International conference of DEMOCRAT – Education for Democracy

The first international conference of DEMOCRAT will be held in Tallinn on February 27th and 28th, where the results obtained during its first year of operation will be presented. 

The objective of the DEMOCRAT project, funded by the Horizon Europe program, is to strengthen the resilience and sustainability of democracy through education. To this end, DEMOCRAT aims, through a participatory approach with the European education community, to develop a European curricula for Education for Democracy (EfD) based on a framework of competences for responsible democratic citizenship, test it in open, local and innovative learning projects and develop a toolkit to support the development of transformative EfD practices in the EU and beyond. 

The project takes place in six European countries (Germany: University of Applied Science Düsseldorf, Spain: Universitat de Barcelona and Notus, Estonia: Tallinn University, Finland: University of Helsinki, Ireland: Dublin City University and Poland: Jagiellonian University Krakow) and involves two NGOs active in the field of democratic education (FOGGS, based in Belgium and Stichting Parents International, based in the Netherlands) and an international association of universities (European University Continuous Education Network – eucen, based in Belgium).

DEMOCRAT’s action follows three main lines, which are the key aspects of its methodological approach:

  • First, a conceptual investigation, focusing on definitions, concepts and historical debates around the values agreed by the EU and the 2030 Agenda, which provides the framework for understanding the structural challenges that threaten democracy. This preliminary conceptual effort identifies research gaps and includes the outline of a competency framework for responsible democratic citizenship. It also serves as the basis for the design of the practical aspect of the project: the pilot laboratories for the implementation of education for democracy.
  • Secondly, the so-called living labs, through which the educational community (schools, parents’ and students’ associations, policy makers) participates in the discussion and co-creation of transformative learning approaches in national and transnational settings. In addition to these activities, the digital platform ÁGORA aims to be a virtual communication space for the education sector. These living laboratories will also be privileged sources for trend analysis and continuous assessment, as well as for good practice recommendations and policy development.
  • Finally, and beyond the classroom, DEMOCRAT intends to intervene in the educational environment (schools, informal training) through the elaboration of a European curriculum for EfD. This implies introducing into the curricula dynamic and innovative didactic-practical units in which students and teaching staff are actively involved in democratic processes and real-world civic activities.

The main achievements of the first year of DEMOCRAT have been:

  • The elaboration of the project’s Conceptual Framework and a European vision of EfD.
  • The definition of the competency framework for responsible democratic citizenship. 

Both documents are available on the project website ( 

Currently, work is being done on the definition of a European curriculum for EfD, which could be introduced in a flexible way in the education systems of the countries of the European Union. Another aspect that is being worked on is the design of the pilot projects at the local level to be developed in the six countries where DEMOCRAT takes place.

Notus has been actively participating in the coordination and dynamization of the national living lab together with the University of Barcelona. It has also taken part in the conceptual research, together with the rest of the partners, contributing actively in the transnational workshops, as well as in the design of AGORA, which is about to go live. During the second year Notus will continue coordinating and dynamizing the national living lab, working especially in the design and implementation of the local pilot projects and the dynamization of the national AGORA.