With the year drawing to an end let me summarise a few of the highlights of 2009:
- In April a DARE delegation testified before the Education and Culture Commission of the
European Parliament about the state of education for democratic citizenship (EDC) and human rights education (HRE) in Europe. MEPs were very receptive and we expect that in the long term a closer collaboration with the European Parliament may make it possible for DARE to make regular policy recommendations to the European Union.
- In April the first DARE Spring Academy was also held. Twenty nine young educators from nine countries met in Sonnenberg in the German Harz Mountains to broaden their knowledge and human rights and methodology, and to develop skills in human rights education with young people. The DARE Spring Academy was a resounding success and will be repeated in 2010.
- In May our network organised the workshop "Pathways interconnecting history education and democratic citizenship/human rights education" in Berlin. The workshop reflected on twenty years of "regime changes" in Central and Eastern Europe and resulted in a set of very useful learning tools and resources. The workshop coincided with DARE's General Assembly during which a new DARE Board was elected for a two-year term.
- In October twenty DARE members participated in the professional development workshop "Fundraising Strategies for European Initiatives in the Field of Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education" in Copenhagen.
- From 1 September-10 December, DARE members participated in the second SYNCHRONISED ACTION DAYS, which showcased the many different activities in the field of EDC and HRE in Europe.
- DARE was selected as best Practise for Active Citizenship at European Commission's 10 Years Grundtvig Conference (Brussels, 26-28 January 2010).
- Finally, you are reading the 25th issue of e-DARE, DARE's periodic e-newsletter. Since the first issue appeared in October 2003, e-DARE has evolved into one of main information sources about EDC and HRE in Europe.
After such a busy and successfull year, let me wish you a restful holiday season! I hope to see many of you at upcoming DARE events in the next few months, which include the DARE focus meeting on children's rights education for adults (Brussels, 28-29 January) and the conference "Human Rights Education & Tackling Poverty: towards a healthier, equal, safer and a more inclusive European community" (Glasgow, 4-5 March 2010).
Wishing you wonderful holidays and a successful New Year!