Two alumni of the Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza” – Ms. Elena Popova from Class 2014 and Ms. Gergana Andreeva from Class 2015, participated in the 2nd International Alumni Seminar of the Council of Europe Schools of Political Studies. It was held on 25 and 26 June in Sarajevo and the topic was “Defending Democracy, Freedom and Human Dignity against Internal and External Threats”. More than 45 schools’ alumni from Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Romania, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Tunisia, Morocco, Greece, Turkey and Visegrád School, as well as representatives of the Council of Europe and the Association of Schools of Political Studies took part in the event. The main goal of the seminar was to discuss the key questions related to democracy and human rights and to prepare the topics for the forthcoming World Forum for Democracy, which is going to be held in November 2015 in Strasbourg and which topic for this year is “Freedom vs. control: the democratic response”.
The event was opened by Mr. Matjaž Gruden, Director of Policy Planning, Council of Europe, and addressed by Mr. Ivo Komsic, Mayor of Sarajevo.
The forum was split into thematic panels during which the links between security and democracy, the challenges faced by judicial power, media and NGOs while providing civil rights and freedoms, as well as the balance between control and universal freedom for securing citizens’ protection were discussed.
The second topic was focused on the reasons for radicalization of democratic societies. Ms. Gergana Andreeva was among the panelists and spoke about the role of education for prevention of young people’s radicalization. The third topic for discussion was related to women’s rights and countering domestic violence.
At the end of the seminar, the participants and the representatives of the Association of Schools of Political Studies discussed ideas for improving the relationships among alumni from different schools and creation of better opportunities and new channels for communication between them.