On 17-18 October 2018 in Berlin, the first pilot seminar in the context of setting up an Academy for Democratic Leadership for persons with a refugee background was held at the Federal Foreign Office in Germany. Organised by the Council of Europe and the Schools of Political Studies, the idea is to establish a training and capacity-building programme in a number of European countries for young men and women with a refugee background as well as other individuals working in areas relating to integration and migration and who have demonstrated the ability to inspire and facilitate dialogue on these matters. The feasibility of the project will be assessed by a series of three pilot seminars. Each seminar will take place in a different country to obtain a diversified pool of resources and to draw feedback from ideas and proposals that will aid in establishing the conceptual and organisational parameters for setting up the Academy.
The Berlin seminar brought together about 30 participants, including individuals with a refugee background and actors representing organisations working with migrants in the public and private sectors in Germany. The two day programme consisted of work in groups led by facilitators from the Migration Hub Network, keynote addresses by Gordan Grlić Radman, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to Germany and Josip Juratovic, MP for German Social Democratic Party, as well as a panel discussion on “Integration through Participation” and a field visit to local initiatives.
The ideas and recommendations gathered from this diverse group of participants with different backgrounds, occupations and experiences will inform the future work when establishing the Academy.