World Forum on Democracy in Strasbourg

Deadline:   25th July 2016


world democracy switzerland

The fifth edition of the Council of Europe’s World Forum for Democracy will engage with decision-makers and opinion-formers in a reflection on how education and democracy can reinforce each other and address the risks of new social divides.

Is education fulfilling its democratic mission or is it failing to build the key qualities for democratic citizenship? What is the role of different education actors – teachers, learners, families, civil society organisations, public authorities, and the media? Is it necessary to reform the organisation and functioning of educational institutions in order to better respond to the requirements of democracy? Can schools and other educational environments become spaces for democratic experimentation, including new forms of democracy in the digital age? Are there new, alternative forms of learning and practicing democracy in educational institutions and how to analyse them?

During the World Forum, participants will represent Youth and join the different labs. In order to be recognisable as “Youth Ambassadors”, the 75 participants will be asked to wear the commonly designed T-Shirt or accessories. Participants will be given particular roles in the labs and newsroom according to their interests and competences (rapporteurs, audience, critical thinkers…). Altogether, young people should be active partners and contributors to this World Forum, bringing in own ideas and initiatives. Beyond the labs, the participants may organise parallel activities to make their voices heard and present their visions of education and democracy.


In order to be selected and participate in the World Forum 2016, applicants should:

  • Be aged 16-30 (exceptions can be made in special cases);
  • Be resident in one of the 50 signatory States of the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe; 20 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 supported by a youth organisation or network or informal group working on democracy; some non-organised individuals will also be accepted;
  • Be ready to share own challenges faced in relation to education and learning;
  • Be ready to adopt a solution-oriented approach by bringing in new ideas and visions of democracy and education;
  • Be ready to dream education;
  • Be available to participate fully in the World Forum for Democracy and the preparation process beforehand


  • 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 be arranged in exceptional and justified cases.
  • Board and lodging are provided and paid for by the Council of Europe (arrival on Friday 4th November and departure on Thursday 10th November). Participants will be accommodated at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg (EYCS). 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.

Application process

The application form must be submitted on-line before Monday 25th July 2016 (midnight CET), 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  [email protected] .

All candidates must apply in 2 parts:

  1. An online application form should be completed via this link:
  2. A short 1 minute video should be posted on YouTube, with the link attached to the online application form (see instructions Here).  [email protected]The official web-page.

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