MPIEP No. 29

Fostering Social Cohesion through International Exchange in Socio-Pedagogical Fan Work

Tobias Finger, Vincent Reinke, Jonas Biel, Arne Niemann


This paper explores the potential of socio-pedagogical fan work to foster social cohesion across Europe through international exchange. Drawing on the success of German fan projects based on the National Concept for Sport and Security (NKSS), we propose a policy framework to establish similar structures and standards across Europe. German fan projects, which operate independently of football clubs, engage young fans in activities that address social issues, prevent violence, and promote an inclusive fan culture. The proposed framework includes highlighting the importance of socio-pedagogical fan work, promoting best practices from Germany, supporting country-specific adaptations, establishing formal networks for European fan projects, and increasing financial support and recognition. Implementing these strategies can enhance international fan networking, foster a shared European identity, and strengthen social cohesion.

Keywords: Policy Paper, European integration, International exchange, Social cohesion, Football fan culture, Socio-pedagogical fan work

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