New European Programme

New European programme - Empowered Communities Active Citizens

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Community Development in Europe: Shared Language, Shared Purpose, Collective Impact

Across Europe and beyond the impacts of the global financial crisis are being felt. Hardest hit are people and communities who are already disadvantaged and who are least empowered to influence their own life chances. Community Development has a key role in addressing the social justice and equality gap through working with excluded groups and disenfranchised neighbourhoods to support them to organise around the issues that affect them and to implement local action for change.

The Scottish Community Development Centre is a partner in the Combined European Bureau for Social Development (CEBSD). CEBSD is made up of Community Development organisations from ten different countries across Eastern and Western Europe, all of whom are working to address the exclusion of marginalised communities through increased democratic participation.

CEBSD has been funded through the ‘Europe for Citizens' programme to develop a common framework for Community Development. The framework will build on the Budapest Declaration and will set out the purpose of Community Development, the values which underpin its practice, the outcomes it achieves and the tools and methodologies employed by Community Development workers and organisations across Europe.

CEBSD's ambition is that the common framework will be used to help Community Development praxis to become prominent on a European platform. It will highlight the importance of Community Development's contribution to building a more equal and democratic society and to achieving social change. The framework will be used to focus attention and influence policy on the promotion and implementation of Community Development approaches at European and country level.

The development of the common framework will be informed by discussions with people involved in the practice of Community Development across each of the partner nations. The intention is that each country will hold three national workshops with practitioners, community activists and policy makers to engage them in dialogue on current Community Development practice and how this can be developed and strengthened to enable us to collectively meet the challenges ahead.

The work taking place in each individual country will culminate in a trans-national workshop, at which the final framework will be endorsed. A DVD will be produced which will highlight specific examples and dimensions of good practice across Europe, which will then be disseminated to politicians and policy makers at national and local level.

SCDC will be holding three national seminars in February 2013 in partnership with Community Development Alliance Scotland (CDAS), the Scottish Community Development Network (SCDN) and the Community Learning and Development Standards Council for Scotland. Click here to register for the workshops.