Paper presented at the NERA conference, Turku, Finland, 15-17 March
Since the mid-90es the importance of strengthening democratic citizenship (DC) through learning activities has become an important aspect of European education policy. Accordingly, civic competences (CCs), "based on knowledge of social and political concepts and structures and a commitment to active and democratic participation" have been identified by the European Commission (2005) among those key competences to be given priority in all Member States in a lifelong learning perspective. In 2006 a "Stocktaking study on lifelong learning for DC through adult education" was granted by the European Commission to investigate research outcomes, national policies, and interesting and relevant learning activities undertaken in recent years in 9 EU Member States in order to strengthen DC. The paper will present preliminary results for Denmark, strongly grounded on two case studies of learning activities organized by the non-formal adult education system in cooperation with national NGOs, which aim at promoting CCs among the out-of-school and unemployed population. The analysis will draw extensively on the Danish "folkeoplysning" research tradition, which provides a useful frame for interpreting pedagogical approaches fostering social and political awareness in order to enhance democratic processes at both local and global level.