World Forum For Democracy Youth Delegation 2019 (Fully Funded)

WFD 2019 call

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.

“Democracy and information” is the theme of the World Forum for Democracy in 2019 with two main threads:

  • Democracy dies in darkness: are we getting the information we need?
  • Information and the Future: lost in space or masters of our own fate?

Information is changing. The volume, the content, the platforms: each of these has evolved beyond recognition in a short period of time. This evolution continues. Twenty-five years ago, most of our information came from printed publications, television and radio. Today, these are complemented, rivalled and often eclipsed by websites, blogs and social media. Well-known outlets have been joined by a plethora of new sources – including millions of individuals – that spread news with the click of a share button.

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The questions we must address in 2019 are to what extent the information is reliable, whether this helps or hinders citizens in taking part in democratic processes, and what lessons we should learn for ensuring the free flow of information in the future. 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 of the Council of Europe 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.

Preparing for the World Forum on Democracy

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 Sunday 3rd November and depart on Saturday 9th November. The youth preparation meeting will take place for all participants on Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th November in the European Youth Centre before the World Forum begins on 6th of November 2019.

During the World Forum for Democracy

During the World Forum, the youth participants will join the different labs and side events. Participants may be given particular roles in the labs and side-events according to their interests and competences (rapporteurs, moderators, audience…). Altogether, the youth participants should be active partners and contributors to this World Forum,
bringing in their own ideas and initiatives. Beyond the labs and side-events, the participants may organise parallel activities to make their voices heard and present their visions on fake news and democracy.

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Profile of participants

In order to be selected and participate in the World Forum 2019, 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 media, fake news, information and democracy;
  • Be available to participate fully in the World Forum for Democracy and the preparation process beforehand.

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 above mentioned profile, irrespective of gender, disability, marital or parental status, racial, ethnic or social origin, colour, religion, belief or sexual orientation.

A few limited places will allow for participants from the previous editions of the World Forum to participate.

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 only be arranged in exceptional and justified cases.

Accommodation

Board and lodging are provided and paid for by the Council of Europe (arrival on Sunday 3rd November and departure on Saturday 9th November). Participants will be accommodated at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg (EYCS).

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To Apply

All candidates must apply in 2 parts:

1. Fill the online application form here
2. Post a short 1-minute video on YouTube or another video platform that can be accessed easily, with the link attached to the online application form

This video should tell what it is that should make us choose you to attend this particular WFD. If the link to the video is not accessible the application will not be considered. If for reasons of personal security candidates do not wish to post on a public platform then the secretariat should be contacted before the deadline at WFDYouth@coe.int.

The Youth Department and its team of trainers will select up to 60 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 on 2 September 2019.

Please note that selected participants requiring a visa to come to Strasbourg will need to start visa procedures immediately after being informed of their selection.

Deadline for applications

The application form including the video link must be submitted on-line before Friday 12 July 2019 CET 13:00 (1 p.m.) together with a support letter from your NGO/sending organisation if this is relevant.

Working language

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.

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Read more on World Forum For Democracy Youth Delegation website

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