The Fourth Summer University for Democracy, organized by the Council of Europe, took place between July 5-11 in Strasbourg, France.

The Summer University is an annual initiative, gathering participants from the 16 schools of the European Association of the Schools of Political Studies from the countries in Southeast Europe and the Caucasus. The Bulgarian School of Politics is a founding member of the Association and each year, participants in the National training program of the School take part in the seminars and workshops of the Summer University.

This year, over 600 participants in the Summer University celebrated together the 60th anniversary of the Council of Europe and the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall and the opening of the Iron Curtain. They had a chance to listen to Mr. Laszlo Kovacs, former Minister of European Affairs of Hungary and Mr. Erhard Busek, former Vice-Chancellor of Austria and former Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe recall major events that brought democracy to the countries of the former Soviet block 20 years ago. The other main topics included the challenges faced by the countries in Europe and the world in the conditions of a financial crisis and global climate changes. The Summer University concluded with a joint declaration, confirming the participants’ commitment to democratic values and principles, such as the rule of law, good governance, protection of human rights, respect for identity and sovereignty, tolerance and human dignity.

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