ACC Bulletin No. 69
December 11th 2006
ACC International Programme Office

Schools for Europe Community College III
- EQF for European Co-citizenship / www.co-citizenship.eu
Dreams for the Future Community College
Biennial Conference 2006 of the EESC by Elisabeth Alber, Brussels
"Europe for Citizens Forum" by Erik Jentges, Brussels
"European Civil Society Forum" by John Petersen, Bergamo
Statute for a European Association
The representativeness of European civil society organisations
General Assembly 2006
Invitations received
New members


Schools for Europe Community College III (SECC III)

The SECC III consisted of a sample of the thousands of Europeans who took part in the European Community College courses of the ACC. From September 3rd - 10th they were working on identifying, describing and assessing added "European competences" resulting from European Community Colleges and/or similar residential school formats. We consider the sample an "expert-community" of European co-citizens.

The results of their work can be seen at the www.co-citizenship.eu. Consider this website a resource and a gift!

If you can identify with the participants, you can cherry-pick from the competences identified and put them into your CV as describing your European co-citizenship education. You can as well add the "tick & shooting star symbol".

If you make use of it, you do contribute to promote the European Community Colleges format via the knowledge, skills and attitudes allegedly obtained. No matter, if "European co-citizenship learning/education" is recognised by states or other authorities, this will prove, that European citizens do recognise and approve the value of it themselves.

The SECC III participants invented the "tick & shooting star symbol" of an accredited award invented and bestowed on the authority of this expert community of Europeans. The more CV's circulating with the tick-and-shooting-star-symbol the better.

The www.co-citizenship.eu presents results of a self-assessment process among Europeans. Every identification, formulation and validation is on the authority of the expert community.

If you are an organiser of residential school courses in a non-formal environment yourself, the www.co-citizenship.eu delivers proof, that a 360 degrees self-assessment process does not necessarily challenge the benefits of learning in an environment without exams. The website is hopefully even proof, that it is possible to describe learning outcomes in an understandable and comparable language.

As futher stressing this point, the expert community composed their own alternative Qualifications Framwork for European Co-Citizenship - http://www.co-citizenship.eu/co-citizenshipEQF.htm

The Schools for Europe CC's of the ACC are dedicated to policy development within our field: towards a European public sphere by the help of residential learning events.

The Schools for Europe Community College I took place from December 27th 2001 to January 2nd 2002 at the Højskolen Østersøen, Denmark. The result of the Schools for Europe Community College I was a suggestion for an "Act on European Community Colleges" including the European Community College Foundation.

The Schools for Europe Community College II took place from February 9th-16th 2003 at the Højskolen Østersøen. The result was a compilation of articles and documents describing results of the ACC in recent years - including a suggestion for an "Action 6" that would make residential learning possible within Europe and among Europeans.

The Schools for Europe Community College III took place from September 3rd to September 10th 2006 at the International People's College in Helsingør/Elsinore, Denmark.


Dreams for the Future Community College

The Dreams for the Future Community College took place from July 8th to 15th at the International People's College in Elsinore, Denmark. The participants were 25 young people from The Netherlands, Latvia and Denmark.

The project has been prepared in order to give young people from three different regions in Europe a chance to debate their dreams about the future within a EUropean labourmarket, an integrated political EU and to see the different lifestyles and perceptions of life quality in three different regions of Europe.

The project was carried out in cooperation with Folkshegeskoalle Schylgeralan, Rites Tautskola and ACC Latvia. Astrid Ranvig coordinated the project and the Danish committee.

The Dreams-project was the third in a series of projects. The first one took place at Rites Tautskola in 2004, the second at the Folkshegeskoalle Schylgeralan in 2005 while the third took place in Denmark. It has been the strategy of the ACC to try and make the participants aware, that they are able to organise events by themselves and to introduce the tools and ways to do it. Most importantly, we hope they will make use of our facility in Latvia, the Rites Tautskola, when they decide to meet next time.

It is still to prove, if the project carries the multiplying effect wished for. So far, the three groups have booked a week in summer 2007 at Rites Tautskola.

More at http://www.acc.eu.org/SEEEMS/4102.asp. Photos are uploaded at the ftp://member.acc.eu.org


Biennial Conference 2006 of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on A Living Europe: A Challenge for European Society
by Elisabeth Alber

"Living Europe: a challenge for civil society" took place in Brussels on 18th and 19th of September.

Following, in few lines, what was said of ACC-relevance at that meeting.

The leaving President of the Economic and Social Committee (EESC) Anne-Marie Sigmund openend the conference by saying how important it is to work on a common European identity and that it has to be built by the citizens.

Jacques Delors underlined in his speech the necessity to work for a new balance within Europe, for a united European society able to resist and combat tensions and conflicts. The civil society has to work especially in the fields of: (a) Western individualisation process, (b) the spontaneity and (c) the Europe of emotions; and to search for constructive ways to make good use of the 21st century, which Delors describes as the century of public opinion.

The vacuum between public opinion and institutions has to be removed by participatory democracy. Delors also spoke about the European Social Model more generally and defined it as the balance of the individual and the society, in which a purely market-based society is showing clearly its limits. He also referred to education by stating that European education does not mean programmes. It means, instead, living communities - and these living communities should be guided and built by civil society organizations fighting, among others, bad governance and corruption. We need to get back to the significance and content of "community", he stated when referring to the Maastricht Treaty.

Joseph Daul, MEP, stressed also the importance of education and especially of sustainable curricula, which guarantee social cohesion and a sense of belonging. Franz Fischler, President of the Eco-Social Forum, was talking mostly about infrastructure and the relationship of periphery and cities. Also Mikael Karlsson was focusing on sustainable development policies and on the polluter pays principle etc.

Within the discussion at the first conference day, Willy de Backer (Euractiv), the moderator, was trying to get people to make comments on the provocative question:"Is the EU part of the solution or part of the problem?" and the general outcome of participants' comments was that it is rather part of the problem as it is now.

Jean-Marc Roirant, whom we know as EUCIS chairman, emphasized once more the importance of European Curricula and the necessity of a Statute for European Associations to proove the financial status and transparency of NGO's work.

The second day of the conference was divided into three workshop. I took part in the Workshop: The culture of dialogue and participation guided by Staffan Nilsson. The big message was: NGO's do work! They do not only demand, as many beleive! It was a clear message as well, that the European institutions have to listen to civil society when asking themselves the question: "What is the European project about?" A consultation culture is not enough when aiming at a real European culture. NGOs have to be heard and have to get feedback (real follow-up for their work!). E-governance is a tool, but it is not enough!

[As far as we can see, there is an ongoing struggle in Brussels for the time being. We could call it the "battle of participation". We will try to describe this battle in the next issue of the Bulletin, ed.]


"Europe for Citizens Forum"
by Erik Jentges
The "Europe for Citizens Forum" was held by the European Commission and brought together about 200 municipalities and NGOs to talk about the current status of the Plan D and the EU-Commission Whitepaper on communication. It was on 28-29/9 in Brussels.

On the first day, EU-Commissioner Wallström made the opening speech of some 15 minutes. She started out saying that we have to make Europe more democratic and that we have to empower the citizen. As a consequence, we have to build a European Public Sphere, she said, and referred again to the "meeting places" for Europeans mentioned in the whitepaper. She added that these could be either physical and/or virtual meeting places.

This was put into the context of the necessity to build networks among the civil society, or more catchy: to build the human infrastructure, the infrastructure of people. She then announced that the Commission will launch new programmes and big events with the celebration of the 50 years anniversary of the treaty of Rome that will involve some kind of gathering of young people.

The rest of the day continued with examples of municipalities showing their town-twinning projects, interesting, but not that relevant for ACC. It became more ACC-relevant again when Tamas Szücs from DG Communication talked about the Plan D and the results so far with it.

There have been 200.000 hits/months on the "Debating Europe" website with thousands of comments. As a result, 6 transnational European projects will materialise during 2006/2007. In the near future, the EU will then present a "Revised Plan D", its result will then be channelled to the June 7th summit in Germany. Regarding the 50th anniversary of the Rome treaty, 17 projects were examined and some were identified as pan-european projects. For the 50th anniversary, a news package, some sort of "spring days", testimonies by Erasmus students and a youth summit in Rome (parallel to the official thing) will be organised.

Scücz also said that a European curriculum on European Integration is being developed, but should not be imposed on member-states and their schools, it is rather an offer that is prepared. The same message came from Pierre Mairesse, who was chairing the conference. He outlined that also during the coming EU-Presidency Germany wants to talk about teaching Europe in schools. Please remark the similarity with the SECC III endeavors (www.co-citizenship.eu)

On the second day, the conference theme shifted away from the municipalities to NGOs and civil society. Marc Jorna talked about the implementation of the future of "Europe for Citizens" programme. The programme application procedure will be simplified, there will no longer be a contract, but a decision coming from the Commission if funding is granted, and there will be a whole package of online services for project application that are currently being tested.

One speech was given by Henrik Kroner (European Movement), outlining very interestingly the legitimacy of the EU based on its achievements. The text should be published under www.whathaseuropedone.org

A presentation by Monika Macdonagh Pajerova from the "European Civic Forum" reported about her NGO and was actually speaking about the problem ACC has as well - being recognized as a European NGO, without having to rely on national chapters and without having to face and compete national NGO's re-nationalising ideas and projects with heavy support from the states.


European Civil Society Forum in Bergamo, Italy
by John Petersen

The Forum was one in a series of forums following up on the EU-Commission's Whitepaper on Communication. This one reflected on the chapter in the Whitepaper talking about empowering citizens. The forum took place in Bergamo (I) and was attended by civil society organisations mainly.

The approach of the EU-Commission was clear: the Commission wanted to harvest ideas on how to move the work and their own "Plan D" forward. And it was crystal clear, that it was about a European public sphere and/or a European Demos. The GD Communication Director General Claus Sørensen introduced these main contexts.

In the Whitepaper there are three objectives (A) improving civic education, (B) connecting citizens with each others, and (C) connecting citizens and public institutions. These three objectives were mirrored in the three workshops of the forum. There were as well "extra" workshops on the (D) Age of Internet and on (E) European values.

Of course, I should have been in the working group on connecting citizens, because that is also where the whitepaper stresses the idea of “meeting places” or “new forums”, but a the time of signing in, it was not clear, what were the contents of each workshop. I ended up in the A-group.

There were maybe 30-40 in my workshop. There were lots of nice ideas and projects. There were even quite some suggestions of relevance to the European level of civic education. A real good work has been done putting together a summary. It can be found at the site: www.empower06.eu

I took the chance and presented the idea, that some time in their lives all Europeans should have the chance, within the learning-and-living-together-format, to discuss European matters with other Europeans. I stressed that European public sphere does not make sense, when people's opinions and points of views are only challenged by their own countrymen. This idea was pretty welcome. People referred to it a couple of times, and reminded the secretary to include it in the summary.

The following words are to find in the beginning of the summary. I am particularly happy about them, because they echo both the project-description of the First European Community College (http://www.acc.eu.org/uploads/First_European_Community_College_(FECC)(2).pdf)
and as well the www.co-citizenship.eu - results by the SECC III - participants:

"European citizens need relevant knowledge (about institutions, players, media, histories etc.), skills (e.g. English proficiency, search informaion, etc.) and attitude (be trained in and used to be challenged by points of views, arguments, and reasoning of citizens from other cultures, nations, etc.)." (page 1 in the summary, www.empower06.eu)

The Act on European Community Colleges (http://www.acc.eu.org/uploads/REVISED_ACT04.pdf) and the Action 6 (http://www.acc.eu.org/uploads/Thessalonikiletter.pdf) were once again delivered to people from the DG as they stressed the would be interested in good ideas. There were also other organisations distributing ideas from these two documents.

Concluding: it will be interesting to see, what they get out of it, and it will in particular be interesting to see the states’ responds to the Whitepaper. The responds will be made public in December, I was told. For us it is about keeping on stressing that important dimensions of European learning has to take place in a European environment.


Statute for a European Association

Five Members of the European Parliament from five different countries and from five different political parties have presented, during April’s plenary session, a written declaration n° 0024/2006 "on the statute for a European association and the promotion of an active European citizenship". If this declaration collects the signatures of half of the representatives of the European Parliament, it will become a Parliament’s official position.

The ACC and many of its members has actively supported this declaration.
Please confer this site for further details: http://www.acc.eu.org/SEEEMS/131.asp (14/6)


The representativeness of European civil society organisations

On February 14-15th 2006 the EU's Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an opinion on "The representativeness of European civil society organisations in civil dialogue". On April 24th was launched a consultation in order for the European civil society to let its voice heard about the guidelines and proposals set out in its opinion.

The ACC has (almost) limited itself to comment on one paragraph that seemed to exclude European citizens' organisations from direct participation, while only umbrella organisations composed of national organisations would find representation.

Please confer this site for further details: http://www.acc.eu.org/SEEEMS/131.asp (19/6)

[This is part of the upon mentioned "battle of participation". We will try to describe this battle in the next issue of the Bulletin, ed.]


General Assembly 2006 (DK)

The ACC GA 2006 took place in Elsinore/Helsingør (DK). Please find the minutes on the ftp-server (ftp://member.acc.eu.org) and/or in the archive http://www.acc.eu.org/SEEEMS/213.asp There were no new members of the board elected. The GA did elect a new internal auditor: Lars Rasmussen, Copenhagen. Welcome to Lars!

It means Lene Albrechtsen wished to leave position after six years work. The voluntary work of Lene cannot be praised enough! ACC could not have existed without Lene patiently explaining the staff (John) what means accounts and bookkeeping! Lene did in fact also help compose the first rather complicated budget of the Youth2002, and she was probably never properly mentioned in that context. So, here it is for the first time. Thank you very much to Lene!

GA 2006 results are to be communicated by letter to the ACC members.
However, one consequence of the GA is already visible at the website for wealthy members and other idealists:


Invitations received

A number of invitations are available from the http://public.acc.eu.org (folder: invitations)
Among the latest are:

1) Jean Monnet International Summer Seminars, Rome and Bozen, Italy, 18th June - 13th July 2007

2) EU Course at Nordfyns Folkehøjskole, Denmark, January 7th - March 31st 2007
3) ICAE Seventh World Assembly: "Adults' Right to Learn: Convergence, Solidarity and Action", Nairobi, Kenya, January 17th-19th, 2007 (before the World Social Forum).

You can post your invitations to the public folder directly by mailing seminar@acc.eu.org

19/6 Astrid Ranvig at ACC Office preparing the Dreams for the Future CC
21/6 Emilie Champliaud, Perrine Martin and Malene Jepsen meeting to discuss ReCC 2007, Århus
24/6 John Petersen meeting Rikke Schultz chairperson of AWE-Denmark
26/6 John Petersen meeting Kerttu Lohmus in Odense (DK)
26/6 John Petersen speaking at Højskolen Østersøen, Aabenraa
29/6-4/7 Erik Jentges meetings with ACC member Dirk Kalusa and Vesna Mokorel, Ljubljana
28-30/6 Mjellma Mehmeti liaising meetings, Brussels
6/7 Helen Frenzel at EUCIS meeting in Paris
8/7-15/7 Dreams for the Future CC at IPC, Helsingør
15/7 ACC presentation at the event "To move or not to move - Mobility and Active Citizenship in EUrope" by Anja Vidmar, Andreja Korbar and Urska Novak
20/7 - 27/7 John Petersen / Conchi Gallego prep-meetings in Madrid
2/8 Thore Fogh Johansen and Louise Tornøe at the ACC Office preparing SECC III
10/8 Thore Fogh Johansen and Louise Tornøe at ACC office preparing SECC III
15/8 Kerrtu Lohmus and John Petersen meeting in Odense, DK
August – project consultancy at Nordfyns Folkehøjskole by John Petersen
16-28/8 Erik Jentges meetings with ACC Latvia, Riga
18-19/9 Elisabeth Alber at the Biennial Conference 2006 of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on Living Europe: A Challenge for European Society
20/9 Eric Pichereaux visitining ACC Office
27/9 Perrine Martin in Office
28-29/9 Erik Jentges at the Europe for Citizens Forum in Brussels.
10/10 Astrid Ranvig & John Petersen meeting, Copenhagen
4/11 Perrine Martin & John Petersen in Flensburg:"Norden og Europa. Fremtidens europæiske samarbejde: hvad kan Norden bidrage med?" Conference by SSW & Nordisk Informationskontor in Flensburg.
9-10/11 John Petersen at Empower European Civil Society Forum, Bergamo (I)
16-19/11 Mjellma Mehmeti in Office
14/11 Release of the www.co-citizenship.eu
16-19/11 EAEA General Assembly, Avilés, Spain - see www.eaea.org
8/12 Perrine Martin & Malene Jepsen ReCC meeting, Aarhus

With this a warm welcome to our new members:

Karolina Jakubowska, Warzaw
Sebastian Meyer, Munich
Kathryn Dillon, Hessle
Stanislava Kaneva, Sofia
Gheorghe Zugravu, Bucharest


Seasons greetings on behalf of the ACC,
John Petersen

ACC International Programme Office
Falstersgade 44, st., gaarden
DK-8000 Aarhus C

0045 7363 0043 (ground)
0045 2425 3068 (mobile)
0045 7363 0023 (fax)

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