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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")

 

Forum for the Future of Democracy 2011

‘The Interdependence of Democracy and Social Cohesion’

Ministerial statement

Ms Majeda AL MASRI,
Minister of Social Affairs, Palestinian National Council

It is a great honour to be here with you today representing our country, Palestine, in the 7th Forum for the Future of Democracy entitled: "The Interdependence of Democracy and Social Cohesion”. This forum takes place directly after the signing of the partnership agreement 10 days ago in Strasbourg, by which the Palestinian National Council (Parliament of the Palestinian People in homeland and in diasporas) was granted partner for democracy status with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
We would also like to express our sincere appreciation and proudness for the resolution adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly, calling on the 6 members of the Council of Europe, which are permanent members of the UN Security Council, to support the Palestinian request for full membership in the UN, which was submitted three weeks ago by the President of the State of Palestine ,the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas. Today, 131 members of the United Nations have already recognized the State of Palestine on the basis of the 4th June 1967 borders.
We are proud to mention that 17 of them are member-states of the Council of Europe, whereas Palestine has established diplomatic relations with 24 other COE member-states. Several of these countries have expressed their willingness to recognize the State of Palestine at the appropriate time, and as our President Mahmoud Abbas stated in his speech to the UN and in Strasbourg: “We say to you all, sincerely, now is the appropriate time”.
Nowadays, we are living in the era of the Arab spring, the uprising of the Arab people expressing their desire for the establishment of freedom, democracy and social justice. The Council of Europe has supported the Arab spring, and we, Palestinians, always being at the heart of the Arab people’s aspirations for freedom, we declare that the time of the Palestinian Spring has arrived. We wish and have the right, like all other people in the world, to live in freedom and dignity. The Palestinian People are asking for freedom and the ending of the Israeli occupation, the last and longest occupation in the world.
The Palestinian Spring aims at achieving the prevalence of freedom from occupation, and have our independence state on the borders of 4thJune 1967 with east Jerusalem Capital and justice solution to the Palestinian refugees issue according to the United Nation resolutions in this connection, as well as to ensure the security and stability in the region. Europe has, by now, responsibly and generously supported the construction of Palestinian Infrastructure (building of strong state institutions), providing important financial assistance.
I avail myself of this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude for this considerable aid which will always be remembered with high appreciation from our people , but it is well known for you that sustainable development and even democracy cannot be achieved under military and settlement occupation . Recognition of the State of Palestine and support of the Palestine UN bid, is a means of protecting and ensuring the survival of all that has been achieved in the past years, and also a means of strengthening the position of Europe and its leading role in promoting the peace process and democracy in the region of the Middle East.