2008: Moving from strengthening the foundations towards imagining the future

Trapped between political crisis and technological innovations, modern citizens are trying to play a more active role in the political decision-making process. The purpose of the Third Summer University for Democracy, which took place from 29 June to 4 July 2008, was to explore how tomorrow’s young leaders from Eastern and South-East European countries would face that challenge.

The meeting’s theme of Governance, power and democracy provided food for thought on reforms which some participants might carry out in their countries in the future.

Issues addressed focused on:

  • how to establish a form of governance based on the principles of direct democracy combined with improved power sharing between the different levels of government;
  • the social and political role the press, media and NGOs could play in protecting democratic regimes;
  • ways of managing tensions between freedom and authority.

At the closing ceremony of the Summer University it was announced that a European Association of Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe was being established to help further develop the network of schools project. The purpose of the Association would be to bring the schools closer together and with them help promote Council of Europe values.

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