Civic Education in Europe


Who is behind this?

Paul Smits



Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

Engaging the youth throughout all of Europe to advocate for teaching highly needed knowledge, skills and attitudes in fields of European democratic participation, human rights and sustainability in formal education systems, with a European Citizens’ Initiative and local and national advocacy.

Where will your idea take place?

Europe, European Union

Why does Europe need your idea?

We think our idea is indispensable for Europe to move to the future. After organising countless projects to enhance awareness of several target groups on many topics, we feel that we need to have a different approach, a stronger one, to make a change.
If we don’t organise formal education on civic competences from the bottom up -as young people identifying their needs and addressing those to decision-makers- the competences would probably not get the attention they deserve, and wouldn’t get the full coverage we aim at. For a well-working and unified Europe with a decent position for citizens, we need all young people, regardless of socio-economic and geographic background to learn the basics of democratic participation, sustainable development, intercultural communication and human rights.

What is your impact?

Through the trainings, debates and advocacy campaign, a few hundred young Europeans will contribute to the efforts of improving our education systems. While doing so they get acquainted with tools for participation in Europe and their country, and serve as an inspiration for others. The involved young people will have a unique bottom-up experience of national campaigns in European context.
Ultimately, the project aims to lead to a change in European society. The advocacy actions and European Citizens’ Initiative will lead to better civic education in Europe, enabling this generation and future generations to get better educated on civic topics, increase their European awareness, actively participate in their societies, and generally be prepared for a sustainable society of the future.

How do you get there?

A working group of volunteers will start coordinating the whole process (June), identify the details of the problem and start localisation to every day realities of our education systems. Stakeholders will be engaged with a cross-disciplinary and holistic approach.
Online and offline debates will be organised in order to engage more young people and to scrutinise ourselves. In September a few dozen youth leaders will come together to agree on the strategy on how to implement all over Europe during a training for multipliers. The participants of the training organise trainings in their local communities, setting up campaign teams all over Europe, all working together for the implementation in their own countries, while also promoting the ECI that will be set up by the Working group.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?


What makes your idea stand apart?


€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 74000,-

Total budget

Major expenses


What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

We will be bringing the concept of European Citizens’ Initiatives to the youth. So besides partners we already found, we are always interested in your experiences with this tool and ideas on how to engage youth in it. Furthermore, which civic competences do you think should be in formal education?



Idea created on April 13, 2015
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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