Saturday, July 01, 2017

[Fully Funded] World Forum for Democracy 2017

[Fully Funded] World Forum for Democracy 2017

Is Populism a problem? As a response to the success of the 2016 edition of the World Forum on Democracy, the Joint Council on Youth has agreed to involve the youth sector of the Council of Europe, through the Youth Department, in the 2017 edition of the World Forum for Democracy.

The sixth edition of the Council of Europe’s World Forum for Democracy will engage with decision-makers, young people and opinion-formers to review novel initiatives and approaches which can enhance democratic practices and help parties and media, but also other political actors, to re-connect to citizens, make informed choices and function optimally in 21st century democracy.
In this period of transition from representative to post-representative democracy, the World Forum for Democracy will explore ideas and initiatives which address some of the following questions:
    • Given the complexity of political agendas and the vacuum of convincing answers, how to express protest or accede to power without populism?
    • How to nourish political culture which embraces a long-term perspective and resist populism?
    • Are there social structures that can replace political parties in building social capital and providing frameworks for grassroots political debate participation and decision making? Is there a danger of such social structures (e.g. faith groups) becoming more politicised?
    • Should stronger intra-party democracy be encouraged or would internal leadership debate only lead to more personification of politics and weaker parties?
    • How to make sure that online media and communities foster pluralism and deliberation rather than extremism and polarisation?
    • Can we support the emerging online media with user-based rather than advertisement based business models which have a strong ethos of pluralism and user participation?
    • Should there be changes in the voting systems (issue-based voting in addition to or instead of party-based voting, limitations of mandates, non-partisan legislatures, popular recall etc.)?

The core content of the Forum will consist of discussions about successful initiatives and actions, which have real-life initiatives as a starting point. General guiding principles will then be drawn to encourage and support future policy responses and field action
During the World Forum, the youth participants will join the different labs and side events. Participants may be given particular roles in the labs and side-events according to their interests and competences (rapporteurs, moderators, audience, critical thinkers...). Altogether, the youth participants should be active partners and contributors to this World Forum, bringing in their own ideas and initiatives.
Beyond the labs and side-events, the participants may organise parallel activities to make their voices heard and present their visions of whether populism is a problem or not (flashmobs, creative walls, living library, storytelling etc...).

In this context, the Youth Department will invite 60 young people to participate and engage with decision-makers and opinion-formers in a reflection on the question of populism: its various forms as well as real stories.
In this edition of the World Forum for Democracy, we wish to invite young people who have been involved either through youth organisations, political parties, political movements or other projects in initiatives related to the question of populism.
For this purpose, applicants should send a 1-minute video (see instructions below) explaining what populism means to them. The video should be inspiring and based on a real-life testimony of how participants themselves are concerned by the topic.
Profile of participants
In order to be selected and participate in the World Forum 2017, youth applicants should:
    • Be aged 16-30 (exceptions can be made in special cases);
    • Be resident in Europe; 15 places will be made available for participants from other regions outside the European continent;
    • Be able to communicate and work in English;
    • Be actively involved in civil society democracy initiatives;
    • Be motivated to contribute to developing new ideas on youth and democracy;
    • Be ready to share own challenges faced in relation to populism and its effects on society;
    • Be ready to adopt a solution-oriented approach by bringing in new ideas and visions
      on the question of populism;
    • Be available to participate fully in the World Forum for Democracy and the
      preparation process beforehand.

The youth representatives will be chosen on the basis of these criteria and the video to be submitted. The Council of Europe welcomes applications from all candidates who fulfil the above mentioned profile, irrespective of gender, disability, marital or parental status, racial, ethnic or social origin, colour, religion, belief or sexual orientation.
A few limited places will allow for participants from the previous editions of the World Forum to participate.
All candidates must apply in 2 parts:
  1. An online application form should be completed.
  2. A short 1 minute video should be posted on YouTube, with the link attached to the online application form (see instructions below).

The application form must be submitted on-line before Tuesday, 11 July 2017 at CET 13:00 (1 p.m.), together with a support letter from your NGO/sending organization if this is appropriate.   In case of technical problems with the use of the platform, please send an e-mail to youthapplications[at] .

Fully Funded
Travel expenses
    • Travel expenses and visa costs will be reimbursed upon presentation of the relevant receipts, according to the rules of the Council of Europe.
    • Only the participants who attend the entire event (pre-Forum meeting and World Forum) can be reimbursed. The payment will be made by bank transfer after the World Forum.
    • Prepaid tickets for travel can only be arranged in exceptional and justified cases.

    • Board and lodging are provided and paid for by the Council of Europe (arrival on Sunday 5th November and departure on Saturday 11th November).
    • Participants will be accommodated at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg (EYCS). You might be requested to share a room.
    • The EYCS is fully accessible to young people with disabilities and ready to adapt to young people's special needs in order to ensure full inclusion and quality working conditions. Wi-fi is not provided in the rooms.
Apply HERE

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