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Intercultural workshops on democracy

 

In 2012, the Venice Commission launched a programme of intercultural workshops on democracy.

 

During 2012-2014, the Venice Commission organised four intercultural workshops on Democracy which enabled lawyers, politicians and academics from different Arab countries and their European colleagues to hold fruitful exchanges of views on subjects such as constitutional reforms and their implementation as well as freedom of association and political parties. Representatives from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestinian National Authority, Tunisia and Yemen participated in these activities.

 

1st Intercultural workshop on democracy

The Venice Commission, in co-operation with the Moroccan Association of Constitutional Law, the International Association of Constitutional Law and the Constitutional Council of Morocco, organised the first intercultural workshop on democracy (Marrakech, 29-30 March 2012) on the topic: "Constitutional Processes and Democratic Processes, Experiences and Perspectives". 

 Discussions focused mainly on different methods of constitutional reform, the choice of electoral system and relations between the Parliament and Government. This exchange of views was an occasion to study recent constitutional reforms in different countries, including Morocco, and to define potential areas for further reforms.

 

2nd intercultural workshop on democracy

The second intercultural workshop on democracy was held in Marrakech on 12-13 May 2013 on the theme “The New Constitutionalism in the Arab World: The Process of Constitution-Making in a Changing Environment”. This activity brought together Constitution drafters from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia who exchanged their experiences in the field of constitutional reform. Among other themes, they compared the approaches used in the revision of their respective constitutions, as well as the drafting and adoption procedures and the implementation of constitutional provisions through new legislation. This seminar took place in the framework of the European Union programme “Strengthening Democratic Reform in the Southern Neighbourhood” and received support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway and from the Hanns-Seidel Foundation.

 

3rd intercultural workshop on democracy

The third intercultural workshop on “Political parties - Key factors in the political development of democratic societies” was organised on 18-19 October 2013 in Bucharest by the Venice Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania. Representatives from national Parliaments and academics from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine National Authority, Tunisia and Yemen met to exchange their experiences in the field of international standards and national legislation and practice in the field of political parties.

 

 

4th intercultural workshop on democracy

The fourth intercultural workshop on democracy was organised jointly by the Venice Commission and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome on 9 October 2014. The topic was as follows: “Transparency and the Rule of Law as Pre-conditions of Equitable and Sustainable Development”. The event, funded by the Italian authorities, enabled representatives of the authorities, academics and of the civil society of Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and other Arab countries to debate on this important topic with representatives of the Venice Commission and with Italian and international experts.

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