The Civic Rountable 2018: Multilateralism in Crisis

Thessaloniki, 18-19 December 2018

The respect for the multilateral international legal order, and the role of international organisations, has come increasingly under pressure over the past few years. With the increased political fragmentation on the one side and the rising economic and security interdependence on the other, the future of the multilateral institutions is unclear. The main stakeholders will have to readdress the shortcomings and think of new paths towards the effective global governance.

To discuss and analyse this challenges Council of Europe, in co-operation with the Association of Schools of Political Studies (ASPS) and the Civic School of Political Studies in Greece brought together a network of alumni from the Council of Europe’s Network of Schools of Political Studies (SPS) and selected young leaders from other countries throughout Europe for the Civic Roundtable. The event was held in Thessaloniki from 18 to 19 December.

Among the experts on multilateralism from different fields who provided key note presentations were Loukas Tsoukalis, Professor at Sciences Po Paris and the President of Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP); Nils Muižnieks, President of the Association of Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe and former Human Rights Commissioner for the Council of Europe (2012-2018);  Philippe Leclerc, UNHCR Representative in Greece and Sonia Licht, President of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence.
The one and a half day event included keynote speeches, plenary discussion and work in groups. It was organised around three main questions: How does the present multilateral rules-based global governance relate to current realities? What does it take to maintain the universal appeal of the multilateral human rights system? In a globalised world, can multilateralism safeguard social equality and refugee protection?

The Civic Roundtable is an annual pan-European programme organised by the Council of Europe. The programme was initiated in 2016, building on the previous practice of annual international seminars for SPS alumni. The Network of Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe comprises 22 member Schools covering 22 European and 2 Northern African countries.

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