EuroClio at NECE Focus Group: Exchange between Europe and North Africa

In the run up to the 2015 NECE (Networking European Citizenship Education) Conference, the NECE Focus Group “Exchange between Europe and North Africa” convened for the fourth time in Thessaloniki, Greece. This year, EuroClio was also invited to participate. On behalf of EuroClio, Jaco Stoop attended the meetings, which took place over the course of three days.

During the meetings, more than thirty participants—both members of the group and guests like EuroClio—from ten countries on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea discussed citizenship education in the a European and North African context. Because the topic of the conference was “‘Us’ and ‘Them’: Citizenship Education in an Interdependent World”, the discussions focused on processes of ‘othering’ and how to deal with this in citizenship education. Within these discussions, EuroClio aimed to point out the central role history education can play in citizenship education in general, and in dealing with ‘othering’ in particular.

Another, very important goal of the meetings was to exchange ideas and projects between the participants, and to provide an opportunity for networking between European and North African organizations. EuroClio was able to gain additional insights in the situation of history education in some Southern Mediterranean countries, such as Egypt and Tunisia, and also to exchange contacts and ideas for future projects in the Mediterranean Region.

EuroClio at the NECE conference about ‘Us’ and ‘Them’

EuroClio was invited by NECE, The German Federal Agency for Civic Education - the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung to take an active role during  NECE Conference 2015: "'Us' and 'Them': Citizenship Education in an Interdependent World". Starting point of this year’s conference was the question of how to re-imagine and define the role of citizenship education in increasingly divided and polarized societies. EuroClio was represented at this conference by secretariat Members –Aysel Gojayeva, Steven Stegers and EuroClio Ambassadors from Ukraine – Iryna Kostyuk and Russia - Julia Kushnereva, and EuroClio Board Member - Mire Mladenovski.

The role of EuroClio at this conference was enhanced by leading a workshop on “Challenging historical narratives” and a panel based on methods used by Clear Focus group. The workshop on “Challenging Narratives” aimed to demonstrate the work of EuroClio by reflecting on the development process of the "Crossroads of Cultures" that has been made collaboratively by educators from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and which has just been finalised. The workshop participants were introduced to EuroClio resources, achievements and challenges met in its translational projects and integrated an active workshop built around one of the educational materials developed within “Sharing History, Cultural Dialogues” project.

Meanwhile, Steven Stegers presented the conference public to work done by Clear Focus group and engaged the conference participants into thinking around the notion of citizenship and come up with their views and understanding. This session was received very positively by the participants and stimulated an active discussion around the individual and common understanding of citizenship and its role in the society.

More information about the conference can be found here: http://www.bpb.de/veranstaltungen/netzwerke/nece/205543/nece-conference-2015-thessaloniki