Democratic Community of Practice (DemCoP)
Geographical, social and economic processes of large scale interact and challenge the way we used to organise our societies and democracies in Europe. Such processes are the fading of national boundaries, an increase of internal and external migration, the demographic change or the collapse of financial systems.
Along with positive effects and new opportunities these processes potentially inhabit, they especially demand new perspectives and solutions for dealing with the increase of:
- the cultural diversity of populations
- social inequalities and social gaps
- discrimination and exclusion
- ageing of society
These challenges have led to many ad hoc reactions in the private, public and political sphere and too often they were motivated by short-term interests, insecurity, fear or ignorance. The rise of mistrust in democratic institutions, of xenophobia and ethnic-nationalism or the return of the primacy of national interest are examples of current developments in Europe that endanger a peaceful and sustainable transcultural European society based on human rights, participation and solidarity.
To get in direct contact with the DeCoP-Network, you can write an e-mail to Ms. Laetitia Veriter.
The meetings bring together different actors to lay the path for a long-term collaboration between these actors and to develop a network that promotes participation, especially political participation of young people, migrants or disenfranchised groups. The changing of the common self-understanding of our society as a majority society to a society of diverse minorities rich with various cultural backgrounds, competences and knowledge plays a crucial role. Such paradigm shift allows for a change of perspectives that again reveal new opportunities and solutions to deal with the above mentioned challenges.
The collaboration can focus on three distinct but interlinked objectives:
- to raise awareness of existing political participation opportunities, especially for young people, challenged or discriminated groups, and to empower them to identify and act as democratic and valuable part of society
- to reveal the potentials of cultural diversity and change the common perspective of a deficit-approach to a appreciatory-potential approach when dealing with integration matters
- to extend political participation rights on different geographic levels and especially for groups that are politically disenfranchised, such as third-country nationals, EU expatriates or asylum-seekers.
All three objectives concern the question of how to live, decide and share responsibility together in a multinational and multicultural society. They also combine the aim to define and internalise a common canon of values, based on the EU’s charta of fundamental rights. The theoretical approach of live-long-learning is seen as the appropriate way to empower our society to meet constantly changing and new challenges.Development of the Group/Network
The network is characterized by a common understanding of how to work together. Before the background of the limited resources each member has, the members share these resources, such as language skills, valuable contacts, staff, office space, funding applications, knowledge, etc. By this, the network wants to break the “competitiveness-system” among NGOs, that has entered the civil society sector due to the award system applied by major institutions. Instead of the “NGO-economicus” the network members apply a system of reciprocal sharing. Shared activities with diverse target groups and the common goals are always of first priority.
For more information, please contact: communication.cfe[at]gmail.com
Paris, 6 – 10 February
DemCoP Documentation Paris 2013 by Democratic Community of Practice
Prague, 28 – 30 September 2012
Copenhagen, 2 – 5 February 2012
Berlin, 16 – 18 September 2011