"More enlightment - more democracy? Possibilities and limitations of civic education in Central and Eastern Europe"

The 22th Conference “Autumn Talks” is organised by DRA (German-Russian Exchange) in Berlin. This time the main topic is
“More enlightment - more democracy? Possibilities and limitations of civic education in Central and Eastern Europe”.
The leading experts will discuss with each other and with audience the critical issues, which civil society must tackle, stemming from a new political reality, which has formed in the last 5 years in Europe. What is the role of civic education in protection of democratic institutes? Are old methods for the development of civic awareness still working? What are the contemporary challenges? Which responses can be suggested by experts on the practical and theoretical level and whether or not they coincide? How to reach neglected audience of the older generation, migrants, and refugees, in general, people, who are more vulnerable to growing populistic and nationalistic movements both in Europe and worldwide? How to teach people to navigate in the flow of information, filled with fake news, propaganda and alternative facts?

Another important issue is training of skilled multipliers of civic education. How do we work with teachers at schools, with civic volunteers, employees of non-profit organizations? What are the criteria of assessment of performance regarding this work? Who and how develops methodological and content components? In which way political declarations concerning the need to implement and expand civic education at schools and universities are realized? It is not a secret that in many countries where political systems lean to the right, civic education is being substituted for patriotic. What are the opportunities for civic education projects in these countries? What difficulties do they face?

If you are interested in discussing these pressing issues together with us, we are looking forward to seeing you at “Autumn Talks”.

Day: 8 November 2017, at 14.30-22.00,

Place: French Church of Friedrichstadt on Gendarmenmarkt Berlin-Mitte

Organizer: DRA e.V. (German-Russian Exchange), Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Evangelical Academy in Berlin

Registration by reference: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1eVlLcgCQv4gQ1WFv1-Qx-F0I9SNqaWBaoM5E2eZhRQI/prefill 

In addition to it, a round table for a narrow circle of professionals will be arranged on November 8th 2017 in order to discuss in depth the questions, raised during the "Autumn Talks", to exchange best practices and share experiences, to establish and strengthen professional contacts.


Date: 8 November 2017, 14.30 – 22.00

Organiser: DRA, Protestant Academy in Berlin

Venue: Französische Friedrichstadtkirche, Gendarmenmarkt, 5

Protestant Academy in Berlin

Supported by: Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, ZEIT-Foundation




Opening and  welcoming words  


Extension of populism and authoritarian regimes in Europe – a failure in the development of democracy?  (in German and Russian)

Reports (5-7 min for each + Q&A) 

·         Katarzyna  Wielga-Skolimowska (Federal Agency for Civic Education, Berlin)

·         Oleg Kozlovsky (School of Civil Leadership, Moscow) 

·         Josef Huber (Council of Europe, Strasbourg)

·         Mikhail Minakov (Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kiev)

Moderation: Sarah Pagung (German Council on Foreign Relations) 




Panel discussions on special issues of civic and democratic education


Panel 1: Pluralism and fake news – challenges to media literacy of adult population in the digital age of information (in German)

·         Hanno Gundert (n-ost, Berlin)  

·         Anna Litvinenko (Free University, Berlin) 

·         Judith Langowski, (Kettös Mérce, Budapest)

Moderation: Angelina Davydova (Kommersant, RNEI)

Panel 2: Civic education - in authoritarian regimes and fragile democracies (in German and Russian)

·         Kacper Dziekan (European Solidarity Centre, Gdansk) 

·         Oleg Kozlovsky (School of Civil Leadership, Moscow) 

·         Irina Ilisei (Plural Association, Bukarest)

·         Annegret Wulff (MitOst e. V., Berlin)  

Moderation: Irina Bukharkina (DRA e. V.) 

Panel 3: Cultural diversity and discourse of values – civic education in the migration society (in English)

·         Annamaria Olsson (Give Something Back to Berlin)

·         Sailesh Naidu (Flüchtlingsintegrationsarbeit FEZ, Berlin/New York) 

·         Amar Nafa (Generiques, Paris)

·         Yulia Alimova (Deti Peterburga, St. Petersburg) 

Moderation: Mekonnen Mesghena (Heinrich-Böll-Foundation)

Panel 4: Civic education – only for young people? Limited offer for adults and its consequences (in German and Russian)

·         Andrey Yurov (International School of Human Rights, Voronezh) 

·         Nora Korte ((DRA e. V., Berlin) 

·         Josef Huber (Council of Europe, Strasbourg)

Moderation: Evgeniya Sayko (Hertie-Innovationskolleg)




Public discussion

Europe in crisis mode – new tasks and forms of civic education

(in German and Russian)


·         Andrey Yurov (International School of Human Rights and Civic Actions)  

·         Anna Litvinenko (Free University, Berlin)

·         Kacper Dziekan (European Solidarity Centre, Gdansk) 

·         Annegret Wulff (MitOst e. V., Berlin)  

Moderation: Meike Dülffer (ZEIT-ONLINE)


Final remarks