World Forum for Democracy 2012

Bridging the gap: democracy between old models and new realities

Over 500 participants from the Schools of Political Studies attended the first Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy from 5 to 11 October 2012, organised by the Council of Europe and the City of Strasbourg, with the support of the French Government, the Alsace Region and the Bas-Rhin Department Council In addition to attending the different events of the Forum, the participants exchanged views with their peers in regional meetings of Schools and met their country’s judges from the European Court of Human Rights. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe held several meetings with the Directors of the Schools and hosted the diploma award ceremony.

"Eighty hours of debate, several dozen encounters, more than 200 experts from around the globe and 1500 participants representing 120 countries". This is the assessment of the first Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy given by senior coordinator Jean-Louis Laurens during the closing ceremony.

The aim of this first Forum was not to find global consensus on democracy, but rather to allow discussions and exchanges of experience between politicians, global leaders and members of the civil society to identify possible answers to challenges arising in today's societies.

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? By confronting conventional concepts with new realities, the Forum gauged how democracies can satisfy the expectations of citizens and adapt to their different values and traditions.

For more information, see the World Forum for Democracy’s dedicated website.


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