Since Marshall?s major contribution on citizenship as a fundamental aspect shaping the relationship between the individual and the State, there has been an extensive debate on citizenship as a key element for ensuring social cohesion and inclusion in modern democratic societies. At European level the citizenship concept has been strongly linked, from the very beginning, to primarily legal and economic principles, which have informed the establishment of the European Economic Community in 1957 (Treaty of Rome) and its enlargement in 1967 (Merger Treaty). With the foundation of the European Union in 1992 (The Maastricht Treaty), citizenship of the Union was established, thus general right of free movement and residence were legally determined and extended to all European nationals. Nonetheless it was first in 1997 that democratic values and citizens? rights were strongly tied to the European education project. Thus democratic citizenship became a central asset of supranational policies addressing reforms of national education and training systems. As a result, current discourses on democratic citizenship embedded in education policy and practice within European Member States are unavoidably intertwined to a broader ? if not dominant ? discourse on European active citizenship. The aim of present article is to critically review the principles behind the European active citizenship ideal in order to unfold their pitfalls for education policy and practice. The article is organized as follows. First, the practical functioning of legal, social and economic principles within the European Union is explored. Secondly, existing perception of education for active citizenship at European level are presented. Finally its adequacy for enhancing democratic values and practices is discussed.
Global Uddannelse?: Lokalt Demokrati?, 2008, p. 39-55