What are the forces shaping democratic societies in the future? Will the emerging voices of the Arab Spring bring about lasting stability? And can they be a source of inspiration for reforms in established Western democracies?
The Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy brings together reformers and global leaders to identify democratic responses to the economic, social and political challenges which affect our societies today. By confronting conventional concepts with new realities the Forum will gauge how democracies can satisfy the expectations of citizens and adapt to their different values and traditions".
Thorbjørn Jagland, Council of Europe Secretary General
In bringing together high-ranking political officials, leading public figures, Nobel Peace Prize winners and civil society activists, the World Forum will allow for an exchange of experiences and perceptions and help identify risks as well as possible answers to today’s societal challenges.
Synergy and interaction will be fostered between several types of event which will make up the first Forum, scheduled for 5 to 11 October 2012.
The Forum will begin with a formal opening ceremony on Monday 8 October attended by leading international figures, to be followed by a meeting of experts from politics, civil society and academia, who will suggest new ideas on democracy related issues for the 21st century. The experts will participate in a one-day symposium with institutional leaders, parliamentarians at European and national levels, academics and young leaders from the network of Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe.
Public workshops, arranged by theme and professional category, will also bring together figures from public life to pool experience and good practices relating to democratic governance, public participation and responsible journalism. These sessions open to civil society and to the public will propose new initiatives to strengthen democracies, including the oldest ones, in coping with the challenges of today.
On the sidelines of the Forum, a number of public events, such as a Democracy fair, a film festival, a meeting of the Youth Assembly, civil society debate, etc. will be held in various city venues.
Monday 8 October, the opening ceremony of the Forum will be marked by the presence of international key figures, including:
* to be confirmed
Public workshops, arranged by theme and professional category, will also bring together figures from public life to pool experience and good practices relating to democratic governance, public participation, responsible journalism etc.
On the sidelines of the Forum, a number of public events organised by the city of Strasbourg will be held in various city venues.
All actors of democratic life: governmental representatives, elected representatives (national, regional and local), citizens, media, socio-economic leaders, academics, representatives of civil society… Through partnership with international organisations, the Forum will bring together participants from all continents.