Democracy Workshop at the College of Europe
On November 20-21, the College of Europe in Warsaw hosted the first regional workshop focused on diplomatic support for the development of democracy.
The workshop brought together representatives of diplomatic trainers and other representatives of Foreign Ministries from the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Serbia and host country Poland as well as the deputy director of the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna and a Turkish representative of the Islamic Conference. Also participating were Paul Demaret, Rector of the College of Europe who flew in from Bruges to preside over the workshop and the Vice Rector of the College's Natolin Campus as well as two of the College's senior faculty members.
They were joined by leaders of civil society organizations from Belarus, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine, and the Netherlands; representatives of the Community of Democracies Secretariat in Warsaw; a representative of the German Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management and Jack Duvall and Maciej Barkowski of the International Center on Non-Violent Conflict. Also present were a representative of the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw and a number of the College's graduate students.
The workshop afforded Ambassador Jeremy Kinsman, former Canadian Ambassador to the European Union and director of the Diplomat’s Handbook project, an excellent opportunity to present the Handbook and to animate a lively dialogue between diplomatic and civil society representatives. Kurt Bassuener, Research Director for the Handbook, presented the two most relevant case studies, those on Belarus and Ukraine. Participants also discussed how diplomats have related to issues of democracy in Egypt, Georgia and the Balkans.
College of Europe faculty also provided detailed presentations on the European Union's approach to democracy support including the accession process and the neighborhood policy as well as Europe's policies on human rights and democracy for other world regions.