05-08 JUNE 2008
Edinburgh / United Kingdom



35th eucen Conference | Promoting Active Citizenship in Europe
The 35th eucen Conference took place on 5-8 June 2008 in Edinburgh (UK). 

Democratic citizenship focuses on the rights, responsibilities and roles of citizens at the local, national and global level. However, defining concepts, policies and strategies to support good practice in the area of democratic citizenship is no easy task. European citizenship is made up of a set of fundamental rights and obligations enshrined in the Treaty of Rome. The Maastricht Treaty (1992) aimed to strengthen the protection of the rights and interests of the nationals of its Member States through the introduction of a citizenship of the Union and the Treaty of Amsterdam (1999) extended citizens’ rights/obligations against discrimination on the grounds of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation and affirmed the commitment of each Member State to raise quality and free access to education at national level.

What do European citizens need to do to become active citizens? How should lifelong learning in universities be responding to this challenge? Are there examples of good practice in the European Union and what is the future role for lifelong learning in universities? The conference, which was held to mark the year of ‘Intercultural Learning’ (2008), answered some of the many questions posed by the concept of active citizenship, particularly when applied to continuing education/ lifelong learning in universities.