We began in 1998, very soon after the Commission introduced Thematic Networks as part of the Erasmus programme. We formed a steering group, and organised our first conference in London in May 1999. This was the first time many of us met. We organised three groups (pre-school educators, primary school, secondary school), and held our second conference in Athens, followed by one in Brugges (2001). We then applied for a fourth year of funding for dissemination, and produced a booklet detailing our achievements, and held a conference in Budapest in 2002.
By this stage the European Union was fully committed to enlargement, and we had members from all the new member states. We applied for a new three-year phase of funding, CiCe2. This ran from 2002 to 2005, with conferences in Braga, Krakow and Ljubljana. We developed an extensive programme of working parties, which produced several series of Guidelines.
In 2005 we applied for a third phase of activities, CiCe3, which ran until September 2008. Again this was a highly productive phase with a series of publications and successful conferences held in Riga, Montpellier and Istanbul. During this period we initiated the CiCe Association which stands independent of Commission funding.
The fourth phase of activities, CiCe4, began in October 2008. This new phase saw an ambitious programme of development and change, arising from all previous network activities as part of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme.
In our current phase, CiCe5, we are building on the expertise of the Network to set up a Citizenship and Identity Resource Base, we will create an European Centre of Excellence for Research in identity and citizenship as well as address the current issues in the professional education of those who will educate and work with children and young people in citizenship education, to help the development of identity in a European context, and to contribute to the global dimension of the EHEA.
We have excellent and close links with other Networks supported by the Commission. We played an active role in the Archipelago of Humanistic Networks and are partners in Competences for Poverty Reduction (COPORE) a network established October 2009.