The World Forum for Democracy is a unique platform for political decision-makers and activists to debate solutions to key challenges for democracies worldwide. By identifying and analysing experimental initiatives and practices, the Forum highlights and encourages democracy innovations at the grassroots and their transfer on a systemic level in order to strengthen the foundations of democratic societies. The Forum thus contributes to the evolution of democracy towards more participatory and inclusive structures and institutions.
The 2020 World Forum for Democracy will debate the issues and generate new ideas for tackling the environmental crisis we face today.
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. In this context, the Youth Department will invite 50-60 young people to participate and engage with decision-makers and opinion-formers in a reflection on the question of Democracy and Information.
The theme of the 2020 edition of the World Forum for Democracy is “Can Democracy Save the Environment?” Our societies have been tested by an extreme and unexpected global challenge in 2020, but while an essential battle is fought against the Covid-19 pandemic,
humanity’s greatest existential threat looms ever larger. Environmental damage and climate change have not gone away. The poisoning of our land and pollution in our air and water is still killing plants, animals and humans alike. Rising temperatures and sea levels are on course to render lands uninhabitable and force people to leave their homes and seek new lives. The time to act is now!
Profile of participants
In order to be selected and participate in the World Forum 2020 democracy and information, youth applicants should:
▪ Be aged 18-30 (exceptions can be made in special cases);
▪ 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 media, fake news, information and its effects on democracy;
▪ Be ready to adopt a solution-oriented approach by bringing in new ideas and visions on the question of environment and democracy;
▪ Be available to participate fully in the World Forum for Democracy and the preparation process beforehand (i.e. arrive in Strasbourg on the 13th November and depart on the 19th of November).
The youth representatives will be chosen on the basis of these criteria and a video to be submitted. The Council of Europe welcomes applications from all candidates who fulfil the abovementioned profile, irrespective of gender, disability, marital or parental status, racial, ethnic or social origin, colour, religion, belief or sexual orientation.
Financial and practical conditions of participation
– The common working language of the event will be English. Candidates must be able to use English independently in order to be able to work and communicate efficiently.
– 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 Friday 13th November and departure on Thursday 19th 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 provided in the rooms
- To best prepare for the World Forum, selected participants will gather in Strasbourg two days before the start of the World Forum to learn about the Council of Europe and it’s work with youth, to get to know each other, to develop their ideas, plan their actions and work together with the guidance of an international team of trainers.
- During this time, participants will be informed about the different labs and side events that will take place during the World Forum and will be invited to choose their preference for attending.
- They can contact the organising bodies which will implement the initiatives (labs) to receive further information about their structures.
- All selected participants should arrive on Friday 13th November and depart on Thursday 19th November. The youth preparation meeting will take place for all participants on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th November in the European Youth Centre before the World Forum begins on the 16th of November 2020.
- Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic there may be restrictions in the travel for some applicants. The Youth Department is currently studying th
All candidates must apply in 2 parts:
- An online application form should be completed via this link: https://youthapplications.coe.int/Application-forms
- 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 28 July 2020 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]coe.int .
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