Brikena Xhomaqi on citizenship education in Euope

In a short interview for NECE, Brikena Xomaqui, director of Lifelong Learning Platform LLLP, explains how LLLP fosters citizenship education in Europe how the chances for a European budget for citzenship education can be evaluated and about her personal descision to dedicate herself to the future of education in Europe.

NECE: Could you very briefly tell us which event/experience/incidence has been crucial to your personal decision to dedicate yourself to the future of education in Europe?

Brikena Xhomaqi
Director of Lifelong learning Platform - European Civil Society for Education (© privat)

Brikena Xhomaqi: My very first years in university; back in 2005 I got elected as student representative and joined the Student Council of the University of Trieste in Italy. This was the crucial moment that helped me decide to continue working for better education and better citizens’ participation in decision making.

NECE: How do you evaluate the chances of increasing the budget for citizenship education in the up-coming Multi-annual Financial Framework of the European Union? Where do you see opportunities to shift priorities for example in the next ERASMUS + programme towards Citizenship Education?

Brikena Xhomaqi: The chances of increasing the EU expenditure on citizenship education are not obvious at the moment although there is a clear momentum to do so. Since the Paris Declaration where Education Ministers committed to work more on social inclusion and common values through education and training, a council recommendation was adopted in May 2018 calling for Member States to reform their education systems in this regard. In addition, a new programme on EU values has been proposed for the post-2020 Multi-Annual Financial Framework, which will integrate the existing programme Europe for Citizens to the Justice and Rights programme. We expect this new programme to foster the support of funding for initiatives in the area of citizenship education etc. We also expect the vision of the European Education Area as well as the lately adopted Council Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning as well as the above mentioned Council Recommendation on Social Inclusion and Shared Values through Teaching to become guiding frameworks of the next Erasmus+ programme.

NECE: Which concrete projects/measures are offered/taken by the LLLP to foster active citizenship through education in Europe? Could you give us an example? (just one)

Brikena Xhomaqi: The very main mission of LLLP since its establishment has been to promote the idea of democratic education systems that foster active citizenship through education and training in Europe. Being an advocacy organisation we run several activities in this regard but most of which take the form of policy debates with European institutions on the importance of democratic education systems and citizenship education. More concretely, LLLP has produced position papers on the topic and gathered a number of good practices mostly coming from the non-formal education sector. One example could be the work of LLLP and EAEA with European Parliament members of the Lifelong Learning Interest Group that has hosted several debates on the topic and provided recommendations to policy makers and Member States on how to promote active citizenship through education and training.
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