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Selected representatives of the School of Political Studies of the Council of Europe, whose Foundation BFPE for a Responsible Society is a member, traditionally took part in the eleventh edition of the World Forum for Democracy held from November 6 to 8, 2023, in Strasbourg. The World Forum for Democracy is a unique platform where decision-makers and activists can discuss solutions to key challenges facing democracies worldwide. This year, the Forum brought together more than 1200 participants from over 80 countries around the world.

Thirteen participants of the Annual Seminar had the opportunity to participate in plenary panels and sessions and engage in discussions with their peers on topics relevant to the world. The overarching theme of this year’s World Forum for Democracy was Democracy = Peace? and it was dedicated to the concept of democracy, promoting democratic innovations, and systemic inclusion to strengthen democratic societies.

Interactive sessions, called labs, covered various topics such as democracy and peace; the art of dialogue; memorials, memory, and learning history; women, democracy, and peace; the age of global protest; the international community and the insecurity of democracy; social justice and equality; social entrepreneurship as an innovative model, etc. Experimental initiatives and practices that encourage democratic innovations at the local level and their transfer to the systemic level to strengthen the foundations of democratic societies were also presented and analyzed in some sessions. In this way, the Forum contributed to the further development of democracy towards more participatory and inclusive structures and institutions.

The group of participants from Serbia had the opportunity to visit the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, discuss the functioning of the Court, and learn about lawsuits coming from Serbia.

On the last day, youth delegates presented the main conclusions of the entire Forum, as well as recommendations for improving future editions of the Forum. Also, traditionally, the Secretary-General awards the Council of Europe’s Innovation in Democracy Prize to the most popular initiative presented in the labs, decided by the votes of Forum participants. This year, the initiative ‘Living Archive of Democracy Fighters’ won the award.

At the end of the Forum, a solemn diploma award ceremony was held for all participants of the School of Political Studies from 17 countries. The Secretary-General awarded diplomas to the directors of schools, and the Executive Director of the Foundation BFPE, Svetlana Stefanović, received diplomas for all participants of this year’s School of Political Studies, i.e., the Annual Seminar generation.

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