The Nordic Council of Ministers democracy report ”Demokrati i Norden” published this year states that the Nordic societies are characterised by the growing individualism on one hand and increasing internationalisation on the other hand. How does this influence the political and social behaviour of the citizens in Norden? Are there any changes or social differences in democratic participation? Is it possible to trace the differences in democratic participation among old and young, men and women, employed and unemployed, among different ethnic groups, etc?The report points out numerous questions for discussion and the need for continuous monitoring in order to preserve and develop democracy in Norden, and suggests establishing a democracy working group at the NCM for fulfilling these tasks. The recommendation to the education system suggests strengthening the knowledge base about democracy that would give more information and create awareness of the citizens about their rights and duties.
This DialogueWeb issue looks at the different initiatives starting from the integration and language courses for the becoming Nordic citizens to the EU Commission’s PlanD aiming at the transparency and reduction of bureaucratic barriers in the EU administration.
The adult education organisations with long experience in promoting active citizenship face a challenge today. “Democracy is a lifelong project”, says Björn Wallén in his article, and the citizens do need to feel part of the decision making process. The educators have a central role in the active citizenship learning process. The learning methods should ease the access to learning; they should be integrative and enhance the civic belonging. Dialogue is of crucial importance!
Antra Carlsen, NVL coordinator