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The AUTHLIB consortium and the CIVICS Innovation Hub cordially invite you to the online discussion titled


Demands and Realities of Civic Education: a Pan-European Stocktaking

Thursday, September 28, 2023

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. CEST / 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. EST



Civic education is the centerpiece of the renewal of democratic attitudes from generation to generation in Western societies. The weak institutionalization of democratic education in official school curricula after the democratic transitions of 1989–90 and the limited funding available for informal civic education projects are primary reasons for the recent democratic malaise and the advancing illiberal and authoritarian threat in Central and Eastern Europe.

A comparative study, Great Expectations: Demands and realities of civic education in Europe, conducted in 21 European countries by the CIVICS Innovation Hub highlights the crucial role of civic education in promoting active citizenship and democratic resilience. It also identifies the key challenges to effective civic education in the individual countries and formulates important practical recommendations for policy and civic stakeholders at the national and European levels.

This panel aims to facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices between academics and practitioners working in the fields of civic education and democracy assistance. It will attempt to identify potential entry points for strengthening democratic resilience through civic education across Europe, drawing lessons from an unparalleled comparative survey research project.


Louisa Slavkova, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, The CIVICS
Maja Kurilić, Project Manager, The CIVICS

Dániel Hegedűs, Senior Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States




More about the speakers

Louisa Slavkova is an Advisory Board member of the European Network for Civic Education NECE. In 2016 Louisa was a Ronald Lauder Visiting Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, NYC. From 2013 to 2016, she was programs manager at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). Prior to joining ECFR, Louisa served for two years as an adviser to Bulgaria’s former Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov (currently Research and Analysis Director at the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy). Before that, she worked with the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb). Since 2013, she is the founder and executive director of the Sofia Platform Foundation based in Bulgaria, a non-governmental organization working in the field of historical and civic education. She is the author and editor of several books and publications on foreign policy, democracy development and civic education. Louisa is the co-author of an upcoming textbook on civic education in Bulgaria. In 2021, she co-founded THE CIVICS Innovation Hub and now heads the Hub in Sofia as one the three managing partners.

Maja Kurilić holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Central European University in Budapest and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Zagreb. During her studies, she took part in academic and cultural exchanges in the USA and Poland. Before joining THE CIVICS in its Zagreb Hub in March 2021, Maja worked in public sector consulting, focusing both on project preparation and on the implementation of projects funded by the EU funds. Maja has over three years of formal working experience, complemented by seven years of active involvement across the non-governmental sector and academia through volunteering, internships or freelance arrangements. Maja’s primary area of expertise is policy analysis, project management and policy writing.

Dániel Hegedűs is a GMF Senior Fellow focused on Central Europe. He writes and speaks extensively on populism and democratic backsliding in Central and Eastern Europe, and the European and foreign affairs of the Visegrad countries. He is frequently quoted in outlets such as AFP, the Financial Times, the New York Times, Euractiv, EU Observer and Der Spiegel. He has studied political science, history, and European law at the Eötvös Loránd University Budapest and Humboldt University in Berlin. Prior to joining GMF he worked in different research, lecturing, and project-management positions at Freedom House, the German Council on Foreign Relations, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. He has taught at the Institute for Eastern-European Studies at the Free University Berlin, Humboldt University in Berlin, and the Eötvös Loránd University Budapest.



This event takes place in cooperation with the CIVICS Innovation Hub in the framework of the “AUTHLIB – Neo-authoritarianisms in Europe and the Liberal Democratic Response” project.


Photo credit: THE CIVICS

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