The European Centre for Democratic Competences

Our proposal on how to enhance democratic competences in the EU

To provide Europeans with equitable and qualitative citizenship education we propose the establishment of a digital platform providing support to local citizenship education initiatives and fostering citizenship education across the EU. 

Guiding Principles

The ECDC would not create structures parallel to existing EU funding instruments or programmes, but instead pool and coordinate those activities and establish greater resources for the latter.


A New Push for European Democracy can be successful only if the “pushers” have the capacities, abilities and capabilities to push in the right direction – towards strengthening Democracy. This is why citizenship education is so important, in its entirety and with a special emphasis on its European dimension.

Assya Kavrakova
Executive Director ECAS – European Citizen Action Service

Main Objectives

Investing in democratic competences can contribute to making the EU a more resilient

Secure equal access to citizenship education
Improving the quality of citizenship education
Foster innovative and digital learning methods

Identity and values are not possessions that privilege Europeans above non-Europeans. They comprise commitment and responsibility in relation to a heritage and towards a global future. Citizenship education should appreciate this, with the objective of developing the basis for a more aspirational new common identity committed to strengthening Europe’s contribution to a sustainable global future.

Prof. Dr Herman J. Abs
Professor of education research and schooling, University of Duisburg-Essen 

Abs (2018) UDE Portait by Daniel Schumann

Proposal for a European Agency for Citizenship Education

The proposal for the European Centre for Democratic Competences builds on the discussion paper published in December 2020 in cooperation with the European Policy Centre. The paper outlines the proposal for the establishment of a decentralised agency to enhance citizenship education in the EU – the European Agency for Citizenship Education.  The Agency was envisioned as vocal point for European efforts on citizenship education, non-partisan and independent of governments and EU institutions’ political agenda.

Cooperation Partner

The discussion paper was published in cooperation with the European Policy Centre (EPC), an independent, not-for-profit think tank dedicated to fostering European integration through analysis and debate, supporting and challenging decision-makers at all levels to make informed decisions based on evidence and analysis, and providing a platform for engaging partners, stakeholders and citizens in EU policy-making and in the debate about the future of Europe.