Deadline: September 2 (midnight CET), 2015
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Participants aged between 16-30
 November 18-20, 2015
Costs: Fully funded
Venue: Strasbourg, France 

World Forum for Democracy 2015

The Council of Europe invites applications from youth interested in participating in the World Forum for Democracy taking place from November 18 – 20 this year in Strasbourg, France. The Joint Council on Youth, decision-making structure co-managed by representatives of governments and youth NGOs, has agreed to involve the youth sector of the Council of Europe in the 2015 edition of the World Forum for Democracy.


The 4th edition of the World Forum for Democracy will engage with decision-makers and opinion-formers in a reflection on how to maintain a balance between freedom and control for security in European societies and will explore new ways of engaging young people in re-visioning the democratic arenas of today. The Forum will explore initiatives and structures to successfully address approaches for the protection of freedom in democracies facing violence and extremism. Young people’s life experiences and local, national or international initiatives will be important elements of the World Forum.

In this edition of the World Forum for Democracy, young people are invited to share their own testimonies and initiatives in relation to freedom of expression and control. For this purpose, applicants should send a 1-minute video (see instructions below) explaining their motivation, and how they relate to the dilemma between freedom and control. Based on these videos, a 10-minutes introductory movie will be compiled and presented in the opening session of the World Forum for Democracy 2015.


Travel Expenses: 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.

Accommodation: Board and lodging are provided and paid for by the Council of Europe (arrival on Monday 16 November and departure on Saturday 21 November). Participants will be lodged 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.


In order to be selected and participate in the World Forum 2015, 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; 30 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 accessing freedom of expression and dealing with control and violence;
  • Be ready to adopt a solution-oriented approach by bringing in new ideas and visions of democracy;
  • Be ready to dream democracy;
  • Be available to participate fully in the World Forum for Democracy and the preparation process beforehand
  • Experience or involvement in the No Hate speech movement at local, national or international level will be an asset
  • Be able to use English independently in order to be able to work and communicate efficiently.


All candidates must submit their applications in 2 steps:

  1. An online application form should be completed;
  2. A short 1 minute video should be posted on YouTube, with the link attached to the online application form.

The organising team will select 75 participants on the basis of the profile outlined above. The selection will also take into account balance between genders, geographical regions, different types of experiences, organisations, institutions and projects. A waiting list may be established. Candidates will be informed if their application has been accepted or rejected, and if they have been put on the waiting list, by 16 September 2015.

The application form must be submitted on-line before Sunday 30 August (midnight CET), together with a support letter from your NGO / sending organisation. In case of technical problems with the use of the platform or any application-related questions, please email to or check the FAQ.


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