"Crossing Borders. Migration and Citizenship Education in Europe" / 10-12 November 2016, Zagreb, Croatia (Lisinski Concert Hall)

Conference Blog & Documentation, Interviews, etc.

Against the background of a global "refugee crisis" deeply affecting the state of the European Union and its neighbours, NECE 2016 aimed at two areas: Firstly, we have looked at the ongoing European response to the issue of migration including the divisions within and between European societies. Secondly the conference discussed how citizenship education should react to the polarising debate and the controversies about migration, diversity and identity which have been triggered by migration movements and an unprecedented series of terrorist attacks in the past 18 months

According to political scientist Ivan Krastev, there is a clear danger that the "migrants’ revolution" will radically change European politics and the world view of many on the continent towards exclusion and closure. The refugee crisis seems to re-open the gap between the East and the West in Europe and between those who see cosmopolitan values as a threat and those who are struggling to defend these as the core of a new European identity.

In order to successfully participate in this debate and add new perspectives, NECE 2016 suggested to focus on three questions of fundamental relevance for citizenship educators:
  • How do we assess the uncertainties and changes brought about by migration and a "world without borders" over the past decades?
  • What kind of competencies, tools and/or projects do we need to deal with fears about migration and the ‘other’ and how should citizenship education look like e in diverse societies?
  • And against the background of the crisis of Europe and the European Union: What should be our vision for the future of Europe, its values and its political constitution?
NECE 2016 strived to act as:
  • An intellectual think tank involving a broad variety of international experts with different and controversial perspectives.
  • A European and international platform for stakeholders of civil society, scholars and citizenship educators.
  • A show case for good projects and a starting point for new ideas, concepts of citizenship education and transnational projects across Europe, its Eastern neighbours and countries of North Africa.
NECE 2016 offered a rich variety of lectures, workshops, and open formats/spaces, among them a ‘Train the trainer’ workshop on controversial and sensitive topics in formal and non-formal learning, and a scenario workshop on the future of Citizenship Education in a world shaped by migration and plurality.

Participants were invited to actively prepare and invest in the conference.

A spotlight on Croatia and the state of citizenship education and ‘field trips’ to Croatian initiatives and organisations working on citizenship and migration provided background information about this years’ conference location.

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NECE 2016 Aftermovie

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Impressions from the NECE 2016 conference in Zagreb, Croatia

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NECE conference report 2016

PDF-Icon Conference report by Christoph Müller-Hofstede
PDF-Icon Article by Noha El-Mikawy

Conference programme

PDF-Icon Conference Programme
PDF-Icon Conference Programme (short version)
PDF-Icon Dossier of biographies

Welcome speech
PDF-Icon Welcome speech by Thomas Krüger

Keynotes & presentations
PDF-Icon Keynote by David Goodhart
PDF-Icon Keynote by David Kerr
PDF-Icon Keynote by Michalis Kakos
PDF-Icon Abstract for Roundable Discussion by David Goodhart
PDF-Icon Abstract for Roundtable Discussion by Antonija Petricusic
PDF-Icon Abstract for Roundtable Discussion by Jan Schneider

Scenario Exercise
Presentation of Scenarios
PDF-Icon Presentation of Oliver Gnad
PDF-Icon Scenario Participants List


PDF-Icon List of participants


Federal Agency for Civic Education (Germany)
ProDemos (the Netherlands)
Federal Ministry of Education (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 (Slovenia)

Supported by

Erste Stiftung (Austria)
Robert Bosch Stiftung (Germany)

Partner of the NECE conference 2016 are

Centre for Peace Studies (Croatia)
Goethe-Institut Kroatien (Croatia)
GONG (Croatia)
Knowledge at Work Foundation (Croatia)


 labconcepts GmbH (Germany)

 on behalf of Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb

 Phone +49 (0)30 259 429-10


Federal Agency for Civic Education

Petra Grüne

Adenauerallee 86

53113 Bonn

Phone +49 (0)228 99515-289

Conference | 5–7 November | Berlin

NECE Conference 2020

Follow the NECE Conference 2020 "Reconnecting in a post pandemic world. Citizenship education for democracy and sustainability" from 5–7 November 2020 online – live from Berlin. Registration is open now!

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