20 SES 07 A, Intercultural Learning, Identity and Citizenship
After a successful project on European Citizenship with young adults in Portuguese Upper Secondary Schools (2013), a new project explores European citizenship as well as the architecture of the European Union - competences and role in decision-making of its structures and organisms. Within that wider project, this paper builds on young adults’ views on European citizenship, particular attention being given to the 2014 elections to the European Parliament: What meanings are ascribed by young adults to European citizenship? How do they place themselves in the face of it? What is their knowledge about their citizenship rights and duties?
As widely explored over the last decades, the emergence of the European Union (EU) has affected the formulation of citizenship (Braidotti, 1998), bringing concerns such as European citizenship, internationalization and delegation of powers from the states to the EU (Lister 1997a). Years after Portugal joining the EU, “European citizenship” might be seen as a way to capture the loyalty of citizens of Europe to a united and supranational political structure. European citizenship was expected to accommodate human rights and recognize cultural differences and autonomy, regardless of gender, ethnicity, "race", religion, family and status, which involved hybrid and cosmopolitan identities in the horizon of citizenship (Ferreira & Tavares, 1998). European citizenship is still a complex, controversial and ill-defined concept and citizenship rights are still unknown to many young people, even if some have plan to live in the EU in the future in search for life conditions that are not provided to them in their country. Moreover the adhesion to the EU and the inherent construction of a sense of European belonging and identity are confronted by the crisis of the European Union and the consequent impairment of many people life conditions, together with exclusion and discrimination of the most disadvantaged populations.
In this context, some attention has been given to the potential impacts of the enactment of citizenship for young adults’ present and future (Arnot, 2009) as well as to the diversified meanings they ascribe to social experiences and their potential to change the social order (Fairclough, 2006). A set of "youth" policy priorities underlines the gaps in the conditions for youth citizenship and recognizes that if young adults are faced with greater opportunities and higher risks, they also have potential as young citizens to promote the values of the Council of Europe (Committee of Ministers, 2008).
Educational, political, social and economic reconfigurations (Dale 2009, Antunes 2008, Barroso, 2006) where young citizenship(s) are configured, allow highlighting tensions in the European proclamation of citizenship. Strengthening young adults’ citizenship as tool for sustainable development prevails at the reaffirmation of the strategic objectives of the Lisbon and the Gothenburg Councils. In the global trend, the European Parliament reinforces the importance of education/training to assert European excellence in the knowledge economy with social justice (Official Journal of the European Union, 2005). The Commission focuses the need to promote active citizenship among the indicators of progress on the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy in education/training (ibid. 2009). Member states are urged to take measures to enable young adults develop skills, abilities and qualifications to perform European citizenship and to social, educational and work inclusion (Council of the European Union 2008a). Education/training has significant role in promoting active citizenship through skills upgrading (COM, 2012). The training action at the root of this paper recognizes young adults as educational stakeholders, and their experience and location within particular structural relationships of power, seeking to incorporate their voices and cultures in the analysis of the contexts that inform their lives (Macedo, 2009) - The EU and European citizenship.
Antunes, Fátima (2008). A Nova ordem educacional: Espaço europeu de educação e aprendizagem... Coimbra: Almedina. Arnot, Madeleine (2009). Educating the gendered citizen: Sociological engagements with national and global agendas. London: Routledge. Barroso, João (2006). O estado e a educação: A regulação transnacional, a regulação nacional e a regulação local. In Barroso (Ed.), A regulação das políticas públicas de educação: Espaços, dinâmicas e actores (pp. 43-70). Lisboa: Educa. Braidotti, Rosi (1998). Gender and the contested notion of European citizenship. In Ferreira; Tavares; Portugal (Eds.), Shifting bonds shifting bounds: Women mobility and citizenship in Europe (pp. 59-66). Oeiras: Celta. Committee of Ministers (2008). Resolution CM/Res (2008)23 on the youth policy of the Council of Europe. http://ec.europa.eu/education/news/rethinking/com669_pt.pdf Dale, R. (2009) Studying globalisation and europeanisation in education. In Dale & Robertson (Eds.), Globalisation and europeanisation in education (pp. 121-141). Oxford: Symposium Books. COM (2012). Comunicação da Comissão ao Parlamento Europeu, ao Conselho, ao Comité Económico e Social Europeu e ao Comité das Regiões. Repensar a educação - Investir nas competências para melhores resultados socioeconómicos. http://ec.europa.eu/education/news/rethinking/com669_pt.pdf Fairclough, Norman (2006). Analysing discourse: Textual analysis for social research. London & New York: Routledge. Ferreira, Virgínia & Tavares, Teresa (1998). Women and mobility: Shifting bonds and bounds in Europe. In Ferreira, Tavares & Portugal (Eds.), Shifting bonds shifting bounds: Women; mobility and citizenship in Europe (pp. 1-16). Oeiras: Celta. Lister, Ruth (1997). Citizenship: Feminist perspectives. New York: New York University Press. Macedo, Eunice (2009). Cidadania em confronto: Educação de elites em tempo de globalização. Porto: Livpsic. Macedo, Eunice & Araújo, Helena, C. (2014). Young Portuguese construction of educational citizenship: commitments and conflicts in semi-disadvantaged secondary schools. Journal of Youth Studies, 17(3), 343-359 Official Journal of the European Union 2005. “Mid-term review of the Lisbon Strategy. European Parliament resolution on the Lisbon Strategy.” http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2005:320E:0164:0168:EN:PDF Official Journal of the European Union 2009. “Council conclusions of 12 May 2009 on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (‘ET 2020’).” http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2009:119:0002:0010:EN:PDF
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