DeCRIT & “Decreta” / On the Genesis of DeCRIT’s Acronym

DeCRIT stands for “CRITical Democracy” (“Democracia CRÍTica” in Spanish), the essential two-fold concept on which the project pivots: the need to deal with present-day challenges for democracy in a critical way.

When discussing about the project’s initial activities, we realized that DeCRIT could be pronounced in a quite similar way to the English word “decree”. And immediately after that word came up in conversation, our mind couldn’t help but translating it into its Spanish linguitic counterpart, “decreto“, a word which, in its Latin form (“decreta“), appears as a fundamental constituent of the history of León, this small town in northwestern Spain where DeCRIT’s coordinating institution (IES Legio VII) undertakes its educational work.

León’s “Decreta” of the year 1188 are historical documents of invaluable significance both at a local and European level. But what has this to do with DeCRIT priorities?

On June 18, 2013, UNESCO recognised León’s “Decreta” as the most ancient reference to a European parliamentary system, including them in the Memory of the World register because of their uniqueness and extraordinary value.

These documents ensured the participation of the common people in general decision making, and, by extension, can be considered as the origin of modern parliamentary democracy, recognising León as “Cradle of Parliamentarism”. IES Legio VII would like to pay tribute to this sample of European heritage by using León’s “Decreta” as a symbolic starting point to develop DeCRIT project, bringing together democratic engagement, critical thinking and innovative educational methodologies

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