Seminar Young People and Active European Citizenship

European Youth Centre, Budapest, 23-25 November, 2006

The youth research strand of the Partnership programme also aims to contribute to the work on European Citizenship. It does so by increasing visibility and understanding of the current debates and practices on European Citizenship and by encouraging academic debates on the topic, understandable and useful for policy-makers and practitioners.

The Research Seminar "Young People and Active European Citizenship", which took place in the European Youth Centre, Budapest 23rd-25th November, 2006, provided for such a forum of reflection, evidenced-based analysis and dialogue between the youth researchers, youth NGOs, youth policy makers and practitioners on the topic of Citizenship and its particular relevance in the European context. The aim of the seminar was to examine the contemporary meanings and understandings of Citizenship and the ways they are used, in relation to the European youth field and (its impact on) the larger society. After the institutional introductions and the key-note speech debates focused on four aspects of the citizenship as it is reflected in the life of young people nowadays.

Firstly various meanings and understandings of the concept were analysed. Then the aspects of belonging or not, being or not being citizens. Thirdly, the manifestations of young people's participation in civic life. Finally, the practice of citizenship education in formal and non-formal settings. The debates proved yet once more that Citizenship is a contested and an ambivalent concept, which refers to legal rights and obligations within a nation-state but also to civil, political and social rights. Its practical implications change very dynamically, in close relation to complex realities of young people's lives.

Seminar report by Ditta Dolejšiová, Miguel Ángel Garcia López and Marta Medlinska

Abstracts from papers presented during the seminar

Publication: European citizenship - In the process of construction - Challenges for citizenship, citizenship education and democratic practice in Europe by Ditta Dolejšiová and Miguel Ángel García López (eds). Council of Europe, 2009.

Detailed programme

Thursday, 23rd November 2006

Morning - Introductions:

  • Welcome words
  • Introductions of Participants, Chairs, Seminar team
  • Setting the Institutional Framework
  • Presentation of the Seminar: Objectives, Programme…
  • Exercise: "I am / (not)/ (more or less) European Citizen because…"
  • Key Note Input: "A Post-Colonial Critique of European Citizenship: A global challenge?" by Supriya Singh, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi, India

Afternoon - Panel 1: Constructing European Citizenship: Meanings and Understandings (Chair Person: Miguel Angel García López)

Friday, 24th November 2006

Morning - Panel 2: "To be or not to be? – Citizens or non-citizens?" (Chair Person: Rui Gomes)

Afternoon - Panel 3: Young people and participation in civic life (Chair Person: Ditta Dolejsiova)

 Saturday, 25th November 2006

 Morning - Panel 4: Citizenship in educational (formal and non-formal) practice (Chair Person: Marta Medlinska)


  • Drawing conclusions 
  • Final discussion
  • Evaluation of the seminar 
  • Closing of the seminar