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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")

 

Statement by First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Volodymyr KHANDOGIY at the Council of Europe Forum for the Future of Democracy
(Madrid, 17 October 2008)

Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Let me start by expressing gratitude to the Spanish authorities for their hospitality and excellent organization of the Forum.

I believe that Madrid’s session, alongside the previous Forums, stands as evidence, that the idea of inter-institutional dialogue on the European’s democracy issues is vital and prospective. We consider this dialogue as an appropriate platform for discussing challenges and opportunities facing democracy in the contemporary world.

I agree with many previous speakers that the subject of this Forum - “E-democracy” – is relevant with regard to practical support of democracy. Indeed, new information and communication technologies offer to states a wide range of means to make democratic institutions and democratic processes accessible both to public authorities of all levels and to citizens. On the one hand they strengthen the effectiveness of democracy itself by establishing its more participatory model. On the other hand they enable people to save their time and money in enjoying their rights.

In the meantime at our Forum we were talking not only about the advantages of e-democracy. The issues of the risks and challenges of e-tools facing societies were also raised today. First, we cannot achieve immediate success in using e-tools in democratic processes, for example in elections, in all member-states. In some countries including Ukraine the new e-technologies themselves are not accessible to all citizens.
Second, the protection of personal data and confidence are so far outstanding issues.
Third, a great amount of information produced by e-technologies requires effective management and accordingly more technical and human resources.

All of these issues should be studied further by experts and politicians both at national and international level. I am confident that the outcome of Madrid’s session of the Forum and good practices presented here will be an appropriate basis for developing standards in the area of e-democracy.

Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great honour for my country to host a Forum 2009. In preparing this event we consider that the future Forum should focus on a subject of particular significance in all-European legal and political context. That is why we propose electoral systems as a main theme of the agenda of the fifth session. We hope that the subject of Forum 2009 and its discussions will promote harmonization of electoral systems in Europe on the basis of equality, rule of law and democracy.

Allow me to invite all of you here to take an active part in the Forum 2009 in Ukraine. The Forum will take place in Kyiv in October next year, and the main theme as I mentioned will be - “Electoral system".

Thank you