Friday, 28 March 2014

NECE Conference 2014 1914 - 2014: European Prospects, European Conflicts – How can Citizenship Education Intervene? - 16-18.10.2014, Vienna (Austria)

In remembrance of the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, NECE 2014 will focus on questions involving conflicts in Europe and the role citizenship education plays in conflict management and reconciliation processes. Against this backdrop, experts at this year’s conference will approach and discuss crisis and conflict intervention measures that involve citizenship education on a number of different levels.
Although the EU is a unique association of countries offering many opportunities and possibilities, crises within and between EU member countries are common, just as they are in regions that border on the bloc. Populist and nationalist resentments continue to pose a threat to Europe’s democratic constitution, although lessons learned from the First World War and other European conflicts have taught us it desperately needs to be preserved.
Can citizenship education today provide new ways of thinking, arguments and practical ways to solve and overcome conflicts? Not just at local and national levels, but also across borders? These questions will be discussed in the course of the NECE Conference 2014 in Vienna. The event will also pursue relevant theoretical and practical directions together with organisations from civil society and action groups.

You can pre-register for the conference by sending an email to: nece-wien2014@lab-concepts.de
More information about the programme soon at: NECE Conference 2014


NECE Preparatory Workshop
30 March - 1 April 2014, Belgrade (Serbia)
In preparation for the NECE Conference taking place in Vienna in October 2014, the NECE Initiative will be hosting the European workshop “1914 – 2014: Conflicts and the role of citizenship education in conflict management and reconciliation” in Belgrade. A number of scholars, multipliers and civil society stakeholders from Southeast Europe have been invited to the event to discuss conflicts and the role of citizenship education in Europe today. The reference point of the workshop is the First World War, which in many countries is still regarded as “The Great War” – a conflict that even today continues to have an impact on collective memory, expressions of national identity and remembrance days and memorials. In this context, the NECE Preparatory Workshop will focus on issues involving historic and current conflicts, as well as conflict management and reconciliation in citizenship education in Europe today.

Find out more at: NECE Website

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Beat bullying! The role of citizenship and human rights education

Bullying in schools is a worldwide problem that can have negative consequences for the general school climate and for the right of students to learn in a safe environment without fear. Bullying is the consequence of aggressive behaviour that has to be stopped and prevented.

Education for democratic citizenship and human rights plays a crucial role in raising awareness and promoting the respect of human dignity and social cohesion among learners and educators. Moreover, education for democratic citizenship and human rights aims at strengthening learners’ and educators’ knowledge, skills, attitudes and values for handling diversity and differences, promoting a positive environment and preventing violence at school through a model of coexistence which affirms the existence of others, rejects violence and protects children’s rights.

Are you worried about bullying in schools? Did you know that there are simple and inexpensive ways to tackle the problem? Watch the Council of Europe’s new film on combating bullying in schools through human rights and citizenship education, to see how the introduction of a human rights ethos in schools can help prevent bullying. The film was launched at a side event during the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly session on 30 January 2014.

  • Beat bullying! – watch the video on YouTube
  • Beat Bullying Flyer
  • Bullying – A problem that concerns every parent: Podcast 
  • 4th issue of the EWC Statement Series

    The 4th issue of the EWC Statement Series is available with outstanding content on the field of Human Rights Education (HRE), Democratic Citizenship (EDC) and Intercultural Understanding (ICE).

    As usual, the EWC Statement Series bring together scholars and other education professionals to publish their views on current research and scholarly debates that concern the region in terms of HRE, EDC, and ICE.

    In this issue, with the contribution of Vitor Tomé, Andrea Petõ, Monique Eckmann, Audrey Osler, and Jan Šerek, the 4th Issue comes with relevant discussions that go from the promotion of pluralistic societies through education, to the prevention of hate speech -especially through social media-.
    With the statement series, the European Wergeland Centre (EWC) wants to make the results of theoretical debates and empirical studies available for non-academics and invite them to actively make use of them.

    Facilitating access to research is an important part of the EWCs mandate. Undoubtedly, the 4th issue of the Statement Series will enhance the critical reflection on the importance of promoting diversity through the exercise of democratic citizenship.

    Download the 4th Issue of the EWC Statement Series

    Tuesday, 25 March 2014

    Call for partner: World Class Stories! International new year’s youth meeting on art`s and development December 28th 2014 – January 04th 2015, Sonnenberg e.V.

    Sonnenberg Kreis e.V. is looking for partner organisations for the International youth meeting ‘World Class Stories! to be held at International House Sonnenberg (Germany) in December 2014/ January 2015. The youth meeting is to be implemented within the Erasmus+ Program

    Project idea

    50 young people from 5 countries meet in the Harz Mountains to talk and discuss about the global concept of development, to get creative and to experience an outstanding new year!
    Based on the annual theme of the European Union 2015 „The year of development " we want to have a closer look on the meaning of global development on large scale. But in particular we want to deal with the meaning of development in and for our lives and society - for our self-realization? What and where do we want to develop? What drives us in life and what restrains and handicaps us in reaching our dreams?
    But it`s not only about talking it`s about our Stories and Creative Art Productions, it`s about “Digital Story Telling”. Digital Storytelling combines the tradition of oral storytelling using multimedia computer technology. Stories will be audio- visually associated with images, video clips, animations and drawings - developing a special intensity and power. So based on creative art workshops like creative writing, drawing, photography, animation or film, we will create our own personal stories linked to development in our dreams and histories.
    There will be a lot of different activities in the seminar, like workshop units, team building and off course nice free time activities. The highlight of the youth meeting however will be – of course beneath the global New Year’s evening – the final show where all the results will be presented: Stage off for your show!


    We want to:
    • Learn about the concepts and meanings of development for global society and about the millennium development goals
    • Learn about the right for development as a individual and collective human right and
    About chances and barriers for development
    • Create a safe frame for self-reflection about personal experiences, driving powers, dreams and fears
    • Establish a basis for getting aware of chances and freedom of choice in free time activities, job and family matters
    • Empower and inspire each other
    • Make transnational friends and share youth cultures and gain knowledge about daily life in the participating countries
    • Getting Creative and win new ideas for the creative expressions of own positions and ideas
    • Learn to listen to the stories of our surrounding and to be empathic
    • Work with audio and video specific programs


    Let’s meet at Sonnenberg, get to know each other, explore the issue and exchange our thoughts and ideas!

    Who can participate and what are the prerequisites for participation?
    The project addresses young people with and without disabilities between 16 and 21– if you are a bit older or younger and still would like to join, you are most welcome to do so.

    We are looking for around 5 groups of participants consisting of up to 9 participants + 1 group leader from each partner country. We hope to attract again partners from all over Europe and beyond for these traditional new year’s project

    Participation fee and travel costs
    The travel costs will partly reimbursed by the Erasmus+ program, depending on the distance. The remaining amount will be covered by the participants.

    The participation fee to cover the project costs depends on the specific country respectively on the level of average income of the local surrounding of the participants groups and the costs of transport. It will charge between 120 Euros and 200 Euros per person (in detail: we set three categories: 120 Euro, 160 Euro and 200 Euro). To ensure the funding we have to find a mix of partners of the different fee categories.

    The fee includes Board and lodging. Most of the participants will stay in four-bed-rooms with shared showers (simple accommodation style). There are a limited number of handicapped accessible single and double rooms with en-suite bathrooms.



    Prerequisites for partners
    • As a partner you sign the partner agreement of the application of the Erasmus+ program, which you receive after you agreed to take part
    • You identify 8 participants (age 16-21) and 1 group leader from your country.
    • The group leaders will join us for the detailed content planning and implementation of the youth meeting. If you would like to join as a partner, but have no experienced person around – your youth leader can also join as participant.

    Working languages
    Depending on the needs of the participants, working languages will either be English or English and other languages (consecutive).

    About Sonnenberg
    Sonnenberg-Kreis e. V. is an independent and non-profit making organisation of international out-of-school education in Europe. For more than 50 years our guiding principle has been:”Talk together, overcome prejudice, understand one another, act responsibly”. With our conferences we invite participants of different national, ethnic-cultural and social origins and of different ideological background to discuss cultural and social issues, the economy and the environment, work and leisure, present-day politics as well as historical questions. Sonnenberg exclusively pursues educational and cultural aims. Its activities serve the promotion of international and intercultural understanding.

    If you are generally interested in joining us as a partner, please contact us for further information until April 6th 2014!


    Timo Steinert


    (Bildungsreferent / Educational staff member)
    Tel./Fon:           +49 (0) 5582/ 944 – 104
    Fax:                 +49 (0) 5582/ 944 – 100
    t.steinert@sonnenberg-international.de 

    Stop discrimination against young people! European Youth Forum survey on multiple discrimination


    March 18, 2014
    The European Youth Forum launches in-depth survey into multiple discrimination.

    The Youth Forum wants to tackle all forms of discrimination that young Europeans experience and so, in order to develop relevant policies and plan more consistent advocacy actions to lobby against discrimination, it is undertaking survey aiming to collect information at both European and national levels about discrimination based on age and interlinked to other forms of discrimination such as that based on race, ethnicity, nationality, sex and sexuality.

    The Youth Forum’s survey is for anyone aged between 18 and 35 years old living in one of the countries of the Council of Europe (the list of Member States can be found here) and asks questions about whether respondents have experienced any form of discrimination, what form this took and how it impacts their daily life. Answering the questions should take between 40 and 60 minutes and answers will be processed in an anonymous way.

    Youth not being negatively discriminated on the grounds of age, or indeed on any grounds, is at the heart of the European Youth Forum’s work. Indeed, young people, like any other human beings, are entitled to full respect, protection and promotion of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. That is the core of the rights-based approach to youth policy advocated by the European Youth Forum.

    Fighting for less discrimination is also the essence of one of the “Love Youth Future” (the Youth Forum’s European elections campaign) pledges. More legal tools should be implemented to empower and protect youth rights. The European Youth Forum together with several other NGOs particularly calls for MEPs to pass an Horizontal Anti-Discrimination Directive, covering all grounds of discrimination.

    We thank you in advance for your time and sharing this survey: let’s make young people’s voice heard in Europe!

    Access to the survey: Survey on multiple discrimination.
    - See more at: http://www.youthforum.org/latest-news/stop-discrimination-against-young-people/#sthash.XKyMQ9qo.dpuf

    Tuesday, 4 March 2014

    Council of Europe Anti-Racism Commission publishes new reports on Germany and Belgium

    The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)recently published its fifth reports on Belgium and Germany. ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, which monitors problems of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, intolerance and discrimination and prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States.

    Despite significant improvements in both countries, in Germany ECRI noted a high level of violence motivated by racism and homo- or transphobia, while in Belgium ECRI noted a sharp increase in hate speech online.

    Learn more and download the full reports here:
    Belgium
    Germany

    COE - GLOBAL EDUCATION PROGRAMME ACTIVITIES – UPDATE 1ST QUARTER 2014


    Policy-Development - the North-South-Centre (NSC) has launched the preparation of the regional GE seminar for the Baltic countries which will take place in 12-13 may in Riga. This seminar is organised in cooperation with the Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation (LAPAS). It will gather formal and non-formal education practitioners as well as policy-makers to make an assessment of GE policy and practices in the region and take on board the Lisbon GE Congress recommendations as benchmark until 2015. This seminar is the third regional seminar -following the Visegrad regional seminar (September 2013) and the South-East and Mediterranean seminar (December 2013)- organised in the framework of the NSC-EC Joint Management Agreement for the promotion of GE in EU recent member States and candidate countries for the period 2013-15.  In the same perspective, a GE kick-off seminar is being organised in FYROM in collaboration with the Association for Democratic Initiatives (ADI) as the implementing partner. This seminar, which follows the seminar in Montenegro held in May 2013, precedes the kick-off seminars planned in the other EU candidate countries and Croatia until 2015.
    Capacity-building -    in the frame of NSC e-learning scheme, two courses are taking place in February and March, the first on the Human Rights dimension of GE and the second on Intercultural dialogue. Approximately 50 international participants in each course get acquainted to HRE and ICD theoretical and practical approaches during this monitored 4 week course.   In the meantime, the NSC is preparing a new topic on Democratic Citizenship which will complete its e-learning scheme. The pilot course is foreseen for May 2014.
    The Arabic and German versions of the Global Education Guidelines will be available on NSC website in the current of the first semester, summing to 9 languages the existing versions of the GEG, all accessible from NSC website.  The translation in Bulgarian, Greek and Montenegrin are under course and will be available for the second semester of 2014.

    More on the NSC GE programme

    Global Education national & regional seminars
    http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/nscentre/GE/JMA_Education_EN.asp
    Global Education on-line training-courses
    http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/nscentre/GE/GE-Guidelines/GlobalEducation_on-lineTC_intro_en.asp
    Global Education Week 2013
    http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/nscentre/GE/GEW/0GEW2013_en.asp#TopOfPage

    Global Education Congress website - http://www.gecongress2012.org/



    ·         Call for the Global Education next e-learning course (Intercultural Dialogue: 24 March-20 April)

    ·         Call for partners for the University on Youth & Development (Mollina 2014)
    Activity Proposal

    Monday, 3 March 2014

    Erasmus+ first experiences from the applicants perspective

    The new Generation of European Educational and youth programs - combined under ERASMUS+ is launched.
    The DARE network offered its members from 3-7th february 2014 a 1 week online course dedicated to content and application procedures, functioning of the new program schemes with roome for sound discussions.
    35 members from the network used this opportunity to get informed about this new program as well as about other EU funding mechanisms which can be used for EDC/HRE purposes. As the first deadlines under Erasmus+ are set out for 17th March and 30th April, the course was right in time to get first-hand information in order to soundly prepare for handing in proposals. The participants of the course were generally enthusiastic about this new offer from DARE and liked the packed sessions.
    The records from online sessions will be available for DARE members only at DARE´s new e-academy, a self directed e-learning module, which will be launched soon.

    At the time of the online-class the final application procedures were not published by the EC. Meanwhile our members gathered the first experiences with the online application and we received some feedbacks:

    Based on the members feedbacks on the new E+ application procedure one can already identified some worrying developments, that seem to jeopardize the aim to contribute with E+ to smart, sustainable and inclusive Growth and seem to take the wrong direction. The European Commission is asked to react on these developments in order to go for better and adequate output of E+.

    First of all, for small NGO´s the registration procedure for the PIC (Participants Identification Code) is difficult, thus especially as in some countries an official registration procedrue for small size NGO´s is not required by state authorities. So in some countries (especially partner regions) it will be quite difficult to meet the basic reqiorements to get the mandatory PIC.

    Second: the new youth program aims to support young peoples learning mobility namely through youth exchanges: in fact the reimbursement of young peoples travel costs (based on a distance band) makes travelling for young people not living close to an international airport almost difficult. So there is the risk for an imbalance that affects young people from geographically not centred regions (and there is plenty of them all over Europe and the Partner countries) and it also is a contradiction to the aim to give more young people the experience of international learning mobility. Also as the travel support for youth workers, adults etc is far better  there is no reason to grant the youth less! Usually flight tickets for young people cost the same as for adults.

    Third: almost in the last second the EC published a template for a partners mandate which is to be undersigned and handed in by each project partner at the date of delivery of the project application  in every E+ section. Why do we need to register for the application in a mandatory registration portal if in the end we do have to hand in the same underlying documents as under the previous funding programs? It was communicated when the first design of E+ was out, that this will substantially reduce the administrative burden of proposal delivery. In fact now applicants and partners do have the double administrative obligation, even before an application is being selected for funding.

    Fourth: There is a central role foreseen for cross-sectoral approaches in the new E+ programs. Indeed it would be quite important to guarantee more cascading and spill over effects in the single educational fields covered by E+. But the inherent logic of formal and non-formal educational programs such as youth and comenius (school) offers almost no entry points for sound collaboration and trainings. The approaches and requirements for the target groups the applications have to follow in each sector, are too different, even if the application documents are literally the same.

    Fifth: the maximum ceilings in KA 2 (namely strategic partnerships) allow just a very small scale impact. For example the maximum support set out for multiplier events (which usually guarantee exploitation and dissemination) is limited to 30000 EUR per project. In a european context this means a mid-sized workshop with 35-45 participants. The logical consequence will be more newsletters, more digital promotion of project results, which is useful only if soundly accompanied by face to face training opportunities - following recent research on digital learning.

    Sixth: Indeed worrying is the development around the new Europe for Citizens Program!
    This year is 2014 - the year of Elections to the European Parliament. At the beginning of March - two months before the elcations - the final negotiations on the program are still not finished. Not even to mention that the annual priorities 2014 of this program are the democratic involvement of European Citizens, the participation in the EU elections etc.
    Not to mention the budgetary cuts on 6% this program faces compared to the previous program! Not to mention that this program shall ensure and support civic participation and the democratic functioning of the EU...Out of any EDC/HRE perspective a desaster!

    We wish our members good luck with using the new Generation of EU programs and are keen to get infos on positive and negative learning processes...