Seminar: Exploring Politics of Friendship

1st session3A joint seminar by the affiliated to the Council of Europe Istanbul and Thessaloniki Schools of Political studies, investigating the possibilities for politics of friendship today, took place on 27-30 December 2014. Turkish-Greek relations are marked by a long trajectory of enmity and tension. This encounter set out to explore the 'other side' of that history, focusing on initiatives that have promoted contact between the two societies and encouraged rapprochement.
The Istanbul European School of Political Studies is a cooperation between Bogazici University and Anadolu Kultur Foundation. In 2014 Symβiosis joined the network of Council of Europe Schools of Political Studies, created in 2005, with a present membership of 20 affiliates. The School offers high-quality training to new generations of political and civil society leaders in Greece with a view to engage in critical discussion, documentation and analysis, foster exchange of ideas and information and stimulate co-operation and dialogue amongst civil society, political parties and the media.

The Civil School of Political Studies provides training on the basis of annual cycles with the core focus on democracy, human rights and the rule of law, with the participation of national and international experts. Selected participants attend the annual week long CoE Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy, as well as a range of multilateral and bilateral meetings, events and networking. Symβiosis has already built a strong cooperation with Schools in Turkey, the Balkans, while there is growing collaboration with Eastern Europe, the Caucuses and the Southern Mediterranean. During 2014 the Civic School for Political Studies in Greece organised a four-day seminar in April in Thessaloniki on Discrimination in Greece, the rise of xenophobic parties and elections in Europe, a six-day seminar in Xanthi in August on the Challenges of democratic participation, representation and social cohesion in Greece and Europe, as well as participated in the World Forum for Democracy in November.