"Policy Development and Confidence Building Workshop for Civil Society Leaders and Policy Makers from the Black Sea Region”
- Budapest, 6-10 October 2014 (7 Oct. 2014)
view of the turning points the Black Sea region is facing, the Council of Europe
has organised, in co-operation with the School
of Public Policy at Central European University, a “Policy
Development and Confidence Building Workshop for Civil Society
Leaders and Policy Makers from the Black Sea Region” in order to
provide an opportunity to engage in thoughtful and in-depth
discussions about some of the most compelling issues confronting the
The objective of the workshop
was to provide a forum for
innovative thinkers from civil society organisations,
researchers from policy think tanks and policy makers
from the Black Sea region, i.e. Russia, Ukraine, Moldova,
Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Georgia to discuss and develop
practical, equitable and sustainable solutions to regional
policy problems. Thirty-two researchers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, and activists from
those countries traveled to Budapest to participate in a series of engaging discussions to develop practical solutions to regional policy problems in the areas of democratic institution building,
human rights, cooperative security policy, and transition economics. Read more
"We need to talk about Europe" - European Identity Debates at the
Council of Europe 2013 - 14 (2 Oct. 2014)
"Peaceful, prosperous, democratic and respectful of people's rights,
building Europe is an ongoing challenge. For many years it seemed that
Europeans lived on a continent of shared values and a common destiny. No
one paid attention to the alarm bells warning of growing divisions
across the continent, which have become more insistent since the
economic and social crisis. Europe and its values, previously taken for
granted, are now being contested. These clouds are casting a shadow
across Europe's future, and old demons, long dominant, have started to
raise their voices again."
The Civic School of Political Studies
opens in Greece (September 2014)
Civic School of Political Studies in Greece opened in Thessaloniki, having been
established in co–operation with a distinguished local organisation Symβiosis,
thereby becoming the 21st member of the Council of Europe’s Network of
Schools of Political Studies.
In August 2014, the new School held its first seminar
on “Democracy challenges in Europe: representation, legitimisation, publics
and social inclusion” (Xanthi, 21–24 August). The four–day event brought
together young politicians, civil society activists, journalists and public
administrators to address issues such as the interlinked crises of national and
European representativity, the role of national and European parliamentarians in the internet age and direct forms of
citizens’ public participation as a means to reinvigorate European democratic institutions.
On 3 April 2014, the creation of the European School of Politics in Istanbul
had been formalised in Venice, in the context of the meeting of the Schools
Directors. The School held its first pilot seminar in September, in
(Read article in
Debate on 'Understanding Ukraine' with
Daniel Beauvois and Andrew Wilson (26 June 2014)
The objective of the debate was to offer an analysis of the background
of the current situation in Ukraine by providing relevant information
about its complex history and origins, the issues and challenges, and
possible outcomes to the crisis, including European perspectives. The
debate was organised as a panel discussion with two experts on Ukraine:
M. Daniel Beauvois, French historian and writer, Professor of
Universities, and Mr. Andrew Wilson, British historian and political
scientist from the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).
1st International Meeting of the Alumni
of Schools of Political Studies (19 June 2014)
which theme was "Harnessing young people’s potential for building a
democratic future" gathered distinguished SPS alumni, coming from more than twenty countries.
It addressed two thematics:
‘The marginalisation of today’s young generation: Is the pact between the generations broken?’ and
‘Can young people bring about an agreed set of common values for the future?’ The seminar ended with a brainstorming round table on the development of the Schools’ Network, in particular its alumni dimension.
The outcomes of the discussions are expected to be of use to the participants in their respective professional or activist functions, as well as to the 2014 session of the World Forum for Democracy which will be organised by the Council of Europe in early November on the theme ‘From participation to influence: can youth revitalise democracy?’
European Identity Debates:
10th Debate- A Adam D. ROTFELD - "European
values and search for identities" (19 May
The tenth debate of the series was introduced by Adam D. ROTFELD,
former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, on "European values and
search for identities".
The series of European Identity Debates were initiated by the Council of
Europe jointly with the French Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA).
Building on the format of the previous Democracy debates, and enlarging
the thematic scope, this series aims to provide an intellectual
framework to stimulate reflection amongst diplomats, Council of Europe
staff and experts.
Cooperation with think tanks
- Advisory report on 'The Pan-European dimension' (report issued in May)
Is the Council of Europe’s big membership of 47 states today an asset or a liability? Is the pan-European idea, forming the basis of the Organisation’s speedy enlargement in the 1990s and early 2000s, an outdated concept or does it still hold a promise for the future of the European project? How should the Council approach its Wider European members?
Can Turkey and Russia be accommodated despite their own ambitions to become attractive poles of integration?
Can the relationship with the EU be taken to a higher level, and how can EU states be motivated to invest more in the Organisation? What about a neighbourhood policy for the Council?
And finally, is there a certain raison d’être the CoE can find in its membership?
The key recommendations
included in the
Advisory report prepared by the second task force ‘The Pan-European Dimension:
Ensuring the Use of the Council’s Wider European Membership’
could form the basis of a new approach. Read
cover note by Director of Policy Planning.
Directorate of Policy Planning (DPP) was set up in 2010 in order to
provide the Secretary General, the Committee of Ministers and Major
Administrative Entities (MAEs) of the Council of Europe with conceptual
and strategic analyses about relevant political and societal
developments in Europe and beyond. Its work is based on research and on
topical exchanges with internal and external networks. The objective is
to enhance the Organisation’s ability to anticipate major trends and
challenges facing member states and to offer coherent short- and
long-term responses within its statutory
Policy planning missions explained by Director Piotr Switalski
Does European identity already exist? How could European identity
be defined and characterised? How could a common European identity
contribute to strengthening the practices and processes of European
integration within a wider Europe?
These and many
more questions were addressed in the series of Debates on
European Identities initiated by the Council of Europe jointly
with the French Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA) with the
aim of providing an intellectual framework to stimulate reflection
amongst diplomats, Council of Europe staff and experts.
This series of debates was initiated by the Secretary General
in order to stimulate reflection and discussion on the developments
and challenges affecting European societies, thereby fostering
innovative thinking and action within the Organisation and helping
to forge the role of the Council of Europe as a laboratory for
new concepts and ideas on democracy. From April 2011 to June
2012, the Democracy Debate series allowed member and observer
state Delegations and Council of Europe staff to attend a number
of debates introduced by renowned speakers on issues related
to the challenges to democracy in Europe and beyond.
Democracy Debates web site Democracy Debates Collection:
on the Precipice'
Meetings of Directors of Policy Planning
In order to analyse member States' European and trans-European
policies, the Directorate of Policy Planning organises meetings
bringing together Directors of policy planning from Ministries
of Foreign Affairs of Council of Europe member states. The first
such meeting took place in February 2011 on the general policies
in members States followed by a second meeting in September
on "Europe and its Arab neighbours: common or compatible
values?". The third meeting on 'Central Asian Neighbourhood:
Europe's Outpost or Trans-Asian Bridge?' took place in Bucharest
in March 2012. The latest meeting was held in Strasbourg
in April 2013 on ‘The Promotion of Democracy in Europe and
Beyond: New Challenges, Strategies and Instruments’.
The ALER-T (Awareness
Laboratory for early response - Team) in house meetings bring together
representatives of all Major Administrative entities (MAES), seeking
to enhance the Council of Europe's capacity to provide coherent
short-and long-term responses within its statutory mandate to challenges
facing member states and the Organisation. Since February 2011 more
than forty five meetings have taken place on themes as varied as
intercultural dialogue, migration, political extremism, freedom
of expression, youth participation, rule of law, financial crisis
and social cohesion, corruption and human rights, concentration
of power, anti-piracy law, the use and abuse of history in times
of crisis, gender balance, elderly people and ageism.
These meetings offer an opportunity to Council of Europe staff
members who work on activities relating to a specific country
to discuss the actual and potential role of the Council of Europe
in helping to strengthen democracy and the rule of law in that
At each meeting, the political context is introduced by a recognised
expert specialising in a country or region, followed by a discussion
raising issues relevant to the Council of Europe’s work with
the country or region in question.
Since October 2011, a number of closed informal brainstorming
meetings have taken place, including on Turkey (October 2011), Ukraine (February 2012),
Bosnia and Herzegovina (March 2012) and Azerbaijan (June 2012), Georgia (November 2012),
United-Kingdom (February 2013), ‘Non-Recognised/Separatist Entities’ (March 2013),
‘Europe after the Crisis’ (April 2013), Russian and Europe
(October 2013). The latest one, on 'The European institutions
and Eastern Europe after Maidan' took place in Strasbourg in
Co-operation with think-tanks
The Directorate of Policy Planning is building contacts with
major European think tanks and reviews academic work on relevant
topics in order to provide Senior Management with strategic
expertise and background information.
On 4 December 2012, the Council of Europe organised a meeting of directors
of policy planning and representatives from 27 major European think tanks in Strasbourg. As a follow-up to this
meeting, a task force-format with three different CoE-related
focal topics has been decided:
. ‘Smart Power – Ways of Enhancing the Council of Europe’s Impact’
. ‘The Pan-European Dimension:
Ensuring the Use of the Council’s Wider European Membership’
. ‘Challenges to European Societies:
Identifying Major Risks and Finding Innovative Policies’
of Political Studies are aimed at training future generations of
political, economic, social and cultural leaders in countries in
transition. With the participation of national and international
experts, they organise annual series of seminars and conferences
on topics such as European integration, democracy, human rights,
the rule of law and globalisation.
Group of Eminent Persons on "Living
together in the XXI Century"
the initiative of Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the
Council of Europe, a Group of Eminent Persons (GEP) was convened
in 2011 to prepare a report in the context of the project
''Living together in 21st century Europe'', on the challenges
arising from the resurgence of intolerance and discrimination in
Europe. The Directorate of Policy Planning implements follow-up
action to the report.
Joint Council of Europe - Harvard University Conference Series
The United States of America and Europe have long considered themselves to be allies in the fight for domestic and international human rights. However, these two continents interpret certain key human rights issues in different ways and there is a need for a meaningful dialogue. Therefore, the Council of Europe and Harvard University have agreed to co-organise a
two-part conference series, first in Cambridge, on 23 September 2013, and then in Strasbourg, in the second half of 2014. This conference series is aimed at exposing participants to viewpoints different from those they already possess, and thereby facilitate a greater understanding on the similarity and dissimilarity in human rights perspectives, practices and standards across the Atlantic.
The first conference, on "Divided by
a Common Heritage: Human Rights in Europe and the United States"
took place in Cambridge on 23 September 2013.
The second conference of the series is to take
place in Strasbourg later in 2014.
Council of Europe - OSCE study
In 2011, the Council of Europe commissioned the study ‘The Council
of Europe and the OSCE: Enhancing Co-operation and Complementarity
through Greater Coherence’. This study was finalised in March
2012 and includes a number of practical proposals on how the
two organisations could achieve greater synergies and ensure
better coherence and complementarity. It was brought to the
attention of all Delegations to the Council of Europe and through
the OSCE Secretary General and the OSCE Chairman-in-Office to
the Delegations at the OSCE.