World Forum for Democracy 2015: Preliminary conclusions

The 2015 edition of the World Forum for Democracy took place after the 13 November Paris attacks, highlighting the pertinence of the theme chosen and the urge to provide answers to the three sets of questions raised. A high turnout, discussions in multiple fora and the testing of initiatives in the labs, not only provided for rich reflection material, but also for a number of recommendations that can be addressed to national authorities, media, and local communities as well as to...

The Council of Europe’s Democracy Innovation Award goes to the Swedish initiative More than One Story – a card game to promote integration and inclusion

20/11/2015 Strasbourg
Today, at the closing session of the World Forum for Democracy, the Council of Europe announced that the winner of its Democracy Innovation Award was the Swedish initiative More Than One Story. More Than One Story is a powerful card game building bridges between people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures. It has proved to be a valuable tool for teachers, social workers, religious leaders, event co-ordinators and youth leaders. Wherever fears and prejudices keep people who seem different...

Tawakkol Karman: Islam is a religion of peace and harmony

19/11/20115 Strasbourg
“Islam, like all religions, is a religion of peace and harmony”, said Tawakkol Karman in her address to the World Forum for Democracy in which she expressed, on behalf of all Muslims and Arab youth, her sadness and anger following the attacks in Paris. The 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate said that these crimes did not represent Islam, that they were solely the acts of those who perpetrated them and those who had financed them in the shadows.  “Those who engage in terrorism have no nation and no...

Towns and cities must find the right partners to foster intercultural dialogue

''Towns and cities, regions and states” must work together to foster respect and tolerance. It is important to bridge the gaps and overcome the ignorance that divide cultures, and to promote the role of education in acquiring the skills that are necessary for democracy,'' said Dusica Davidovic, member of the City Council of Nis (Serbia, SOC) and member of the Congress, during the lab on intercultural responses to prevent hatred and radicalisation, sponsored by the Congress in the context of...

Leen Verbeek: “We need balanced responses and inclusive policies to face the challenge of extremism”

“We are facing a major crisis situation today. It is with balanced policies that go beyond repression and take into account both safety and human rights issues that we can face these challenges together” stated Leen Verbeek (Netherlands, SOC), Vice-President of the Congress, addressing the participants of the Lab “Countering radicalisation”, as part of the fourth World Forum for Democracy on 19 November 2015. This Lab focused on new strategies to prevent radicalisation and to improve outcomes...

Michaëlle Jean: in the debate on the balance between freedom and security, the general interest must take precedence over individual interests

18/11/2015 Strasbourg
“This year and last, we have seen a whole series of horrifying attacks, motivated by hatred, a vehement rejection of difference and an irrational fanaticism leading the perpetrators to strike at anything exemplifying the diversity of cultures”, said the Secretary General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, addressing the World Forum for Democracy. “We are not faced with a clash or war of civilisations, but rather a fight between two opposing visions of society on a...

Harlem Désir: we must respond to terrorism with the power of democracy and law

18/11/2015 Strasbourg
“The terrorists want to intimidate and divide us.  We must do the opposite: combat them and join forces.  Destroy them and unite.  Refuse sweeping generalisations.  Respond with the power of democracy and the rule of law”, said Harlem Désir, French Secretary of State for European Affairs at the opening of the World Forum for Democracy. “This is why the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights are so important for us.  What we are fighting for is to preserve what has been...
“Freedom vs. control: For a democratic response”

World Forum for Democracy 2015

06/11/2015 Strasbourg, France
How to maintain a balance between security and freedom in a democratic society under threat? Can democracies resist the escalation of fear and formulate responses based on civic responsibility and active citizenship? Can they deal with security risks without jeopardising individual rights and freedoms? These will be core questions at the next World Forum for Democracy organised by the Council of Europe from 18 to 20 November 2015 in Strasbourg with the support of the French Government, the...

World Forum for Democracy Satellite Events

In order to give more people the possibility to participate in the World Forum for Democracy, Universities renowned in the sphere of political studies and international relations will organize satellite events before, during and after the Forum. The Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, the College of Europe, the Central European University in Budapest, the University Carlo Cattaneo – LIUC, Castellanza, Italy, and the Windesheim University of Zwolle in the Netherlands will organize round...

How to maintain a balance between security and freedom in a democratic society under threat?

Can democracies resist the escalation of fear and formulate responses based on civic responsibility and active citizenship? Can they deal effectively with security risks linked to the digital revolution without jeopardising individual rights and freedoms, the benefits of the digital revolution and democratic institutions?" openDemocracy will be examining these questions in partnership with the 2015 World Forum for Democracy during the next six months, starting with a Guest Week series on the...

All Forum initiatives now available on one page

The World Forum for Democracy consists of plenary sessions as well as a series of smaller working sessions (labs) to address specific issues through the critical analysis of implemented initiatives or novel ideas. An open call is issued each year to identify successful initiatives and novel, untested ideas, corresponding to the Forum themes. The initiatives and ideas are presented and critically assessed by multidisciplinary panels and participants in the labs.

Tweet your way to the World Forum for Democracy 2015!

06/10/2015
The Twitter challenge "Tweet for a democratic response" is back! On 12-25 October the two most ambitious Twitter followers of the Forum (@WFDemocracy) can win a ticket to the Forum (including travel, accommodation and participation in all Forum events)! All you have to do is to address personalities (politicians, activists, journalists etc.) on Twitter with creative, critical, thought-provoking, or informative comments and questions related to the Forum’s subject. How can we avoid sacrificing...

Thomas Drake, Bill Binney and Kirk Wiebe, former NSA officers and whistleblowers, at the Forum

02/10/2015
Thomas Drake, Bill Binney and Kirk Wiebe, three former National Security Agency officers who have blown the whistle on intelligence failures and widespread violations of the rights of citizens through secret mass surveillance programs, will speak at the World Forum for Democracy 2015. The three whistleblowers are at the forefront of the movement against mass surveillance and for the protection of citizens’ data.

Registration for the World Forum for Democracy 2015

28/09/2015
Online registration for the World Forum for Democracy 2015 is open! Participation in the Forum is free of charge and open to the public.

Call for youth participants

26 August 2015 Strasbourg
Young people, aged 16-30, from all over the world are invited to apply until 30 August to participate in the ‪#‎CoE_WFD 2015! 75 young participants will be selected by the Youth Department of the Council of Europe in order to ensure a strong youth participation during the Forum.

World Forum for Democracy 2014 final report

29/05/2015 Strasbourg
The final report of the World Forum for Democracy 2014 is now available

Tweet your way to the World Forum for Democracy 2015!

29 April 2015 Strasbourg
Tweet for a democratic response! On 1-15 May the two most ambitious Twitter followers of the Forum can win a ticket to the Forum (including travel, accommodation and participation in all Forum events)! All you have to do is to address personalities (politicians, activists, journalists etc.) on Twitter with creative, critical, thought-provoking, or informative comments and questions related to the Forum’s subject. How can we avoid sacrificing freedom in the pursuit of security...
Apply until 15 May to present your initiative or idea in a lab at the World Forum for Democracy 2015

Call for lab submissions

2 April 2015 Strasbourg
Organisations and individuals worldwide are invited to apply until 15 May to present their initiative or idea in a lab at the World Forum for Democracy

Challenges 2015