 at the Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki to discuss in depth the topics of "othering" and "radicalisation of youth" as a preparation for the NECE conference 2015.

The emphasis of the Focus Group Meeting was placed on presentations of projects and case studies on these subjects from Europe and North Africa. Based on these experiences from both sides of the Mediterranean, issues relating appropriate approaches of citizenship education to the phenomena of othering and radicalisation have been discussed in several working groups.

As well projects that arose in the course of the focus group activities were presented and discussed.

PDF-Icon Agenda of the Focus Group Meeting October 2015 (PDF)
PDF-Icon List of Participants (PDF)
  • Photo Gallery

  • Presentations:

    Part I: Conference Preparation: "Processes of Othering within and between societies and how to deal with it in Civic Education"

    Impulse by
    PDF-Icon Sara Khorshid, Regional Center for Mediation and Dialogue (Egypt): "Egypt - Two Sides of the Same Coin? How Islamists vs. liberals/secularists view each other - other - Two opposing forms of otherness"
    PDF-Icon Jane Mulderrig / David Hyatt, University of Sheffield (United Kingdom): "Critical Discourse Analysis" (PDF)
    PDF-Icon Peter Kirchschläger, Centre of Human Rights Education (ZMRB) (Switzerland): "Othering as Challenge for Human Rights" (PDF)

    Conference Preparation: "Radicalization of Youth"

    Impulse by
    PDF-Icon Wissem Missaoui, search for common ground (Tunisia): "Youth DE-Radicalization in Tunisia" (PDF)
    PDF-Icon Sindyan Qasem, Ufuq e.V. (Germany): „Approaches To Combat Youth Radicalisation” (PDF)

    Part II: Networking on both sides and across the Mediterranean

    Impulse by
    PDF-Icon Shahdan Arram, The Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI) (Egypt) / Rana Gaber, Egyptian Youth Federation/ Ambassadors for Dialogue (Egypt): "Mapping Civic Education in Egypt" (PDF)
    PDF-Icon Helena Matschiner, Goethe-Institut Cairo (Egypt/Germany): "From Alexandria to Tunis: Second CEC Conference"(PDF)
    PDF-Icon Moez Ali, Union des Tunisiens Indépendants pour la Liberté (UTIL) (Tunisia): "Educational reform in Tunisia – Tunisian Forum on CE – NACE – Networking Arab Citizenship Education" (PDF)

    Focus Group Meeting in Tunis in 2015

    The meeting of the focus group took place from 21-23 May 2015 in Tunis, Tunisia. Participants from North Africa and Europe discussed the articles for the publication “The Making of Citizens in Europe and North Africa”, worked and elaborated on the further issues of common concern and debated the orientation and subjects of the NECE Conference 2015 that will take place in Greece (22-24 October 2015)

    PDF-Icon Agenda of the Focus Group Meeting Tunis 2015 (PDF)
    PDF-Icon List of Participants (PDF)
    PDF-Icon Minutes of the FG Meeting Tunis 2015
    PDF-Icon Analysis of the evaluation questionnaires

    Mapping Project by The Danish Egyptian Dialogue

    Impulse by
    PDF-Icon Shahdan Arram, The Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (Egypt): "Mapping Project by The Danish Egyptian Dialogue"

    The Role of Arts, Politics & Culture in Citizenship Education

    Impulse by
    PDF-Icon Mohamad Abotera, The Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (Egypt): "The Role of Arts, Politics & Culture in Citizenship Education"
    PDF-Icon Witold Hebanowski, Fundacja Inna Przestrzeń / The Other Space Foundation (Poland): "The Role of Arts, Politics & Culture in Citizenship Education"
    PDF-Icon Dalia Assem, Oreed for citizenship education in Egypt (Egypt): "Dawar"
    PDF-Icon Reem Khedr (Egypt): "Mahatat for Contemporary Art"

    "Them and Us": Reports about the situation in Denmark and Tunisia

    Impulse by
    PDF-Icon Jakob Erle (Denmark): "'Them and Us': Reports about the situation in Denmark"
    PDF-Icon Asma Laabidi, MICT - Media in Cooperation and Transition (Tunisia): "'Them and Us': Reports about the situation in Tunisia"

    Focus Group Meeting at the NECE Conference in Vienna in 2014

    The meeting of the focus group took place from 18-19 October 2014 subsequent to NECE Conference “1914 - 2014: Lessons from History? Citizenship Education and Conflict Management”. Participants from North Africa and Europe seized the chance to debate and exchange ideas on the role of conflicts and conflicts solutions in citizenship education, citizenship education and web 2.0 as well as the forthcoming bilingual publication on Citizenship Education in Europe and North Africa.

    PDF-Icon Agenda of the Focus Group Meeting 2014 (PDF)
    PDF-Icon List of Participants (PDF)
    PDF-Icon Working Group Web 2.0 Summary, 19 October 2014


    Citizenship Education for Young People

    Impulse by
    PDF-Icon Petra Grüne, Federal Agency for Civic Education / bpb (Germany): "Citizenship Education in Germany" (PDF)
    Benedikt Widmaier, Academy of Social and Political Education "Haus am Maiberg" (Germany): "Citizenship Education for youth in Germany"
    PDF-Icon Souhir Chaari, Association Tuniso-Euro-Méditerranéenne des Jeunes (Tunisia): "Citizenship Education for youth in Tunisia and Germany" (PDF)
    PDF-Icon Rana Gaber, Egyptian Youth Federation (Egypt): “Citizenship Education for youth in Egypt” (PDF)

    Web 2.0 and Citizenship Education

    Impulse by
    PDF-Icon Karima Rhanem, Moroccan Association for Development and Public Diplomacy (Morocco): "Digital Civic Engagement" (PDF)
    PDF-Icon Amr Sobhy, Morsimeter (Egypt): "Citizenshop Education and Web 2.0" (PDF)
    PDF-Icon Jöran Muuß-Merholz, J&K – Jöran und Konsorten (Germany): "Web 2.0 in Civic Education" (PDF)

    Best Practice by
    PDF-Icon Mostafa Amin Ahmed, Naqeshny (Egypt): “Naqeshny and Citizenship Education” (PDF)
    PDF-Icon Haytham Atef Mones, (Egypt): “Global Meter – Holding Politicians Accountable” (PDF)

    Focus Group Meeting in Alexandria in 2013

    The Civic Education Conference (CEC) was combined with a follow-up meeting of the NECE Focus Group to proceed with issues and plans of the previous meeting in 2012. The focus group meeting took place on 11 December 2013. Previous steps of co-operation and experiences of the latest NECE Conferences (in 2012 and 2013), specific issues of further co-operation as well as opportunities, circumstances and approaches of networking were discussed. First joint activities, such as the bilingual publication, were planned.

    PDF-Icon Agenda FG Meeting, 11 December 2013, Alexandria
    PDF-Icon List of Participants
    PDF-Icon Report of the FG Meeting, 11 December 2013, Alexandria
    PDF-Icon Brainstorming NECE 2014

    Civic Education Conference (CEC) in Alexandria in 2013

    On grounds of contacts established in Córdoba, the Goethe-Institut Cairo approached the Federal Agency for Civic Education in order to become a partner at the Civic Education Conference (CEC) in Alexandria in 2013. The CEC was organised by the Goethe-Institut Cairo and the Tahrir Lounge in co-operation with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the Center for Democracy and Social Peace Studies, the Hanns Seidel Foundation as well the Federal Agency for Civic Education. It was the first conference on citizenship education in Egypt.

    In preparation of this conference, a diverse group of Egyptian civil society professionals took part in a study trip in November 2012, to explore the application of citizenship education in Germany on the governmental, non-governmental and individual level. Following the study trip the whole group attended the NECE Conference in Cordoba from 21 - 24 November 2012. Resulting from the experience of the study trip and the conference visit, the group identified several topics of citizenship education to be addressed in the Egyptian context.

    Due to the ever-recurring conflicts in Egypt in 2013, the conference as well as the planned focus group meeting, which were initially planned for August/ September, had to be postponed several times. Finally, from 8 - 10 December 2013, more than 250 people from Egypt, Tunisia and Europe met to discuss the possibilities and ways to promote citizenship education in Egypt. NECE Focus Group members, European experts of the NECE Network as well as bpb representatives have attended the conference and contributed with their expertise.

  • CEC Programme:
  • PDF-Icon Report by Nelly Corbel
    PDF-Icon Goethe-Institut Cairo: Documentation of the Civic Education Conference Alexandria 2013

    Combined Focus Group Meeting and Workshop at the NECE Conference in The Hague in 2013

    The initial meeting was followed by a combined meeting and workshop within the framework of the NECE Conference in The Hague in November 2013. At this conference, the focus group firstly opened a specific discussion on the two questions "How can dialogues and co-operation with the neighbours in the Mediterranean region, in particular North Africa´s transformation states, be organised" and "What role can the EU play in a world that will be mainly defined by non-European states and societies". Afterwards, all participants of the workshop discussed key issues for the following focus group meeting on 11 December within the framework of the Civic Education Conference (CEC) 2013 in Alexandria.

    Annegret Wulff, Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg (Germany), Candace Hetchler, El Sadat Association for Social Development & Welfare (Egypt) and Hatem Hassan, Theatre director and culture projects manager (Egypt) offered valuable and inspiring inputs to the workshop, which was moderated by Margita Petrikova, MitOst e.V. (Germany), Petra Grüne, Federal Agency for Civic Education (Germany) and Markus Lux, Robert Bosch Stiftung (Germany).

    Kick-off Meeting at the NECE Conference in Córdoba 2012

    At the NECE Conference “Participation Now! Citizenship Education and Democracy in Times of Change”, which was held in Córdoba from 21 - 24 November 2012, civil society professionals, stakeholders, researches and practitioner from North African and European countries laid the foundations for establishing the NECE Focus Group “Exchange between Europe and North Africa“. The NECE Focus Group agreed upon first local points and procedures of work. Further stakeholders were identified for further co-operation and long-term exchange.

    With the insights gained at the conference in Córdoba, Arab participants seized the idea to create an Egyptian confederation (alliance) uniting organisations from the fields of human rights education, civic commitment, citizenship education etc. This idea is being discussed and developed in following meetings.

    PDF-Icon Programme NECE Conference Córdoba
    PDF-Icon List of Participants at the Kick-off Meeting
    PDF-Icon Working Paper (Meeting NECE Conference Cordoba 2012)
    PDF-Icon Metaplan Cards (Meeting NECE Conference Cordoba 2012)

    Joint bilingual Publication on Citizenship Education in Europe and North Africa

    The Focus Group Meeting within the frame of the CEC 2013 has led to a few very concrete working results and plans for 2014. One of them was the idea for a joint bilingual publication that covers issues and questions of civil society and citizenship education in Europe and North Africa. Therefore, the focus group has formed an editorial team that is in the process of working on the publication’s structure and content. The comparative approach of the publication will offer an exploration of concepts and basic principles of citizenship education, the history of citizenship education and current challenges in the respective countries as well as projects of good practices and questions of common concern. The concept of the publication will take the CEC results into consideration and will be designed complementary to the manuals on citizenship education that are to be published by the Goethe-Institut.

    The release of the publication is planned for 2015/16.

    PDF-Icon Focus Group “Exchange” Publication - Video Conference Summary Minutes, 24 June 2014
    PDF-Icon Working Group Publication Summary, 19 October 2014

    Selection of free materials on citizenship education (in English and French)

    PDF-Icon Publications


    Federal Agency for Civic Education
    Petra Grüne


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