Monday, 7 July 2008

Launched: European Association of the Schools of Political Studies

The Council of Europe, the pan-European human rights, democracy and rule of law watchdog (with 47 member states from all over the continent), has announced on Saturday the creation of the "European Association of the Schools of Political Studies".

The association will unite 16 national/regional Schools of Political Studies (e.g. in Bulgaria, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Russia), which, "supported by the Council of Europe, aim to train the next generation of political, economic, social and cultural leaders in the countries in transition. The schools organise seminars and conferences on such themes as European integration, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and globalisation in which national and international experts take part." (for more information, read here).

In a declaration, 650 participants of the Third Summer University for Democracy, representing the Network of the 16 Schools of Political Studies, inter alia:
Encourage the Council of Europe, the European Union, the governments of the member states, observers and all public and private partners to continue and increment their support for the further development of the network of Schools of Political Studies, a unique project that seeks to ensure that democratic values, institutions and practices become a reality across the European continent

I can only join this request: Training competent citizens and leaders who are aware of human rights, of democratic norms and of the need for good governance and the rule of law is sooo important! (Especially in the countries where the Schools have been set up...)

Maybe we cannot change the old elites, their stupid blame-games, their ignorant intolerance, and their lack of awareness for the most basic values of a free and democratic society - but we might be able to work within our generation, e.g. through those Schools of Political Studies, to achieve the necessary changes.

And building upon European associations is a good sign because it shows that these issues are taken seriously as a common goal.