23 SES 12 A, The State of Play of Active Citizenship in Europe: Concepts, Policy, Engagement and the effects of the Economic Crises
This paper will begin by introducing the Active Citizenship and the EU project funded by the European Commission and the data collected for this project from the 27 EU member states. It will introduce the overarching concept of Active Citizenship as participation in political life, civil society and the community and actions based on the values of democracy and human rights. It will broadly discuss this concept in different member states and describe the different models of citizenship that are emphasised. In a second step the levels and trends of active citizenship across Europe will be mapped out. A comparison will be made on the trends of youth aspiration for engagement with trends of adult trends on engagement. The distinctions between countries are most apparent for the adult population when comparing countries in Europe with long histories of democracy such as the Nordic countries compared to the younger and more fragile democracies of Eastern Europe. The picture regarding youth aspirations for engagement is quite different with Eastern European countries and then Southern European countries demonstrating the highest levels of interest in engagement at aged 14. Possible explanations will be discussed.
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