From 3 to 7 November twenty four young political and civic leaders from the National Program 2014 of the Bulgarian School of Politics took part in the World Forum for Democracy in Strasburg. The event was entitled “From participation to influence: can youth revitalize democracy” and was organized by the Council of Europe.
Over 500 representatives of the Network of the Schools of Political Studies under the auspices of the Council of Europe, among them Russia, Georgia, Moldova, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania, Armenia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Albania, Belarus, Tunisia, Morocco, Greece, Turkey and the Visegrad School, participated in the Forum.
Secretary General of the Council of Europe Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland delivered the opening speech. The key-note speaker Jeremy Rifkin, American sociologist, economist and researcher, presented the challenges in front of the future development of our society. The discussions in the different labs were focused on civic participation of young generation and the opportunities for young people to be actively involved in policy-making process. A variety of ideas and initiatives for civic education, youth participation during elections, advocacy and enhancing the role of youngsters in local and national governance were presented.
In parallel with the Forum’s program, there was a series of events of the Network of the Schools of Political Studies at the Council of Europe. The participants from the Bulgarian School and their colleagues from Bratislava, Praha, Thessaloniki and Zagreb discussed the role of the EU in promoting values in its neighbourhood. Bulgarian representatives also participated in a meeting with their colleagues from Rabat, during which a 3-year framework for cooperation between the Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza” and the Citizen School for Political Studies in Morocco was signed.
The participants from the Bulgarian School visited the European Court of Human Rights and met the Bulgarian judge Ms. Zdravka Kalaydjieva. They also had a meeting with the Permanent Representative for Bulgaria in the Council of Europe Krasimira Beshkova.
During their visit in Strasbourg, the representatives of the Bulgarian School of Politics offered flowers to the memorial bust of Dimitar Peshev, which is located in the building of the Council of Europe. In this way, they commemorated his contribution for saving 50 thousands Bulgarian Jews during the Second World War.