Intercultural workshops on democracy
The Intercultural workshops on democracy were launched by the Venice Commission in 2012. Seven Workshops have been organised so far, which enabled lawyers, politicians and academics from different Arab countries and their European colleagues to hold fruitful exchanges of views on subjects such as consitutionnal reforms and their implementation as well as freedom of association and political parties. The workshop represents a unique platform for an exchange of best practices between various institutions such as ministries, parliaments, constitutional courts and other jurisdictions in Europe and the Arab world. By combining scientific work and theoretical developments with hands-on practical experience, the Intercultural workshops on democracy contribute to strengthening the rule of law in the southern Mediterranean region through a better understanding and better application of the standards of the Venice Commission and the Council of Europe. Representatives from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Palestine*, Tunisia and Yemen participated in these activities.
The High Councils of the Judiciary and the Independence of Justice
7th Intercultural workshop on democracy, 28-29 October 2019, Strasbourg, France
The Venice Commission, in co-operation with the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) and the European Commission for the efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) organised the 7th Intercultural Workshop on Democracy on " The High Councils for the Judiciary and the independence of the judiciary”. This regional event took place from 28 to 29 October 2019 was organised under the auspices of the French Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and it was opened by Mr Gianni Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission. The workshop was funded by the Joint Council of Europe-European Union Programme "Ensuring the Sustainability of Democratic Governance and Human Rights in the Southern Mediterranean", South Program III.
The role and place of independent bodies in a democratic state
6th Intercultural workshop on democracy, 13-14 November 2018, Tunis, Tunisia
The Venice Commission, in co-operation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia, have organised the 6th Intercultural Workshop on Democracy on "The role and place of independent bodies in a democratic state". This regional event was held in Tunis from 13 to 14 November 2018 and brought together leading European experts and senior officials from independent bodies of Tunisia and other Southern Mediterranean countries. The debates focused on themes such as: relations of independent bodies with the executive, legislative and judicial powers, composition, technical skills, accreditation and funding of bodies etc. The workshop was organised in the framework of the Joint Council of Europe-European Union Programme "Ensuring the Sustainability of Democratic Governance and Human Rights in the Southern Mediterranean", South Program III.
Interaction between Constitutional Courts and similar jurisdictions and ordinary courts
5th Intercultural workshop on democracy, 3-4 April 2017, Nicosia, Cyprus
Within the framework of the EU funded South Programme (phase II), the Venice Commission held the 5th Intercultural Workshop on Democracy on 3-4 April 2017 in Nicosia (Cyprus). The workshop entitled “Interaction between Constitutional Courts and similar jurisdictions and ordinary courts” was organised in co-operation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus. It brought together presidents of Constitutional courts, members of ordinary courts, judges and academics from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Palestinian National Authority with their European counterparts and Council of Europe experts for an exchange of experience and good practices. The workshop discussed the relationship between constitutional courts and other jurisdictions, the different models and impact of constitutional control, and the independence of constitutional justice. Such a dialogue between various actors and experts from Europe and the Mediterranean basin is aimed at the consolidation and implementation of functioning democracies.
Transparency and the Rule of Law as pre-condtions of equitable and sustainable development
4th intercultural workshop on democracy, 9 october 2014, Rome, Italy
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.
Political parties- key factors in the political development of democratic societies
3rd intercultural workshop on democracy, 18-19 October 2013, Bucharest, Romania
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.
The new constitutionalism in the Arab world: the process of constitution-making in a changing environment
2nd intercultural workshop on democracy, 12-13 May 2013,Marrakech, Morocco
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.
Constitutional processes and democratic processes: experiences and perspectives
1st Intercultural workshop on democracy, Marrakech, 29-30 March 2012
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.
Programme and papers presented
* This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of Council of Europe and European Union member States on this issue.