Presentation of the Association

The Council of Europe Schools of Political Studies were established to train future generations of political, economic, social and cultural leaders in countries in transition. With the participation of national and international experts, they run annual series of seminars and conferences on topics such as European integration, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and globalisation.

The first School of Political Studies was created in Moscow in 1992 by a group of civil society activists seeking to promote democratic values. Since then, 20 other schools have been set up along the same lines. They now form a genuine network covering the whole of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, as well as some countries in the Southern Mediterranean region.

For more information about the Schools of Political Studies project, please visit the Council of Europe's website.

Why an Association?

In July 2008, after the third Summer University for Democracy, the Directors of the Schools of Political Studies established an association which was registered in Strasbourg under French law.

The idea to create an association stems from the desire of the Schools and their Directors to play a more active role in the co-ordination and management of the programme. Until then this had been managed by the Directorate General of Democracy and Political Affairs of the Council of Europe which was responsible for implementing the Council of Europe joint programme. As far as general co-ordination was concerned, the Directors had played a purely consultative role and had little real influence on the main orientation of the programme.

Endowed with a legal framework, the Schools now have a tool which allows the Network to communicate with a voice of its own and to benefit from the support of partners other than the Council of Europe. Thus the City of Strasbourg has become the Association’s first partner. In addition to providing political support for the World Forum for Democracy, it has financed the Association since its foundation.

Who can join the Association?

The schools as legal entities, represented by their Director, are the founding members of the Association. Membership is also open to Schools' Alumni who wish to maintain and develop contacts with fellow participants, not only from their own group, but also from other years and other countries. Any other persons subscribing to the aims and objectives of the Association are welcome to join. 

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