The Secretary General has initiated several series of debates 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.

The latest debate of such series was introduced byTimothy Snyder, on 21 February 2019, on the topic “Current illiberal trends in Europe: lessons from history”.

Three series of debates were organised between 2010 and 2019:

The first series, ‘Democracy Debates’ (2011 - 2012), was aimed at examining new approaches to contemporary democracy and contemplate the challenges confronting democracy today.

The second series, 'European Identity Debates’ (2013 - 2014), was aimed at defining and characterising European identity and to see how a common European identity could contribute to strengthening the practices and processes of European integration.

The third series, on 'Democratic Security' (2015 - 2019) aimed to examine current thinking and dynamics behind the concept of Democratic Security, identify main elements and threats and explore how Democratic Security can strengthen, through different mechanisms related to democracy, human rights and rule of law, peace and stability in Europe.



"Democracy on the precipice"  (Democracy Debates series 2011-2012) "We need to talk about Europe"  (European Identity Debates series 2013-2014) ...