This article surveys some of the theoretical bases of identity and citizenship and their implications for potential European identity and citizenship, and relates these to the CiCe network of teacher educators and others. CiCe (Children’s identity and Citizenship in Europe) is a European Commission supported network of 100 European Universities, in 19 countries, who have worked together since 1998 in building links in higher education courses and research, in the education of teachers, social pedagogues and early childhood workers who teach about identity and citizenship education in the schools, preschools and colleges of our countries.
It is argued that the current European context is contributing to changes in the way we construct identity and citizenship, that are necessarily reflect in the teaching and learning in our schools. To be effective, education for active citizenship must address and encompass both the nature of multiple identities and the extension of civic rights to minorities, and in particular that a focus on the possible enhancement of rights will provide a powerful vehicle for learning through deliberative democracy. Current European developments provide a particularly useful setting in which young people’s attitudes to citizenship and identity can be explored.