Title: Outline for a "European democratic citizen service" (EDC) - a five-sector crisis training for all young Europeans

Authors: Herbert Rauch

Addresses: European Association for the Promotion of Sustainable Development (ESD), Schottenfeldgasse 25/533, Vienna 1070, Austria

Abstract: This paper outlines a proposal for a 'European Democratic Citizen Service', and summarises some reactions to this proposal from several feedback discussions with young people and students. The paper is written as a programmatic proposal like a 'business plan' or an 'ERASMUS for all' - describing the objectives and then an appropriate possible structure. The second part reports the experiences of the two-dozen informal feedback group discussions with young people. Overall, the proposal of a multiculturally designed Citizen Service is welcomed by most young people; they, however, need moderate financial support. Formulating a structural design is an exercise, which could give the impetus for a new foundation for European identity building, for multicultural understanding and pan-national cohesion. This article aims to encourage discussion about how to structure and organise inter-national groups for cooperation on partially very difficult tasks. Multicultural education can happen while learning 'on the job'; young people travelling in different European countries in pursuit of a common task means practical education, thereby appropriately reflecting the common challenge of our century. The proposed participation can become a large social experiment relating to truly cross-national, cross-ethnic, cross-cultural organisation-building, i.e. especially if intelligently and with care 'multicultural teams' are composed.

Keywords: citizen service; democratic education; disaster relief; fitness; global service; multicultural training; organisation building; participation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJFIP.2017.085819

International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, 2017 Vol.12 No.1/2/3, pp.69 - 80

Received: 16 Jan 2017
Accepted: 02 Apr 2017

Published online: 04 Aug 2017 *

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