WHEN: Sessions start on Wednesday 21st September, and run until Friday 23rd September, 9:00-17:30.
WHERE: The Athens Forum will be hosted by the European Parliament, Liaison Office Greece, 8 Amalias Av. Athens
Organised by: Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece, affiliated to the Council of Europe Network
Media sponsor: InsideStory
Who can apply?
Displaced persons, civil society advocates, humanitarian workers, media workers and students. Applicants are required to have a good knowledge of English.
We invite those interested in participating to register HERE by 20th September 2022. There is limited capacity for each workshop; successful applicants will be notified.
The workshop will run in accordance with applicable rules for the Covid-19 situation at the time of the implementation.
For any questions or additional clarifications, please contact email@example.com
The Forum will discuss on the ongoing “war infodemic” and on countering multiple threats of disinformation, misinformation, propaganda filter bubbles and fake news promoted through media, following the invasion in Ukraine. Fueled by politics, economics and history, the global take on the war in Ukraine has varied from region to region, particularly given the role that (dis)information has played in influencing these views. We will focus on how misinformation plays part in and is part of the war, mechanisms of misinformation, unfolding political narratives, challenges in reporting from the field, debunking the phenomenon in the media, including social, and discussing ways forward, including news checking. How information is diffracted and multidimensional, mediased in unprecedented extent, serving strategic agendas and controlled yet at the same time spiraling out of control. Narratives on the war/s invariably are abundant and differ.
The right to freedom of expression and information constitutes one of the essential foundations of democratic society. In conflict situations and wars, the role of the media is critical in providing the public with accurate and timely information. Trustworthy news and images can contribute to the protection of civilians and conflict prevention, bring to the attention of the international community the horrors and reality of conflict and expose violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. As a consequence, the work of those informing and communicating in conflict zones is fraught with dangers: denial of access, censorship, harassment, arbitrary detention and attacks are alarmingly frequent. As others who decide to work in conflict areas, journalists take consciously a special risk by working in contentious areas. Their choices in reporting, their capacity in selecting their stories and in checking facts, all impact upon the unfolding events.
Conflict situations, including authoritarianism, are also often a fertile soil for mass disinformation campaigns intended to undermine the proper understanding of the developments, as well more generally, peaceful security and democratic processes. Developing tools to protect democracy more effectively from “information weapons”, while preserving freedom of expression and freedom of the media both in the countries involved in the conflict and more widely, seems to be a priority for a range of actors, from multilateral international organisations to think tanks and the media themselves in a largely unregulated universe.
Stories of people experiencing the war, fleeing from harm, suffering trauma and displacement, all form part of how the war is perceived, as well as fought. Further, how political communication is designed and carried out, how political parties develop and defend positions, needs to be unpacked. As the world is witnessing the suffering of Ukraine, yet also many other parts of the world, with millions displaced and seeking safe refuge, news, language, and narratives are crucial to push for a culture of solidarity, freedom of information and expression and for creating safe and brave spaces, particularly for those displaced. The risk of being exposed to information disorder without actively recognising how it might influence attitudes, knowledge, emotions and behaviours is dramatically increased and exacerbated during periods of crisis.
Stelios Kouloglou, Journalist, Writer, Member of the European Parliament
Official narrative vs independent journalism and media outlets
Graduate of the University of Athens (1980), retrained in journalism in Paris and Tokyo. He began to publish in the magazine “Anti” and was a correspondent of “Avgi” in Paris (1983-1984). Political analyst of the newspaper “Vima” and later its correspondent, of ERT and of the radio station Skai in Moscow during “perestroika” (1989-1993). He covered the war in the former Yugoslavia (1992-1995) as a special envoy. Collaborator of the French Le Monde Diplomatique and the Franco-German television station ARTE.
In 2002 he was awarded author of the year for the best-selling novel “Never Go to the Post Office Alone”. He is the author of nine literary and historical books.
He was editor-in-chief as well as presenter of “Reportage without Frontiers” (1996-2008 and 2010-2012), which was awarded four times as the best Greek news show. In 2006 and 2007 he was awarded journalist of the year.
In 2008 he was dismissed from ERT because he refused to censor the documentary “Generation of 700€” which he was preparing. During the same year, he founded Tvxs (“TV Without Frontiers”), the first and one of the most accurate and informative online newspapers nowadays in Greece. He has been characterised by the international media watchdog “Reporters without Borders” as “the symbol of investigative journalism in Greece”.
Producer and director of numerous documentaries: “Whistleblowers” (2004), “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” (2008), “Oligarchy” (2012), “Neo-Nazi: The Holocaust of Memory” (2013) etc. In 2000 and 2002 he was awarded with the international award EuroComenius, for the documentaries “The Greek Civil War” and “The Death Match” respectively. The “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” was awarded with multiple international awards (S.Korea, Spain), was shown in decades of countries and in cinemas of New York and Los Angeles.
As a Member of the European Parliament, he was distinguished for the organisation and presentation of a series of original events about the history, the culture and youth of Greece as well as against the war. On his own initiative, he established an award for Public Interest Witnesses and Freedom of Information, which is awarded annually in honour of the murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Regarding his work against international corruption, he was pronounced “Third Fairest Politician in Europe”.
Dr. Nerijus Maliukevičius, Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University
The evolution of Russian active measures: the case of Operation Ghostwriter
Nerijus Maliukevičius is scientific researcher and lecturer in the Institute of International Relations and Political Science (Vilnius University). He holds a PhD in Social Sciences. His thesis focused on the potential and spread of Russian informational geopolitics in Lithuania. In 2009 he was awarded by the President of Lithuania the Young scholars’ prize for the best dissertation in the humanities and social sciences. Previously he lectured courses on history of propaganda and information warfare in General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, Baltic Defence College in Tartu, Estonia. Nerijus Maliukevičius was invited guest lecturer in European University Munich (Germany, 2012), Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (Georgia, 2009), EuroCollege at University of Tartu (Estonia, 2008). Nerijus Maliukevičius is the leading Lithuanian expert on propaganda and information warfare, strategic communication and conflict management, and Russian studies. He is the author of two books about Russian information warfare strategies. His research focuses on tackling disinformation challenges, enhancing media literacy competencies and building societal resilience to fake news and media manipulation.
Ioannis Papageorgiou, Associate professor, Department of Political Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
The European Union after the war in Ukraine: challenges and perils
Ioannis Papageorgiou is associate professor in the Department of Political Sciences of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, teaching European integration, EU political systems and policies and Comparative Politics. He is a lawyer and political scientist (degree is law from the University of Athens, MA in comparative politics from the University of Paris I and MA in development cooperation from the Université Libre de Bruxelles). His PhD (2001) from the ULB dealt with regional integration in Central America.
During the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2012, he has acted as the Chair of the Asylum Working Party in the Council of Ministers of the EU. M. Papageorgiou has also worked as an independent expert in several international projects on migration and asylum since 2003 and was the Director of the Greek Asylum Service between 2011-2.
Between 2016-2018 he worked in the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament in Brussels, dealing with the institutional aspects of Brexit and on issues of civil liberties. His academic research covers issues of European political integration, immigration policy and international humanitarian and refugee law.
Since 2019, he holds the Chair Jean Monnet on “the fundamentals of European Integration: Democracy, institutions and policies”. In 2021 he was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar with the Georgetown Law University (Washington, DC).
Aleksandr Shmelev, Editor in Chief of Sapere Aude, Founder of the Pristanište Foundation
Propaganda kills: how Russian state media and paid bloggers have turned Ukrainians into enemies in the Russian public opinion
In 2006-2008, Aleksandr worked in the Russian propaganda system being the Editor in Chief of the most popular news outlet in Russia (vz.ru). After his views have significantly diverged from those of the Russian government, he left the job and became an independent political writer working with various NGOs on helping to preserve democracy in Russia. In 2021 he had to leave Russia fleeing from political persecutions and after the war started he became one of the founders of the Pristanište Foundation which hosts Ukrainian refugees and anti-war Russians in Montenegro.
Mykhailo Minakov, Kennan Institute/Wilson Center
The Narratives that Constructed the Russian-Ukrainian War and Russia-West Antagonism
Dr. Mikhail (Mykhailo) Minakov is Senior Advisor at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Washington, DC, as well as editor of the Kennan Institute’s blog Ukraine Focus. He is also editor of the Ideology and Politics Journal and the Koine Almanach. Among Minakov’s recent books are From “The Ukraine” to Ukraine (co-edited with Georgii Kasianov and Matthew Rojansky, ibidem-Verlag 2021), Post-Soviet Secessionism (co-edited with Daria Isachenko and Gwendolyn Sasse, ibidem-Verlag 2021), The Dialectics of Modernity in Eastern Europe (in Russian, Laurus 2020), and Development and Dystopia (ibidem-Verlag 2018). His over 120 articles have appeared in, among other journals, Russian Politics and Law, Protest, Southeastern Europe, Transit, Studi slavistici, Mondo economico, Porownania, Neprikosnovennyi zapas, Sententiae, Krytyka, Agora, Ukraina moderna, and Filosofska dumka.
Paula Gori, Secretary General, European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO)
EDMO and the work on disinformation on the war in Ukraine
Paula Gori is the Secretary-General and Coordinator of EDMO. She joined the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute in 2017 where she is a member of the management team. Prior she was the Coordinator of the Florence School of Regulation – Communications and Media, which offers training, policy and research activities on electronic communications regulation and competition and she collaborated with the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, which she coordinated during the initial set-up phase back in 2012. She was for several years the Scientific Coordinator of the Annual Conference on Postal and Delivery Economics and she is one of the authors of the report for the European Commission on European Union competences in respect of media pluralism and media freedom. Paula has a legal background and is a qualified civil mediator.
Ljubisa Vrencev, Founder Symbiosis-School of Political studies in Greece, affiliated to the Council of Europe Network
Making news during bombings
Since 1997 Ljubisa Vrencev has worked with national and international NGOs on local development, communication and media, reconciliation and forced displacement in Serbia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. He also worked with UNOPS, UNDP, Cooperazione Italiana and International Organization for Migration as consultant on development of sustainable return policies. He holds an MA in Local Development for the Balkans from Trento/Bolzano Universities. In 2015 he coordinated the Humanitarian Response Rapid Assessment of the refugee crisis in Greece on the Aegean islands in cooperation with SolidarityNow and the Norwegian Refugee Council. As Country Director of Arbeiter Samariter Bund since April 2020 he manages refugee response funded by DG HOME, DG ECHO and the German Foreign Ministry. He has been a lecturer on diversity and communication for migrant communities and authored papers on development and migration issues. He speaks fluently South Slavic languages, English, Italian and Greek.
Yavuz Baydar, Editor-in-Chief, Ahval News
Disinformation as the magnet for “State of War”: Case of Turkey vs Greece
Yavuz Baydar is the Editor-in-Chief of Ahval, a trilingual independent online news site and podcasts on Turkey. Since the attempted coup in July 15, 2016, he lives in exile in Europe.
Baydar was among the co-founders, in 2013, of the independent media platform P24 to monitor the media sector and the state of journalism in his home country. His opinion articles have appeared in the Guardian, Süddeutsche Zeitung, New York Times, El Pais, Yomiuri Shimbun, the Arab Weekly, and Index on Censorship. He is regular chronicler with Svenska Dagbladet. Baydar blogged with the Huffington Post and Al Jazeera, sharing his his analysis and views on Turkish politics, the Middle East, Balkans, Europe, U.S-Turkish relations, human rights, free speech, press freedom and history.
Turkey’s first news ombudsman, beginning at Milliyet daily in 1999, Baydar worked in the same role as reader representative until 2014. His work included reader complaints with content, and commentary on media ethics. Working in a tough professional climate had its costs: he was twice forced to leave his job, after his critical columns on journalistic flaws and fabricated news stories.
He served as president of the U.S. based International Organizaton of News Ombudsmen (ONO) in 2003. In 2014, as a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, he completed an extensive research paper on self-censorship, corruption of ownership in Turkish media, state oppression and threats over journalism in Turkey – in the wake of Gezi Park protests.
Baydar worked as producer and news presenter in Swedish Radio &TV Corp. (SR) Stockholm, Sweden; as correspondent for Scandinavia and Baltics for Turkish daily Cumhuriyet between 1980-1992, and the BBC World Service, in early 1990’s.
Baydar has recently been given – in early February 2018 – the prestigious ‘Journalistenpreis’ by the (Munich-based) SüdostEurope Gesellschaft in Germany. Earlier, Baydar was delivered the Special Award of the European Press Prize (EPP), for ‘excellence in journalism’, in 2014. In 2017, he was given Morris B Abram Human Rights Award by UN Watch. He was also given the Umbria Journalism Award, Italy, in March 2014, and Caravella ‘Mare Nostrum’ Award, by the organization ‘Journalists of the Mediterranean’, in Puglia, Italy.
Sofia Oliynyk, Programme Coordinator “Democracy Support and Human Security” at the Heinrich Boell Foundation, Kyiv Office Ukraine, Co-editor and Co-founder Share The Truths project (www.sharethetruths.org),
Sofia Oliynyk is the coordinator of the Programme “Democracy Support and Human Security” at the Heinrich Boell Foundation Ukraine. She is dealing with support of the grassroots initiatives in the field of urban and sustainable mobility development; promotion of critical historical discourse and promotion of the concept of “human security” in public discourse. With the start of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, together with experts and activists she found the project Share The Truths (www.sharethetruths.org), which focuses on the regular updates related to the impact of the war, as well as contributes to fighting Russian disinformation.
Her prior professional experience includes support of different aspects of democracy with the assistance of international organisations. Before joining the Foundation, Sofia worked in Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, namely U-LEAD with Europe Programme. Prior she did a traineeship at the European Commission DG DEVCO, worked with the National Development Institute supporting Parliament of Ukraine and OSCE/ODIHR election observation missions.
Nayat Karakose, Program Coordinator/ Hrant Dink Foundation
Monitoring hate matters: Tackling hate speech through documentation and promoting inclusive discourse
Nayat Karaköse received her BA in Sociology from Galatasaray University. She holds an MA degree in Theory and Practice of Human Rights at the University of Essex. Nayat was an Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability Fellow at Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University in 2014. Between 2010-2014 she worked for a UK based charity Global Dialogue as a program officer and coordinated the grant program that provided project and core support to CSOs in Turkey. Between 2010-2015 she worked as a volunteer journalist for Agos newspaper.
Since 2015, Nayat Karaköse works as the program coordinator of the Hrant Dink Foundation that is based in Istanbul/Turkey. Nayat plays various roles at the foundation such as developing, designing projects, coordinating projects, fundraising, networking with national and international stakeholders. Besides of her other roles at the Foundation Nayat is responsible of the coordination of the 23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory which is the first memory site in Turkey dedicated to Hrant Dink and the values that he embraced such as democracy, justice, peace, human rights and dialogue.
Dealing with the past, collective memory, hate speech, discriminatory discourse, memory sites and practices of memorialization are among her areas of expertise.
Leonid Ragozin, freelance journalist
Conflict actors vs journalists: You must pick sides!
Leonid Ragozin is a freelance journalist based in Riga. Originally from Moscow, he spent 12 years working in different parts for the BBC and another four as a foreign correspondent for the Russian edition of Newsweek magazine. Working under his own steam since 2013, Leonid covered the Maidan revolution, Russia’s invasion in Ukraine and the rise of Navalny’s movement for a variety of global media, including Bloomberg and Al Jazeera. Leonid’s bylines can be found in Washington Post, Politico, the Guardian and Morgenbladet.
Lately, Leonid was involved in the investigation into the death of journalist Pavel Sheremet with the Ukrainian outlet Zaborona. His book about today’s Russia and the conflict in Ukraine, titled The European Tragedy, is coming out in Norway later this fall. Leonid also authored numerous editions of Lonely Planet travel guides to Russia, Ukraine, Greece and other countries.
Katerina Oikonomakou, investigative journalist, InsideStory
Examples of Russia’s war propaganda in Greece and reasons for its success
Katerina Oikonomakou is a journalist, based in Athens. She is currently a features writer for insidestory.gr with a focus in civil rights, press freedom and disinfo. In the past 25 years she has worked for several national newspapers and womens’ magazines. In 2011-2012 she was European Journalism Fellow at the Freies Universität, in Berlin. She is the author of “The singer of Auschwitz: Estrongo Nachama Thessaloniki 1918 – Berlin 2000” (Kapon Editions, Athens, 2017).
Dimitris Xenakis, InsideStory
Dr. Dimitris Xenakis has been involved with online news media since 1994, in management, strategy and vision formation. He served in senior roles for some of the largest media organizations in Greece, such as DOL (in.gr, NEA and VIMA), SKAI.gr and 24Media (NEWS247.gr). In 2016, together with a great team of journalists, he co-founded insidestory.gr, a subscription based investigative and explanatory news site. He is a founding member of Journalism Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to defending freedom of the press and as a vehicle for improving quality and trust in the media. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Physics and in the past has worked in various European research organizations.
Michalis Goudis, director, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Thessaloniki Office – Greece
Michalis was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. His Journalism and Mass Communication studies at Aristotle University were followed up by Radio & Data Journalism training at LfM in Düsseldorf and at DJS in Munich. As a journalist in Greece, he has reported, published and broadcasted for several magazines, online media and radio stations, while freelancing- especially at peak of the Eurozone crisis- for numerous European Media, including among others DIE ZEIT, ZDF, Songlines and Nieuwsuur. Moving to Brussels, after a valuable learning experience at the Press Unit of the European Parliament, starting in July 2013 and over a period of 7 years he’s been leading the communications work of Housing Europe, while being actively involved in the International Social Housing Festival. In the meantime, his persistent interest in cities gave a twist to his professional and educational path with a Master’s degree in Human Geography & Spatial Planning. Summer 2020 includes an exciting professional turning point that brings him back to his hometown to head the Heinrich Böll Stiftung Office in Greece with its talented team working closely with a wide range of partners on democracy, ecology and social solidarity economy.
Despina Syrri, Founder of Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece, affiliated to the Council of Europe Network of Schools
Despina Syrri served as Education Specialist at the UNICEF Refugee and Migrant response in Greece, Advisor to the Regional Cooperation Council Political department in Sarajevo and Senior Expert on the Roma Integration 2020 in Belgrade. She has been a visiting fellow at the Amsterdam Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and director of research and international cooperation at the Immigration Policy Institute in Greece; worked amongst others with Reuters and Athens News, the Berlin Migration Netzwerk, Oxford Refugee Studies Centre and British Council on issues of post-conflict development, migration, refugees, borders and the integration of the Western Balkans to the European Union. She has cooperated with the OSCE/ODHIR, Council of Europe and EU Fundamental Rights Agency. Syrri taught Political Science and Political Anthropology at the American College of Thessaloniki. She has published journal articles and book chapters in Greek, South Slavic and English, and authored research papers and documentaries.
Tasos Telloglou, investigative journalist InsideStory
How does one cross-refence during a war
He was born in Athens in 1961. He studied Law at the University of Athens. He began his journalistic career in 1986, writing for the newspaper “I PROTI”. In 1989 he joined the editorial staff of “Kathimerini” and the department of political reporting of Mega Channel. He worked for Kathimerini from 1989 to 1997 and from 2007 to today. From 1990 to 1997 he was Germany correspondent for the daily Greek newspaper Kathimerini and for Mega Channel from 1993 to 2000. From 1998, with the journalists Alexis Papahelas and Pavlos Tsimas, presented the program “Mavro Kouti” (“The Black Box”) in Mega Channel. In October 2004, he presented his first report in the program “Oi Fakeloi ” (“The Folders”) in Mega Channel and was editor in chief until 2007. From 2007 to 2013 he co-hosted with Alexis Papachelas and Sophia Papaioannou the program “Oi Neoi Fakeloi” (“The New Folders “).Between 2011 to 2018 he collaborated with the investigative team of Sueddeutsche Zeitung in Munich. In the 2016-2019 period, he co-presented “Histories” with Alexis Papachelas, Sia Kossionii and Pavlos Tsimas. Since February 2020 he anchors the “Special Report” on Antenna TV, which he cop resents with Antonis Fourlis. He has won 8 times the “Prosopa” award and was awarded the “Botsis award”.
Lefteris Papagiannakis, Director of the Greek Council for Refugees
Lefteris Papagiannakis was born in France in 1971. He studied public law in the University of Lille II and holds an MA in European Community Law and International Economy. He worked in the European Parliament as a parliamentary assistant, on the education of children of the Muslim minority in Greece, as a legal counselor for the political party Ecologists Green and the Special Secretariat on environmental inspection. He was elected in the municipal council of Athens in 9/2014 and named Vice Mayor on Migrant and Refugee Affairs 3/2016-8/2019. He was the President of the Council for the Integration of Migrants of the Municipality of Athens (2014 – 2019). He was Chair of the working group Migration and Integration of the Eurocities Network (2017-2019), Vice President for Refugee Issues of ECCAR (European Coalition of Cities against Racism 2017-2019). Since 2017 he is a member of the Board of the Hellenic League for Human Rights. From 11/2019 – 9/2021 he was the Head of Advocacy, Policy and Research for SolidarityNow (Greek NGO) He is a member of the advisory board of We Need Books Athens’ first
multilingual lending library and multicultural center. He is a member of the City Initiative on Migrants with Irregular Status in Europe Currently he is the Director of the Greek Council for Refugees.
Thodoris Chondrogiannos, investigative journalist, Reporters United
Disinformation & The Holy Grail of the Free Speech
Thodoris Chondrogiannos is an investigative reporter. He graduated from the Athens Law School in 2015, but soon realized that he loved narrating stories and devoted himself to journalism. In 2015 he moved to Germany, where he worked for Offener Kanal, and in 2018 he attended the Summer Investigative Reporting Course at Columbia University. He has worked for Greek and international media, such as Investigate Europe, Reporters United, VICE, Inside Story, Popaganda, RAI, Mediaset and ZDF. He speaks Greek, English, German, Italian and Russian. In 2019 he created his first feature documentary entitled “Silent Fish”, which addresses the issue of overfishing in the Mediterranean in the era of climate change.
Stavros Malichudis, investigative journalist, Solomon
Fake news on Ukraine: When they are spread by the Greek government
Stavros Malichudis is a reporter with Solomon and a member of Reporters United. He has collaborated with European media and has participated in cross-border investigations, among others with Lighthouse Reports and Investigate Europe. In 2021, the Logbook of Moria he co-authored was shortlisted for the European Press Prize and was awarded an IJ4EU Impact Award, the European award for cross-border investigative journalism, the year after. In 2019, he was chosen as a fellow for the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence (BFJE). In the summer of the same year, he was trained in data journalism at Columbia University of New York with a scholarship.
Symbiosis was founded in May 2011 drawing upon collaborations in the Balkans and Greece in education, rights and anti-discrimination. Based on the premise that practicing human rights protection equals to democratic rule of law, Symbiosis focuses on information and education, freedom of expression, documentation and analysis, public debate and active civic participation, so that people and communities voice their needs and ideas. Grounded on the need for global civics, citizenship, social inclusion and political participation, Symbiosis work towards democratic participation in political processes free of discrimination and exclusion, and on developing civic awareness on institutional practices regarding rights. In 2020, Symbiosis has been awarded the European Citizens’ Prize by the European Parliament for the activities of the School of Political Studies in Greece.
The School for Political Studies in Greece was established by Symbiosis and the Council of Europe in 2014 and affiliated to the Network of Council of Europe Schools of Political Studies. This initiative of the Council of Europe since the early 1990s aims to develop and strengthen democratic processes, strengthen civil society and promote democratic initiatives. Today, the 21 Schools that make it up, focus on the challenges that arise for democracy and its institutions. The educational programme of the School in Greece consists of an annual cycle of seminars, participation in the Council of Europe World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg, as well as trainings, and it aims at education, co-operation and dialogue among civil society, policy makers, experts and the media. It focuses on human rights, anti-discrimination, social inclusion, democratic citizenship, freedom of expression, democratic governance, equality and gender-based violence, migration and the protection of the environment.