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Forum History

 

The Forum was established by the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe  (Warsaw, May 2005), to strengthen democracy, political freedoms and citizens' participation.

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Forum previous sessions

Forum_Democracy2011

(Limassol, Cyprus, October)

Interdependence of democracy and social cohesion.

New: Proceedings

"Radical measures taken in many countries to try to balance public budgets are both necessary and understandable” but  “Countries are running a high risk of seriously undermining the European model of social cohesion.”  declared Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland while opening the Cyprus Forum.

2010

(Yerevan, October)

Perspectives 2020 Democracy in Europe - Principles and Challenges

Proceedings

 

''The Council of Europe has a unique strategic role to play in strengthening good democratic governance at all levels in the European space''. Democracy, or rather good democratic governance, is now not only intrinsically linked to the respect of human rights but is also recognised as the most effective form of governance to ensure stability, sustainability and well-being.

 That was the main message of the 2010 Forum.

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2009

(Kyiv, October)

Electoral systems: strengthening democracy in the 21st century

(Proceedings)

 "In a genuine democracy, the citizen is sovereign and the voter decides" - that was the main message of the 2009 Forum, which highlighted the need for greater public involvement, with a view to increasing voter turnout and ensuring that all stages of public life are democratic..

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2008

(Madrid, October)

"E-democracy: who dares?"

 

The discussions addressed the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on democracy.

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2007

(Stockholm, June)

"Power and empowerment - The interdependence of democracy and human rights"

 

This event addressed issues such as the role and responsibilities of the opposition, representative democracy at the local and regional level, empowerment of the individual and non-discrimination, respect for freedom of expression and association for civil society, and fostering democracy, human rights and social networks.

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2006

(Moscow, October)

"The role of political parties in the building of democracy"

 

The Forum reflected on  the role and responsibilities of political parties in finding democratic solutions to contemporary challenges, the interaction between political parties and with other actors in the democratic process, and the building and strengthening of democratic institutions.

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Launch meeting (Warsaw, November 2005)

"Citizens' participation"

 

 

The discussions addressed the state of contemporary democracy in Europe.

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Previous projects

("Making

Democratic institutions work")

 

Launch meeting of the Forum for the Future of Democracy, Warsaw, 3-4 November 2005 – Speeches delivered - Pdf version

The end of the last century saw an unprecedented expansion of democracy on the European continent with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. Today, practically all countries in Europe proclaim their commitment to the principles of pluralist democracy, human rights and the rule of law. At the same time, Europe’s democracies face serious problems, such as the steep decline in voter turnout, the decreasing influence of political parties and the rise of extremist movements.

The need to propose effective responses to these problems and promote exchanges of good practice amongst European democracies was recognised at the highest level during the 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe, held in May 2005 in Warsaw. This led to the creation of the Forum for the Future of Democracy, which brings together all relevant actors (parliaments, governments, local and regional institutions, civil society and academics), at all levels, to strengthen democracy, political freedoms and citizens’ participation.

The first forum was held in November 2005 and focused on the topic of citizens’ participation. This booklet brings together the speeches delivered at the forum and should be of interest to anyone concerned with the state of contemporary democracy in Europe.