Participation Now! Citizenship Education and Democracy in Times of Change. 21 to 24 November 2012 in, Spain

This years NECE Conference deals with current issues concerning democracy and participation in the face of worldwide processes of change. The developments in the Arab world following the „Arab Spring” in 2011 and the crisis of the EU will be in the focus of attention. The conference is organised as a dialogue and a platform for exchange between practitioners and activists of citizenship and human rights education, governmental and non-governmental institutions from Europe and Arab countries.

A serious loss of faith in politicians and political institutions across EU member states is an expression of the worst crisis of the European project in its history. Declining turnouts in European and national elections clearly show symptoms of democratic fatigue. Still, many citizens express a strong demand for more participation and transparency by protesting in the streets or engaging in social networks or online campaigns.

In North Africa, in countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, citizens mass protests and demand for change has overthrown authoritarian regimes and, spreading over borders, started a development that has the potential to change the whole region sustainably. However, processes of transition have only just started, critically observed by many citizens.

At the conference experts and practitioners from both sides of the Mediterranean Sea will analyse the situation in Europe and in the Arab focussing on the question of participation, the relationship between citizens and political institutions and concepts of democracy. The following questions will be in the center of lectures, talks and workshops in Cordoba:

– How can we learn from each other? What are common concerns and differences?
– Which narratives/ images determine mutual perceptions of each other?
– How can citizenship and human rights education contribute to participation and change?

– Where does exchange and cooperation make sense?

For more information please visit the NECE website