The schools of political studies

The Schools of Political Studies

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    and beyond


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Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy


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A priority for the Council of Europe

The Council of Europe Schools of political studies were established to train future generations of political, economic, social and cultural leaders in countries in transition. With the participation of national and international experts, they run annual series of seminars and conferences on topics such as European integration, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and globalisation. The first School of Political Studies was created in Moscow in 1992 by a group of civil society activists seeking to promote democratic values. Since then, 20 other schools have been set up along the same lines; a genuine network now covering the whole of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, as well as some countries in the Southern Mediterranean region. (Read more)

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Schools Newsletter - 11th edition (May 2016)

The eleventh edition of the Newsletter (January) is now available.  It is also possible to subscribe ! (please click here)
This quarterly Newsletter provides up-to-date information on the activities of the Network of the Schools of Political Studies. It should serve as a tool for the Schools themselves, but also provide useful information to friends and supporters of the Schools. It forms an element of the Council of Europe Strategy for the Schools of Political Studies which aims to reinforce their visibility and their impact. 

Find all newsletters

Civic Round Table in Berlin (May) and Strasbourg (June)

A two-session Civic Round table was co-organised by the Council of Europe and the European School of Politics in Istanbul, with the financial support of the Council of Europe and the Mercator Foundation. It offered to around 30 fellows from different European countries and beyond a platform to study trends and challenges, and to experiment with various ways to forge better civics across Europe.

The first session took place in Berlin on 2-4 May and the second one in Strasbourg on 16-17 June. In Berlin, the participants were invited to discuss prospects of inclusive economic growth, trends related to inequality and social mobility, Europe’s role in the world, migration challenges and the associated changes to social capital and the social contract. The discussions were facilitated by prominent academics and opinion-makers. The Berlin session also included a working lunch with Mr Joschka Fischer on "How can Europe master various fundamental crises and still move ahead as a process?”

At the Strasbourg session, the participants presented the results of their reflections to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe in a report entitled:“Towards a new European civics”. The Strasbourg meeting also included a public debate with French politician, Ms Rama Yade, former Secretary of State, an exchange of views on the work of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) by its President, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, as well as a discussion with Mr David Gardner, International Affairs Editor at the Financial Times about the situation in the Middle East. .  

Visit Round table website

Schools Newsletter - 10th edition (January 2016)

The tenth edition of the Newsletter (January) is now available.  It is also possible to subscribe ! (please click here)


Newly created Western African School (December 2015)

The Civic School of Western Africa (ECAO), which took its inspiration from the Council of Europe Network of Schools of Political Studies, held its inaugural seminar on 14-17 December 2015 in Lomé, Togo. An independent initiative supported by the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), the ECAO aims to prepare young leaders to meet future challenges of African societies. It is a regional project by its very nature as participants are recruited from the eight French-speaking Western African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The Association of Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe has invited the ECAO to join its network in order to share experiences and best-practices.

Schools of Political Studies attenting the 4th session of the World Forum for Democracy (Strasbourg, 18 - 20 November 2015)


As for previous sessions, participants from Council of Europe schools of Political studies are attending the 4 th session of the World Forum for Democracy, which topic this year is 'Freedom vs control: For a democratic response'.

In addition to the main Forum events, a comprehensive series of events and meetings has been designed specifically for the Schools, notably a speed networking by profession, a diploma ceremony and five thematic sessions.

Programme of special events

Synopses of thematic sessions:
Human rights dimension of migration in Europe
Democratic security in Europe, regional perspectives
The future of liberal democracy and civil society activism in Europe
Decentralisation and democratic local governance: exchange of best practices and perspectives

Ceremony of Diploma photo gallery

Tenth Anniversary and Third 2015 seminar of the Armenian School of Political Studies (Lviv, 24-27 September 2015)

From 24 to 27 September, the Armenian School of Political Studies held its 3rd seminar for 2015. It has also been 10 years now since the School joined in 2005, as the 13th member, the Network of Schools of Political Studies.

Mr Vache Gabrielyan, Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia, attended the opening session. The seminar was also attended by the Ambassador of the European Union to Armenia, Mr Piotr Switaski, as well as the Deputy to the Council of Europe Director of Policy Planning Mr Michael Remmert and the Director of the Armenian School of Political Studies Mr Armen Zakaryan.

  Lviv_sem_opening_ Lviv_Opening_sem_Switalski  

2nd International Alumni Seminar of the Council of Europe Schools of Political Studies (Sarajevo, 25-26 June)

MostarThe seminar, which theme was “Defending Democracy, Freedom and Human Dignity against Internal and External Threats”, was organised in four thematic sessions:
Theme 1 ‘Protecting societies without undermining democracy’
Theme 2 ‘Addressing the root causes of radicalisation in democratic societies’
Theme 3 ‘Promoting women’s rights and countering domestic violence’ (read presentation on “Promoting women’s rights and countering domestic violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)” by Ismeta DERVOZ, MP and former member of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly )
Theme 4 ‘Brainstorming Round Table on the development of the Schools’ Alumni Network’.

The findings of the seminar will provide input to the World Forum for Democracy which will take place in Strasbourg in November this year. (...)
Read Meeting report


Meetings of the Network of the Schools

Meetings of Schools Directors
The 2015 Spring meeting took place in Budva (Montenegro) on 30 - 31 March. The Directors' Winter meeting took place in Strasbourg on 17 November, in the margins of the 4th World Forum for Democracy (18-20 November). On this occasion, the Directors met with the Commissioner of Human Rights. They also exchanged on current challenges and future orientations of the Network of Schools of Political Studies and shared views on past activities and forthcoming ones, including a Civic Roundtable to take place in Spring 2016.

List of School seminars organised since January 2016: See List of recent/forthcoming seminars (more activities listed in online calendar)

Schools Strategy for 2012 and beyond

The Schools have adopted their Strategy for 2012 and Beyond. The Ministers' Deputies took note of the Strategy on 2 May 2012.

The Strategy aims to build a strategic vision for the Schools of Political Studies; to foster a close partnership between the Schools and Council of Europe's operational work; to expand the Network of the Schools of Political Studies; to develop new partnerships with potential donors and with formal or non-formal educational establishments

The Strategy is now being promoted among Council of Europe bodies and other institutions and tools (fundraising impact measurement and marketing presentation, onine newsletter) for that purpose are being prepared.

Association of the Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe

In 2008, the Directors of the Schools of Political Studies founded the European Association of Schools of Political Studies to strengthen ties, foster their development and support the Council of Europe’s activities to promote the schools’ network. The "Association of the Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe"

The association, which c is non-profit-making and has no political or religious aims. It is governed by a Board made up of the Directors of schools of political studies and three to ten members elected by the General Assembly for four years. Catherine Lalumière, former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, was elected Chair of the association.

In November 2014, the Association General Assembly, which gathered in the context of the World Forum for Democracy, decided to change the name of the association to "Association of the Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe", in order to better reflect the new composition of the association which now includes the Tunisian and Moroccan Schools and which aims at expanding further to other countries of the Mediterranean and of Central Asia.

* "All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo."