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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")

 

The participation of young women in political life

The promotion of the participation of women in political life has been at the forefront of the Council of Europe’s agenda for many years. More recently, combating the perceived disaffection for politics of young people has become a matter of grave concern to many member states. By their very nature, these themes are not only closely interconnected but also cut across several other sectors and were thus directly related to the work of the Integrated Project “Making democratic institutions work” (2002-2004), by the Secretary General to promote transversality of action between Council of Europe bodies and departments and other partners.

In September 2003, this issue was the subject of a seminar which brought together experts from the Youth and Equality Sectors, members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe as well as representatives of civil society to analyse the main obstacles to the participation of young women in political life and attempt to propose solutions for the attention of governments, political organisations and parliaments in member states. However, the closure of the seminar does not signify the end of the activity, as the different Council of Europe sectors involved will continue to encourage the take-up by member states of the measures proposed.

The participation of young women in political life was also the theme of the 2003 edition of the “Young active citizens” award which was presented during the seminar. This prize, instituted in 1993 by the Council of Europe’s Directorate of Youth and Sport, is awarded to projects which promote youth participation in society.

Report of Seminar of 16-17 September 2003

Publication “Genderware”

Council of Europe “Youth” website