The Network of Schools of Political Studies operates under the auspices of the Council of Europe (CoE Network of Schools), aiming to promote European values by actively creating the next generation of leaders in South-East Europe, the Caucasus and Russia.
The Network was formally created in 2003, with the aim of training future leaders in transition countries. The first school of political studies was founded in Moscow in 1992. There are currently 21 schools in Moscow, Tbilisi, Sofia, Chisinau, Pristina, Skopje, Belgrade, Zagreb, Bucharest, Yerevan, Kiev, Sarajevo, Tirana, Podgorica, Baku, Istanbul, Tunis, Morocco, Greece, Central Europe, Belarus, Thessaloniki.
The Directorate of Policy Planning of the Council of Europe supports the schools by coordinating school activities, enhancing an exchange of experiences, and advising schools in their selection of both topics and speakers. The schools’ directors have agreed to cooperate on the following principles:
- Program harmonization
- Exchange of experts and participants
- Mutual sessions involving participants from different schools
- Emphasizing the European dimension
In order to increase the visibility of the program and further the development of the Schools for Political Studies, the European Association of the School of Political Studies was formed during the closing ceremony of the third Summer University for Democracy in July 2008.
Its main objectives are to allow its members to develop their activities, to strengthen their ties beyond any divides and build together democratic societies based on a political culture characterized by pluralism, tolerance and dialogue. The Chair of the Association is the former Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Ms. Catherine Lalumière. More information on the schools’ activities is available at the Association’s site.