Participants from National Program 2012 took part in the 1st World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg

Twenty-five young political and civic leaders from the National Program, Class 2012 of the Bulgarian School of Politics took part in the 1st World Forum for Democracy held in Strasbourg from 5 to 11 October. The event, which topic was “Bridging the Gap: Democracy between Old Models and New Realities”, was organized by the Council of Europe.

More than 500 representatives from the Network of the Schools of Political Studies under the auspice of the Council of Europe from Russia, Georgia, Moldova, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania, Armenia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Albania and Belarus took part in the discussions. For the first time, participants from the schools of politics in Tunis and Morocco also participated in the event.

Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe addressed the participants in the Forum. A special guest speaker was Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations. Among the lecturers was Ms Tawakkol Karman, a Yemen journalist and human rights activist, and the Nobel Peace Prize winner 2011.

In four days, the Forum participants discussed a large number of topics, among which democracy and globalization, changes after the Arab spring, new social media, media liability, representative democracy, and the role of civil society. Topics related to responsible leadership, migration, solidarity in times of crisis, the role of Europe for global development, etc. were discussed during the workshops.

The Bulgarian participants had a special session with their colleagues from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine on energy security. They also visited the European Court of Human Rights, where they met the Bulgarian judge Zdravka Kalaydjieva.

During their stay in Strasbourg, the participants from the Bulgarian School of Politics presented flowers to the memorial of Dimitar Peshev in the building of the Council of Europe and commemorated his contribution to the saving of 50,000 Bulgarian Jews in the Second World War.