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Image by Pavan Trikutam

Civil Society Week 2024: Education to Tackle Polarisation & Enhance Democracy

During the first edition of the Civil Society Week on 4-7 March organised by the European Economic and Social Committee over 800 representatives from civil society gathered under the

#RiseForDemocracy theme to discuss a wide range of topics from misinformation, artificial intelligence, EU elections and polarisation.

On 7 March, the Lifelong Learning Platform alongside the Evens Foundation, the Philea – Philanthropy Europe Association, the Learning for Well-being Foundation, Re-Imagine Europa and the EESC’s Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC), co-organised an interactive session on “Education to Tackle Polarisation and Enhance Democracy” where participants reflected on four topics:

  1. How to change classrooms in terms of climate, activities, environments, etc. to support democratic dialogue rather than polarised thinking (school practices)

  2. How to change narratives that drive to polarised thinking in the educational formal setting (schools staff together with school stakeholders)

  3. How to change the educational system to allow education tackling polarisation (political level)

  4. How to change narratives in the community to decrease polarisation and enhance democratic dialogues ( non- formal and informal educational settings)  

The main takeaways of the Civil Society Week and messages from the participants to EU leaders can be reviewed here.