ABC of a Citizen of Europe - Act, Belong and Care
ABC of a Citizen of Europe - Act, Belong and Care
Date du début: 1 août 2015,
Date de fin: 31 déc. 2015
Despite the information spreading and activities aimed to include young people to act, to express their opinions and participate actively in local or national decision making processes, youth leaders often encounter passive attitude and lack of information about issues like citizenship or possibilities for young people to participate and raise their voice. Our idea was about conducting a training course on citizenship and about dealing with notions of European citizenship in particular. We believed that the term "European citizenship" has become a broad buzz word that is often used without much of a specific meaning and content. Therefore, ABC intends was be an attempt at approaching the meaning and significance of European citizenship. This, we believed, cannot be achieved without a consideration of the other realms where citizenship comes into play: the local community and the nation. Here, duties, responsibilities and opportunities for participation arise from being part of a community or nation. The ways in which these concepts are connected to the notion of European citizenship shall be the guiding questions for the training course. The confusion about what being a European citizen means automatically reflects on the ability of youth workers/trainers to make sense of the implications of the European dimension for their work. We wanted contribute to the quality of projects, training courses and seminars on any topic by working out ways to approach Europe, exchange ideas on projects that deal/imply European issues and on how to make an impact – and to enable youngsters to have a say - in the ongoing European integration processes.
Main objectives of this training course were:
• pointing out the connection between citizenship, responsibility for one‘s immediate environment and society and active participation,
• experiencing, discussing and sharing historical and recent understandings of citizenship and its implications for participation,
• approaching different levels of citizenship (local – national – international/European) in practice by simulations, cases and methods development,
• sharing different visions and understandings of citizenship,
• reflecting on the notion of European identity and its underlying values (democracy, tolerance, plurality, human rights),
• raising the quality of projects dealing with youth participation and citizenship.
More precisely, we had set ourselves a fourfold aim:
1. Connecting the local, national and European dimensions of citizenship.
We departed from a shared observation: local participation occurs largely in isolated realms. Active youngsters often find it hard to connect their respective activities and commitment to the larger context within which they take place. In this manner, the national and the European context of active citizenship often tend to be left out in projects that strive for the improvement of local communities. Thus, the aim of ABC – connecting participation on the local level with an understanding of national and European citizenship – was highly relevant.
2. Bringing youth workers together.
With ABC we intended bring together people from different backgrounds and origins. The understanding of what citizenship means, varies across the European context. This diversity of understandings promises to enrich each individual youth worker‘s awareness of what non-formal education may achieve when it deals with citizenship. Moreover, the variety of projects our participants are involved in holds the promise of creative exchanges on concrete projects. Thus, ABC intends to offer networking opportunities in order to gain knowledge, insights and ideas into what people from diverse contexts understand and practice as civic education.
3. Adding value to non-formal civic education.
During our programme we used 'trying out‘ methods in civic education. Although the programme was aimed at active youth workers/trainers, we passed the so-called 'regular‘ programme. The difference between a 'regular‘ training course and our approach, was that method was based on the discussion of individual objectives, performance methods and the opportunities and avoid the pitfalls and evaluation. Therefore, the ABC's while we gathered, we tried and we expect a number of different methods. We opened to participants to the stage where ramassage new methods and ideas discussed. During the training, we were also open to suggestions and corresponds to the wishes of the concrete needs related to youth.
4. Developing Skills.
During the course of ABC while we were open to creative participants as a contribution. In particular, we waited for the relevant methods and ideas of citizenship and inclusion concepts. At the same time, however, we shared a well-established and reliable methods of civic education
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