Budapest, 6-10 Oct 2014: Policy Development and Confidence Building Workshop for Civil Society Leaders and Policy Makers from the Black Sea Region

Syrian refugees in Turkey 2014 – War in Ukraine 2014
Syrian refugees in Turkey 2014 – War in Ukraine 2014

Full programme

Applications possible before 5 September

2014 has been a dramatic year for the Black Sea region. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine presents a challenge to the pan- European security order; the EU is under pressure to re-formulate its Eastern Neighbourhood policy. Conflicts, closed borders and rivalries weaken institutions and the rule of law. Democracy and human rights are under pressure. 

This five-day workshop at the Central European University in Budapest for 30 innovative thinkers from civil society organizations and think tanks, as well as policy makers from the Black Sea region (Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Georgia) provides a forum to discuss regional policy problems, concerning democratic institution building, human rights and cooperative security policy.

The event is co-organised by the Council of Europe and the School of Public Policy at Central European University. ESI's Gerald Knaus will introduce and moderate a one day focus on the future of human rights in the region together with Ulrich Speck from Carnegie.

In an opening debate, moderated by Matteo Fumagalli, Thomas Carothers and Gerald Knaus will also discuss "The Future of Democracy, Security and Economic Policy in the Region."

Thomas Carothers – Ulrich Speck – Gerald Knaus
Thomas Carothers – Ulrich Speck – Gerald Knaus – Matteo Fumagalli – Goran Buldioki – Wolfgang Reinicke

Monday, 6 October

3.00 pm Workshop opening and welcome remarks

  • Amb. Piotr Switalski, COE Director of Policy Planning
  • Prof. Wolfgang Reinicke, Dean, SPP

3.30pm Opening debate
The Future of Democracy, Security and Economic Policy in the Region.
A conversation with Thomas Carothers and Gerald Knaus,
moderated by Matteo Fumagalli.


Tuesday, 7 October

DEMOCRACY (morning)
Thomas Carothers
Session I

  • Do democracy indicators matter? Vibrant democracy and its 'hardware'/'software' indicators. Can institutional confi gurations be verified through check lists? Can a certain 'temperament', a type of public debate, be measured as part of a technocratic assessment?;
  • Democracy, democratization and backsliding: the closing space for international democracy and rights support and for civil society.

Session II

  • Pull and push factors: democratization from within and without;
  • The problems of political party development and of international support for party development;
  • Civil society development and activism: new tools

Gerald Knaus, Ulrich Speck

  • The role of the EU and the CoE: scope of and limits to European soft power in the region;
  • The role of international civil society organisations and coalitions working on human rights in the region;

Selected participants will be asked to present the diverse perspectives and debates on these issues, from the viewpoint of their country. The goal is to grasp what is truly new in the challenges to human values in the region in light of recent larger developments (Russia-Ukraine conflict; developments inside Turkey; debates on future EU policy towards the East; challenges to international human rights organizations).


SOME BACKGROUND READING (Budapest seminar - human rights)


Black Sea Region – human rights today
Case studies Russia – Turkey

Recent writing by Ulrich Speck