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Understanding Right-wing populism in Europe
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Feb 29, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Xenopobia, anti-europeanism, and nationalism are on the rise in many EU countries. Right-wing populist parties are transferring these sentiments into political power. Although this is definitely no new phenomena in Europe, the current crisis has heated up the situation. The traditional political parties haven’t found a clear strategy how to confront this development. The sources of these sentiments are manifold. Among others these are a lack of prospect, changing societies, a diffuse value system, a feeling of being unoriented in an ever more complex world and the lack of participation possibilities to name some of them. Activities which tackle these issues on a European level have to make political processes understandable by reducing their complexity without simplifying them. At the same time there is a need of reducing fear of others, show the benefits of cooperation between nations in general and especially the European Union. Simulation Games offer an excellent tool to achieve these goals. A simulation game replicates a model of reality. The participants take on a role and try to deal with a specific problem, interactively and through means of play. CRISP develops simulation games for different social or political problems, ranging from local problems, e.g. in a town, to regional and international conflicts. By this they foster a deeper understanding of the given topic. Furthermore the method is a great tool to improve social skills in general. It improves empathy and help to stimulate self-reflection processes. By that, it also promote critical thinking. The simulation game method promotes openness to dialogue. As a first step, 22 selected trainers and youth workers from 9 partner orgnizations and CRISP will come together. Here they will be introduced to the method of simulation gaming and develop a seminar concept tackling the topic of right-wing populism. The base if this is a simualtion game which was developed during a predecssor seminar last year. The simulation game both highlights the sources of right-wing populism in the EU and offer a platform to think about strategies to deal with this issue. The next step for the participants of the ToT, is to carry out the developed seminar concept with a broader participant group. Therefore the simulation game will be tested during 3 regional implementation seminars with 24 particiants each. By this we follow two aims. First of all we will identify weaknesses and shortcomings of the seminar concpet, which then give a base to further improve it. Secondly every implementation will deliver ideas how to deal with right-wing populism on a European level. In the end, the 22 participants of the first activity will come together again for a final workshop. Here the results of the regional implementation phase will be presented. The seminar concept will be adopted, and recommendations collected. Out of this we will formulate policy recommendations. In the end of the workshop these will be discussed, and a hanbook will be published.
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