European values in the UK

Between Brexit consequences and Hip Hop communities

The UK is experiencing acute pressures to make fundamental change following the national referendum decision to withdraw from the European Union and the formal legal decision to commence negotiations to effect the decision of the referendum earlier this year (“Brexit”). This has led to an increased awareness of the need to identify the nature of British values vis a vis European values which until recently had been largely unaddressed, but now have emerged as closely related to changing perceptions of national and personal identity.

INTEVAL (UK) has undertaken a literature search to explore the different usage of the concept of European values and especially how the divergent use of the idea of values is now – after the Brexit decision – being used in political and cultural narratives, and how this is being learned and taught. They have decided to focus their national work with that of other provider organisations in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Assembly and has a diverse population with areas of high disadvantage and social exclusion. It also has a strong tradition of community education and social engagement.

INTEVAL have undertaken a scoping initiative to survey organisations in Edinburgh which may be suitable to take part in project activities in Edinburgh. This has included the local Hip Hop Community, political organisations, local community groups and groups set up to assist refugees and migrants who are arriving in Edinburgh. As an example, they have initiated discussions around European Values with the Hip Hop Community during Jam Piece 2017, an international Festival of Hip Hop Dance in partnership with Edinburgh Festival Theatre and Breakin Convention. A recap of this event can be found at http://www.thestateleith.com/jam-piece/

INTEVAL are now constructing three workshop/seminar programmes in Edinburgh. The first is to explore, with relevant stakeholders, the development of different approaches to relating the idea of European values to the realities of life in Edinburgh. The second to look into innovative learning and teaching methodologies, especially those related to including learning about values as part of the established curriculum in other learning provision, and the development of informal and non-formal learning about values. The third strand will explore the practical issues of developing provision in the future. This will include the practical development of the offered curriculum.

 

EU Values board game

The team of Eco Logic has started the process for development of a board game that will have the aim to stimulate discussions among various types of participants, both young and adults, from various professional background, in order to share their thoughts on values in their own countries, and or on local level (village, municipality, neighbourhood).

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www.ecologic.mk

(Picture: Eco Logic)

Environment protection: A value in Europe

Eco Logic in close collaboration with local journalists started to work on tackling the problem with rule of law and equal treatment in front of the law for every citizen in Macedonia. Taking into consideration that Eco logic works in the field of environment, as a topic for research it was chosen the illegal degradation of the natural protected forest called Vodno, in the city of Skopje. The research story shows how ceratin individuals use the lack of equality in the legal system in Macedonia, thus degrading the belief of the rule of law as a value in every democratic society.

The full story can be found  here (in Macedonian Language)

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The team of Eco Logic strongly believes that clean, available and affordable water is one of the key values, especially in Europe. Therefore, the team of Eco Logic made collaboration with the production house “Kadar”. In the heart of Macedonia, a country with strong EU aspirations there is lack of clean water out of the tap (public water supply) for everyday needs, such as drinking, washing etc.

www.ecologic.mk

(Picture: Ecologic)

Panel discussion on European Values

During the second partner meeting in Helsingor/Denmark, the Danish project partner mhtconsult invited stakeholders from different parts of Denmark to a panel discussion and workshop on European values. After giving a brief presentation of themselves (for instance age, work, family, interests and engagements, personal values etc.), the participants presented up to 3 values which they considered to be the most important ones for the cooperation and community in EU, and described very briefly the arguments behind their choice of values. This led to a discussion between the panel members and representatives from partner organisations, having a common critical look on the values by asking:

– What framework conditions and factors can block this value?

– Where and how is this value already practiced in EU/Europe?

– What can we do on a national and European level to promote and enforce this value in EU/Europe?

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The discussion  showed the diverse character of values, and how even basic shared values can be subject of individual points of views. For the project partners, it was important to understand  the level of diversity when it comes to teach and discuss European values in different settings.

In Denmark, there is a special focus on the concept for equal and active citizenship as a basic European value. As part of the activities, a special learning portal is developed, where teachers and voluntary organisations will find learning/training materials focused on citizenship as well as related topics such as democratic values, equal treatment and antidiscrimination, integration and diversity, empowerment, culture and intercultural communication and the meaning of belonging and prevention of radicalization. Some of the learning/training materials about national and European citizenship were already tested and discussed in a group of young Muslims in a local training context.

www.mhtconsult.dk

(Picture: Eco Logic)

 

Pulse of Europe: Counteracting current tendencies against a united, democratic Europe

The Pulse of Europe is a private initiative wanting to help maintain a united, democratic Europe – a Europe where respect for human dignity, the rule of law, freedom of thought and action, tolerance and respect are self-evident foundations of the community. Europeans and Democrats of conviction are asked to send out positive energy that counteracts current tendencies: http://www.pulseofeurope.eu / #pulseofeurope

Kick-Off Meeting in Hannover/Germany

In November 2016, the partner organisations met in Hannover/Germany for the Kick-Off Meeting of the project. Besides organisational and administrational needs, the main focus of the meeting was to share knowledge on human rights based teaching and learning, to discuss European values from different perspectives, and to collect and draft ideas on local and transnational activities and methodological approaches.

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