Visegrád School of Political Studies (2013)

Launched in 2013, the VSPS is a joint project of the European Academy of Diplomacy and the Council of Europe that brings together young politicians, civil society activists, journalists and civil servants from the countries of the Visegrád Group – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland & Slovakia – for seminars to help increase involvement in the democratic processes, foster exchange of know-how and strengthen regional cooperation among a new generation of Central European “movers and shakers”.

Visegrad School of Political Studies
European Academy of Diplomacy
Ul. Oleandrow 6
00629 Varsovie, Pologne
Tel. : +48 22 378 11 99
E-mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Director : Natalia CZAJKOWSKA


“The Visegrád School of Political Studies remains a unique international hub-school, which - since its inception in 2013 - has not only brought together young leaders from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, but has also hosted participants of all other Council of Europe Schools - from Moscow to Morocco. With over 360 graduates, the VSPS continues to tackle the most pressing issues which hamper the growth of healthy democracies, from the rise of populism and xenophobia to the fight against corruption.”

Natalia CZAJKOWSKA, Director


About the School

The goal of the programme is to develop participants’ ability to identify and solve the complex challenges facing Central European societies and enhance their capacity to shape and strengthen the democratic processes in their respective countries. The School provides participants with the opportunity to establish a regional network of like-minded leaders, ready to take on greater responsibility for a more mature political culture in Central Europe and stronger leadership within the European Union. The programme supports the Council of Europe mission of reinforcing democracy, human rights and rule of law on the European continent.

As the 19th member of the Council of Europe’s Schools of Political Studies network, the Visegrád School benefits from the sharing of vast knowledge, experience and know-how of the 20 other schools in the network and looks to expand and share Poland’s unique transformational experience with partner schools in the Eastern Partnership, Western Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa.

The Visegrád School of Political Studies comprises 4 thematic workshops held in each of the V4 capital cities – Bratislava, Budapest, Prague and Warsaw – and the annual World Forum for Democracy hosted at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

The goal of the VSPS is to equip participants – young civic and political leaders – with an activist’s toolkit; a set of fundamental skills required to be successful in influencing the dialogue of their regional and national governments, as well as their communities. Participants take part in expert lectures, case study analyses, discussions, and working groups focusing on contemporary thematic issues facing the VSPS and the European Union, such as:

    ·    Identifying the main challenges to the democratic process in the Visegrád Group

    ·    Strengthening the democratic process in the Visegrád countries

    ·    The Visegrád Group and the future of the European Union.

To supplement their skill development, participants take part in study visits to national and European institutions, locally-based embassies, and VIP meetings.

The VSPS invites 20-25 young leaders between the ages of 26 and 40 from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Recruitment efforts are directed to attract participants from political parties, civic organizations, public administration and media. The ideal candidate has a proven track history of involvement and engagement within their community, demonstrating leadership potential and a desire to take an active role in positively shaping the world around them.

About the Director

Natalia Czajkowska is the new Director of the European Academy of Diplomacy and School of Political Studies in Visegrád. She succeeds Professor Katarzyna Pisarska, founder and Director of the EAD (2004-2020). Before becoming Director, she served as Deputy Director, Head of the Executive Education Department, Member of the Board of Directors from 2018 and finally as Chair of the Board of Directors from 2021. Natalia Czajkowska holds an LLM in Law from the University of Warsaw. She holds an MBA in international business development. She has 16 years of experience in education and international business. Natalia Czajkowska has held a number of senior positions, not only at the European Academy of Diplomacy. Prior to joining the EAD, she was National Director for international companies, Managing Director of a consulting company and a lawyer. Natalia holds the PRINCE2 certificate in project management.