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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.


Forum previous sessions


(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.


(Yerevan, October)

Perspectives 2020 Democracy in Europe - Principles and Challenges



''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.




(Kyiv, October)

Electoral systems: strengthening democracy in the 21st century


 "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..




(Madrid, October)

"E-democracy: who dares?"


The discussions addressed the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on democracy.




(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.




(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.



Launch meeting (Warsaw, November 2005)

"Citizens' participation"



The discussions addressed the state of contemporary democracy in Europe.


Previous projects


Democratic institutions work")


Challenges to Democracy and Human Rights in Europe -

Forum for the Future of Democracy (Stockholm and Sigtuna,

13-15 June 2007)

Strasbourg, 11.06.2007 - Today more Europeans live in democracies than ever before. However, despite this unprecedented and favourable context, lack of confidence in the democratic system as a whole is growing among European citizens. Declining turnout in elections, political disaffection, distrust of politicians and the challenges of globalisation, are all challenging and threatening the very foundations of democracy in Europe.

The theme of the 2007 Council of Europe Forum on the Future of Democracy is "Power and empowerment - the interdependence of democracy and human rights". The Forum takes place in Stockholm and Sigtuna in Sweden from 13-15 June and is hosted by the Swedish Government, the Swedish Parliament and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions.

400 participants from all over Europe and from many sectors of the European societies, including citizen-activists, will discuss a wide range of subjects. The keynote speech on the theme of Power and Empowerment will be given by Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, as the first item after the opening of the Forum.

The Forum opens on 13 June at the Swedish Parliament (Rikdagen) at 13h30 with a welcome address by Per Westerberg, Speaker of the Riksdag. The opening speeches include statements by Vuk Jeremic, Serbia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, René van der Linden, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Ms Nyamko Sabuni, the Swedish Minister for Integration and Gender Equality, Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Halvdan Skard, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.

Immediately before the opening there will be a press briefing at 13h00 at the Riksdagen. Please contact the press desk for accreditation and more details.

On 14 June the Forum continues with discussions of sub-themes at four different venues in Sigtuna. There will be a press centre for journalists at the Sigtuna Stadshotell.

The following day, 15 June, the results of the discussions will be presented at a plenary session at Arlanda Conference and Business Centre. As the last item (at 12h00) the Forum conclusions will be presented by the general rapporteurs.

For further information on the Forum, see www.sweden.gov.se/democracyforum
The Forum programme can be found under "Information to delegates and agenda for the Forum".

      Press contacts in Stockholm/Sigtuna:
      Ms. Lena Mirow, Swedish Government press officer, phone +46 8 405 2957,
      mobile +46 70 299 1922, e-mail: [email protected]
      Cathie Burton, Directorate of Communication, Council of Europe
      Mobile +33 6 85 11 64 93 ; e-mail: [email protected]
      Arne Madsen, Council of Europe Nordic Press Correspondent, mobile phone +45 29 82 20 37, e-mail: [email protected]

To receive our press releases by e-mail, contact : [email protected]

A political organisation set up in 1949, the Council of Europe works to promote democracy and human rights continent-wide. It also develops common responses to social, cultural and legal challenges in its 47 member states.