CHIEF Feature Image

CHIEF - Moving towards an inclusive cultural education and participation

We design and accompany multi-stakeholder dialogues and interactive workshops to trigger change

The interconnected notions of respect towards the rights of minorities and cultural diversity are facing a number of challenges: the rise of far-right movements, the current radicalization of young people in Europe and processes questioning the meaningfulness of the European project. To address these challenges, the European CHIEF project builds a dialogue between researchers, education practitioners, policymakers, community leaders, civil society activists and young people from all over Europe, India and Turkey. The aim is to facilitate a future Europe based on more inclusive notions of cultural heritage*1Whatever acquires significance as valuable for a group in providing it with an authentic sense of past (Rowlands 2002) resulting from power relationships, and is transmitted, internalised and enacted by members of the group. and cultural identity*2Way of representing existing individual and collective differences as being historically inherited and closely associated with established forms of cultural heritage.. Citizens For Europe methodically design a multi-stakeholders' process and accompany a series of workshops to create a sustainable environment for dialogue between these actors and develop effective policy recommendations at the local and European level.

“The exploitation of Collective intelligence of various actors is a key for triggering social change” says Martin Wilhelm, Director at Citizens For Europe. Started in May 2018, the CHIEF project wants to use collective intelligence to rethink the idea of “Europeanness” as a culture of dialogue and mutual respect. The project aims to develop and implement a new approach to the cultural literacy*3Competence in understanding cultural references, enabling active cultural participation in society. of young Europeans, which is often criticized for being elitist, masculine and essentially aimed at universalizing Western values. “A global perspective on European cultural identity is vital for the sustainability of the European project as it directly challenges nationalist, xenophobic and separatist tendencies”, explains Dr. Anton Popov, Lecturer in Sociology at Aston University and CHIEF Project manager.

A transnational research project on cultural education, socialization and participation of young people

Funded by the research and innovation program Horizon2020, the project brings together all the parties involved in young people’s cultural participation and cultural education in Europe: young people, education practitioners from formal and non-formal settings, researchers from seven European and two international universities, as well as policy-makers, civil society activists and community leaders. The partner universities from the UK, Germany, Spain, Latvia, Slovakia, Croatia, Georgia, Turkey and India collaboratively research national and European policies that frame educational practices targeting young people’s cultural participation and intercultural learning. They explore factors influencing young people’s cultural socialization and intercultural dialogue in various types of localities (big cities, small towns, rural areas) and in different socio-cultural environments (schools, family settings, youth groups, etc).

We design a dialogue for inclusive, reflective and participatory social changes

As Citizens For Europe has a strong record in applying innovative methods for multi-stakeholders collaboration, we have been commissioned to co-create together with the partner organizations a methodology to facilitate an effective dialogue between the various actors involved in the project. Inspired by the sector of non-formal education and civil activism, the proposed methods will guide the current collaboration of these stakeholders at the national and transnational level, support their knowledge exchange and aid in the creation of policy recommendations. We will design a common methodology for Multi-Stakeholders partnerships and interactive workshops that will take place in each partner country. The various participants will identify their common ground and needs, plan their local actions and develop policy recommendations. These aim to enhance the cultural and intercultural competence of young Europeans and to counteract racism among young people. In our methodological training "Inclusive collaboration for inclusive change" that took place mid-February 2019, we trained the researchers to give them the tools to implement the Multi-Stakeholders Partnership and collaborative workshops at the local level, to allow for inclusive, reflective and participatory social changes. To further support them, we also produced the handbook "Methodological Model of Effective Communication between Stakeholders - How to foster an inclusive and participative multi-sectoral collaboration", two podcasts and an online resources-page.

For further information please visit the project website or contact us at

Funded by


Partner Universities


March 20, 2023
Aktionsfonds Stark gegen Rassimus - Bild Workshops

Action Fund Strong against racism

Action Fund Strong against racism

Strengthening voluntary anti-racist engagement

The Action Fund supports up to 20 voluntary initiatives working in local projects against racism and for plural democracy with financial support of 5,000 € and a 14-month accompanying and further training programme. Volunteers with and without their own experience of racism are supported, especially in Eastern Germany. By promoting social engagement to reduce racism, the Action Fund contributes to a more democratic and just coexistence.
February 9, 2021
DIYW Team Photo Meeting in Barcelona in October 2021

Democratic Innovations in Youth Work

Democratic Innovations in Youth Work

Reviving youth engagement and participation in democratic life

Whereas various innovations to democratize contemporary democracies have been imagined, designed, tested and even institutionalised on different levels of decision-making (e.g. citizens assemblies, participatory budgeting, deliberative polls etc.), Democratic Innovations (DIs) still do not play a role in youth work and non-formal education today. The DIYW (Democratic Innovations in Youth Work) project aims at tackling the issue of democratic disenchantment and erosion by developing, testing and disseminating didactic materials that support youth workers and teachers to introduce to young people the subject of Democratic Innovations.
September 10, 2018
Group photo Activists and Partners European Democracy Network


European Democracy Network

For the defense of freedom, democracy and fundamental rights!

Democracy and its underlying fundamental rights are in decline in Europe. More and more right-wing populist parties and leaders are taking over governments and dismantling the democratic constitutional state – even in the so-called consolidated democracies. In this context, we believe it is necessary to support activists and initiatives who are under threat. As transnational partnership we initiated the European Democracy Network (EDN) to support, empower and connect activists who stand against the erosion of democracy and fundamental rights, and advocate for legal, political, social or climate justice. We believe that we can only encounter the shrinking of civic space in transnational solidarity and across issues.
September 8, 2018
CHIEF Feature Image


CHIEF, Towards an inclusive cultural education

Designing a multi-stakeholder collaboration to trigger change

The European CHIEF project builds a dialogue between young people, researchers, education practitioners, policymakers, community leaders and civil society activists in order to facilitate a future of Europe based on more inclusive notions of cultural heritage and cultural identity. Citizens For Europe will methodically design a multi-stakeholders' process and accompany a series of workshops to create a sustainable environment for dialogue between these actors and develop effective policy recommendations at the local and European level.
September 1, 2018

WAHLRECHT FÜR ALLE – Voting right for All

Wahlrecht für Alle - Voting right for all

We demand the right to vote for all people living here!

In Berlin more than 700,000 residents are excluded from voting in elections for local, regional and national representatives and referendums, simply because the Berlin electoral law is tied to German citizenship. Since 2011, the Berlin alliance “Wahlrecht für Alle” (“Voting Right for All”) has drawn attention to this injustice and has been committed to enabling the political participation of all people living in Berlin, regardless of their nationality. We therefore call for national voting right for EU citizens and third-country nationals, as well as for local and municipal voting right for third-country nationals.
August 31, 2018


NiCeR - Empowering local and newcomer youth

Using theater to strengthen youth participation in local life

Started in December 2015, the two-year NiCeR project used theater and the power of storytelling to develop a counter-narrative that strengthened youth participation in local cultural and social life while promoting skills development, empowerment and living together in cultural diversity. In Berlin, 30 young people from Berlin, Kosovo, Syria and Afghanistan came together, created and performed the musical What the Volk?! based on identity, belonging, migration and the power of language.
August 30, 2018

You and Me

You and Me - Empowering rural youth

A Youth film project for a new European narrative

Our youth film project brought together 9 young who grew up in the rural areas in Spain, Greece and Germany. They grabbed a camera and told their own stories beyond the media spin and stereotypes that have dominated the mainstream narrative in the European Union over the last few years. After taking part in a film training, they travelled in September and October 2016 as transnational groups through the rural areas of Brandenburg (Germany), Lesbos (Greece) and Aragón (Spain), where they interviewed other youngsters about their lives in the rural areas, their dreams and everyday challenges.