ELF Study Visit: the State of the Civic Space in Europe: What’s at Stake?

The second annual Study Visit of SOLIDAR Foundation took place online from 12 to 14 July. This year, the Study Visit provided members and partners with an overview of the state of play of the civic space in Europe, thanks to the interventions of external experts as well as through the promotion of exchanges of experiences, common challenges and lessons learned by members and partners across Europe. 
The event culminated in a Statement based on the discussions and exchange of experiences occurred over the three days. Further, the Study Visit fed into the citizenship education analysis of the coming edition of the Citizenship and Lifelong Learning Monitor.

SOLIDAR’s Study Visits are conceived as a peer learning opportunity for members to expand their knowledge and network in relation to education and lifelong learning.To enhance the peer-learning and networking aspects at once, the standard methodology guiding the activities is based on non-formal education.

Over three days, SOLIDAR Foundation’s members and partners reflected and exchanged on how to counter the shrinking of civic space and empower civil society through citizenship education. The event served as an avenue to explore and raise pertinent questions about several issues impacting civil society, among which: the role of citizenship education to promote democratic participation and the civil dialogue in Europe. Furthermore, it was a reflective space in which members and partners explored ways in which citizenship education strengthens the democratic fabric of each society, building resilience and resistance against any discourse that tries to delegitimise solidarity across Europe.

The Study Visit was comprised of panels with experts from civil society and academia, which tackled the topics of the Rule of Law and participatory democracy, as well as of presentations of case studies from the SOLIDAR Foundation membership on the different attacks on the civic space and active citizenship projects.

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