The pack offered a proposition: “that there should be a popular understanding that Europe as a whole has relationships with other parts of the world ... with, for example, the countries in Africa.  The part we play in Europe is an aspect of our citizenship.  We, as a country, contribute to debates about the quality of those relationships and the impact [negative and positive] that they have on people in other parts of the world.”

Citizenship in common? - Europe & Africa was developed as a response to Birmingham Education Dept’s Europe initiative in 2002.  The proposition was ambitious, but with hindsight it was not even realistic about how our European citizenship was seen.  Greater emphasis in development education circles was being given to the notion of ‘global citizenship’ neglecting the job that was needed to engage with the actual citizenship of Europe.  This was despite the fact that much British international development policy was implemented through EU channels. 

The key question How do we see our common future? remains important.  It does however raise complex matters central to major current political debates.  The pack explore themes including our historical links, the use of European languages in African countries, African influences in Europe, and patterns of trade in both directions between Africa and Europe.  It also rises questions about equity in those trade relationships and in the historical foundations of a very uneven distribution of wealth.

In 2020 all of these themes warrant work to update them, to engage new political realities and in that context to revisit aspirations about our common future.

 

ISBN-13: 978-0-948838-83-5