9th Eastern European Academy for Social Democracy

Dialogue and qualification program for young leaders of progressive parties or social democratic youth organizations

Ninth Eastern European Academy for Social Democracy
Elections in Eastern Europe – Democratic Necessity or Fig Leave?

Dialogue and qualification program for young leaders of progressive parties or social democratic youth organizations, young members of Parliaments or city councils, junior government officials, civic activists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Germany, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine


The Regional Office “Dialogue Eastern Europe” of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung invites young progressive leaders aged 25-35 to apply for the 9th edition of the Eastern European Academy for Social Democracy, which will take place from 18th until 23th of May 2020 in the Republic of Moldova (Chișinău and surroundings).

The 9th Academy will focus on the issue of political renewal and elections in the Eastern Partnership Region and Russia.
The principle of electability and renewal of political power is fundamental for the existence and proper functioning of any democracy. However, in times of crisis of traditional liberal democracies, the institution of election faces serious challenges such as: lack of trust in representative power institutions, increasing populism and nationalism, manipulation of information and public opinion, increasing influence of social media and information technologies on the electoral process. In the countries of the Eastern Partnership and Russia, these challenges are particularly acute as those countries are still remaining at different stages of democratic transition. The free will expression of citizens and equal competition for power has not yet become a part of the political tradition in these societies. In the absence of clear and consistent party structures, single charismatic individuals continue playing a decisive role in political competition. Elections are increasingly characterized by almost theatrical performance in which contenders for power collect the votes in exchange for attractive promises or specific services. In a number of countries whose leaders are moving towards a “controlled democracy” model, elections are becoming a tool for the conservation of the regime and serve for its formal social legitimization. All of this and many other aspects motivate to debate and think about the current and future role of elections in our countries.  

During an intensive 5-day-program, participants will go through a carefully balanced program of discussions with top experts, politicians, and activists of election-related issues from Moldova and Eastern Europe. The participants will have the opportunity to develop their soft skills and to learn how to reach consensus in a politically diverse environment.

Goals of the program:

  • The Academy is primarily aimed at applicants who are committed to social democratic values and who are interested in strengthening the political dialogue between their nations and other countries of the region as well as the European Union.
  • Besides promoting peaceful dialogue, mutual understanding, and the exchange of social democratic policies, the Academy offers participatory workshops on practical key competences and soft skills.
  • The program will give deep insights into the political situation in the region and will provide an opportunity for high-level discussions with politicians and civil society activists.
  • The Academy is based on a growing, sustainable network of Eastern European future leaders who are willing to facilitate dialogue among young, committed, and progressive participants who are open to new ideas and approaches.

Program overview:

  •  The Academy takes place several times a year in different countries with changing topics and workshops,  
  •  Includes inputs and discussions with top experts and decision makers from Eastern Europe in interactive formats.
  •  During the past Academies, participants have mastered their soft skills in trainings such as: strategic planning, conflict-management and training of trainers (ToT) or participated in interactive formats such as simulations and scenario workshops.
  •  The working language of the program is English.
  •  All costs related to the program will be covered by the organizers.

Candidates’ requirements:

  •  Citizenship of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Germany, Moldova, Russia or Ukraine.
  •  Between 25 and 35 years old.
  •  Fluency in English.
  •  Young leaders from progressive political parties or social democratic youth organizations; young members of Parliaments or city councils, junior government officials, and civic activists.
  •  Willingness to actively take part in Alumni activities, to constantly support a growing sustainable progressive network of like-minded people and to be involved in the organization of political programs in the respective home countries.
  •  Participants of the previous Academies are also welcome to apply.

Application process:

  •  To apply, please fill in the application form and submit your CV (please indicate obligatory the file name with your name and surname) to the following address: andrii.makarenko [at] (the application is completed only if both documents are submitted on time).
  •  The application deadline is April 8th at 11:59 pm (Kyiv time). Later applications will not be accepted or evaluated.
  •  The results will be announced on April 22nd. Shortlisted candidates may be invited for a skype interview.
  •  The organization team aims to ensure gender balance of participants in the program.
  • Please note that dates may chance due to the current COVID-19 crises.

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