Forum for the Future of Democracy
13-14 October 2011, Limassol, Cyprus
“The Interdependence of Democracy and Social Cohesion:
Strengthening representation and democratic participation
through public dialogue and civic engagement”


Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland opened the Forum for the Future of Democracy with the acknowledgment that “radical measures taken in many countries to try to balance public budgets are both necessary and understandable.” But he also stressed: “Countries are running a high risk of seriously undermining the European model of social cohesion.”

The two-day forum, which ended Friday in Limassol Cyprus, invited young people who are active in peaceful youth protests, from the “Indignados” to “Génération précaire” for an open dialogue with other civil society representatives. The forum recommended changes to get through the current financial crisis and to avert increased social and political upheaval, including “constructive political engagement” and “support for new and alternative forms of democratic expression and participation”.

Speech by Thorbjørn Jagland 
Forum for the Future of Democracy 2011