Strengthening democracy and participation

FOURHT PUBLIC DEBATE in Rhodes, Greece 21-24 October 2021

Overview of IV public debate

Key words: Democracy, participation, active citizenship, democratic deficit, inclusion, participatory procedures, minorities, representation, political education, democratic values, institutions, rule of law, democratic society

The public debate will be a two-day event that will include an intensive program of official discussions, workshops, training, study visits, project proposals, and the development of content for an independent European Report on the situation with refugees, migrants, and minorities in different social life sectors.

Besides, the core of the discussion is dedicated to debate the future of Europe and inclusion of vulnerable groups into civil society, facilitation of the intercultural dialogue, and finally elaboration of the content of the European report Towards Inclusive and Sustainable Europe” (an integral part of each meeting).

Date and place: 21st – 24th October 2021 in Rhodes, Greece

Participants: up to 31 participants (up to 16 from Greece and up to 15 international participants on-site or online) from international organizations representatives, experts, guests, students/youth, interested organizations/institutions and NGOs leaders, networks, and individuals representing vulnerable groups.

Participating countries: Estonia, Finland, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Greece

Components of the public debate

Key note speeches by international experts in the field of political education, democracy, participation policies in EU,  civil society, support of vulnerable groups, countering lack of social capital and combatting the stigmatisation of migrants and minority groups – The aim is to introduce the themes to all participants (as the event is open to all) and further elaborate on the continued relevance of these themes.

Panel discussion sessions, these panel discussions include representatives of many different backgrounds who will highlight the usefulness of creating a comparative perspective, being open to ideas from other countries (regions), and finding common goals, solutions and policy approaches.

Practical working groups/workshops for participants to introduce them to new skills and knowledge with final cooperation results. (Workshop agenda for organizations/individuals related with strengthening cohesion and enforcing an intercultural dialogue for more inclusive Europe)

Official languages: English
Venue: Best Western Plaza Hotel (Rhodes, Greece)

hybrid meeting format Zoom link will be provided only to officially registered participants. An online participation will start on 22nd October 2021 at 10:00 am (CET).

Public debates agenda:

Thursday, October 21, 2021
Arrivals and Registration of the European delegates
Accommodation: Manousos City Hotel

20:00 – 21:30   Welcome Reception at Playcafe (Ionos Dragoumi 21, Rhodes)

Friday, October 22, 2021
Venue: Best Western Plaza Hotel (Ierou Lochou Street 7, Rodos)
09:00 – 09:30    Arrival and registration
09:30 – 10:00 Official Opening and welcome words

10:00-11:00: Panel l: Democracy, Institutions, and the Rule of Law

“Ancient Democracy, Participation and Exclusion” – Spyros Syropoulos, Professor of Ancient Greek Literature, University of the Aegean

“Crisis and Political Institutions: the case of Greece” – George Maris, Associate Professor, Political Economy of International Relations, University of the Aegean

“Democracy, Institutions and the Rule of Law in terms of vulnerable groups in Netherlands” Adel Albaghdadi, Director of NGO We Organization

“The Participation in Democracy as an Individual and Political Right” – Fotini Giannopoulou, Student of Political Studies and Public Administration, University of Athens

11:00-11:30: Coffee Break

11:30-12:20 – Panel II: Education and the formation of the Democratic Citizen

“Education and formation of the active citizen through formal and non-formal approaches” – Irina Golikova, Researcher, Pedagogue and Executive Director of SSCW, Estonia

““Get the political parties out of the universities”: Greek universities as contested political spaces” – Dr Ioannis V. Papageorgiou, Adjunct Lecturer at the Hellenic Open University / Research Director at the Rhodes Centre for History and Social Research

“Democracy through creativity and other tools” – Juliane Lenssen, Director of Das Letzte Kleinod Theater

12:20-13:10 – Panel III: Active participation of minorities and vulnerable groups to the democratic life

“Challenges and opportunities of the participation of minorities and vulnerable groups in the Netherlands” – Razan Damlakhi, Independent expert

“Main obstacles of Roma community in inclusion and participation policies in example of Brussels?” – Biser Alekov, PhD, Director of Kham vzw

“Survival or Empowerment? – The engagement of higher education institutions in non-formal & informal language education for refugees” – Dionysios Gouvias, Associate Professor, Education Policy and Sociology of Education, University of the Aegean (online)

13:10-14:30 – Lunch

14:30-15:40: Panel IV: Equal access to the Democratic Process the case for Youth and Women

“Sharing best practices in Women protection and empowerment” – Maria Rajala, Executive Director of Femina ry

“The Role of State in the Feminist Movement: The Dialectical Relationship with Democracy” – Konstantinos Parmenidis, Student of Political Studies and Public Administration, University of Athens (online)

“Women’s Employment in the light of Gender Inequality (Greece and Europe)” – Christine Ioannou, Student of Political Studies and Public Administration, University of Athens

“Perspectives on European Youth and the challenges of tomorrow” – Michael G. Kavuklis, President of the House of Europe in Rhodes, Political Scientist/International Relations

“Democratic inclusivity through integration in the labour market” – Effie Emmanouil, Georges Sykas – PhD Candidates at the Aegean University and Researchers at the YOUTHShare project (online)

15:40-16:30: Panel V: The Role of Civil Society

“The Status of Civil Society in Europe and its neighbourhood after the pandemic” – Stefanos Vallianatos, PhD in International Relations, Head of the Greek Network of the Anna Lindh Foundation

“The Role of Civil Society in the creation of the new paradigmat to be active citizens with democratic values” – Vassili Golikov, Lecturer of European University, Civil Society Activist

“Redefining the participation of citizens in the democratic process” – Elena Janniki, Lawyer at the Hellenic Supreme Court, specialized in European Law, Member of the executive board of the Union of European Federalists, Greece

16:30-17:00 – Coffee break

17:00-17:50: Panel VI: European Union and Democracy

“Contributing to democracy development and policy making process at EU level by advocating for Roma Community” – Atanas Stoyanov, Representative of The Phiren Amenca International Network, Belgium

“The debate on the future of Democracy – from local to European” – Eleftheria Ftaklaki, Political scientist / International relations, Ph.D  in European Studies / Researcher at the Aegean university /Post doc candidate, Politician/ General Secretary on Insularity of KINAL

«National education and democracy in Europe», Savvas Alexandros Pavlidis – Researcher at the Rhodes Centre for History and Social Research

17:50-18:00 – Summary of the day

20:00 – Dinner

Saturday, October 23, 2021
09:00-09:30 Arriving to the venue
09:30-10:00 Overview of the previous day and workshops set-up
10:00-13:30 Sharing best practices and opinions “Developing and gathering data for a content of European report in six working groups»

13:30-14:30 Lunch

14:30-16:00 Finalisation of content proposals for European Report and development of initiatives/solutions/changes in EU policies

16.00 – 19.00 Cultural Outing

19.00 Dinner

Sunday, October 24, 2021
11:00-13:00 Debate brunch

Project is co-funded by the European Commission in the framework of the Europe for Citizens programme.