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Regional Academy for Democracy (RAD)

Program description

RAD aims to contribute to regional cooperation in the Western Balkans in the areas of democracy, human rights, justice and institution-building, capacity-building through a new generation of political leadership and facilitating their mutual understanding and cooperation.

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Program description

The project “Regional Academy for Democracy: Shaping the European Future of the Balkans – Building a New Political Culture and Political Elite” is a unique initiative in political capacity building in the Western Balkans, implemented by seven civil society organizations, members of the Network of Schools of Political Studies operating under the auspices of the Council of Europe.

RAD generation 2015, photographed with Ms. Licht and Pierre Mirel, our Dean in the final year of the program. Photo: Aleksandar Andjic/BFPE

The Regional Academy for Democracy (RAD) aims to contribute to regional cooperation in the Western Balkans in the fields of democracy, human rights, justice and institution building, through building the capacities of next-generation political leadership and facilitating their mutual understanding and cooperation. Dedicated to already established political actors who will in the near future form the highest-level political leadership, the RAD aspires to shape a human infrastructure that will help solidify current democratization processes, uphold the standards of human and minority rights above political or national interests, and embrace a spirit of regional cooperation and reconciliation with neighbors.

Structured in three yearly cycles, the RAD will gather 150 political leaders from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia (7 per country per year) in a joint experience of extensive learning and exchange. Each year, we aim to organize four highly interactive seminars and one study visit for the same group of 50 participants engaged in the topic of the year: Justice and Security Cooperation (Year 1), Human and Minority Rights (Year 2), and Building Democratic Institutions (Year 3).

The participants will be selected from among leading younger politicians who already hold significant posts either on the state level or in their respective political parties – State Secretaries, Deputy and Assistant Ministers, Members of Parliaments, leading party officials, diplomats, as well as a number of the most outstanding mayors and/or county/region leaders.

In the course of one yearly cycle, four seminars and one study visit will be held for the group of up to 50 participants. The first project year, starting in 2013, will be dedicated to Justice and Security Cooperation topics. The highly structured curriculum will be based on a variety of innovative cutting-edge learning methods, including interactive workshops, case studies, and introductions to the most prominent global leaders in this area. The study visit to Spain will expose participants to first-hand experience of security sector reform, among other things addressing regional and ethnic identities from the human security perspective.

RAD is supported by the European Union through its Global Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights; the Robert Bosch Stiftung; the Balkan Trust for Democracy; and was also supported by the International Visegrad Fund.

For more information visit project’s official web site,

This post is also available in SRP.

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