From 27 June to 1 July 2022, the Legal Resources Centre from Moldova organized the 6th edition of the "Applied Democracy" School. The programme was attended by 18 young people from different regions of the country, whoe are studying and working in different universities and organisations in the country and abroad.

The programme, funded this year by the Embassy Office of the Netherlands in Moldova, aims to raise awareness and understanding of the issues Moldova is facing on its path to democracy and to encourage the promotion of human rights, critical thinking and civic activism among students and young professionals.

"We support the "Applied Democracy" Summer School, organized by the LYRC, because we want to strengthen democracy in the Republic of Moldova. In this respect, it is important to educate people to be aware of the value of democracy and to be prepared to get involved in democratic processes and to make the country stronger to continue its European path", said Floris van Eijk, Head of the Embassy Office of the Netherlands in Moldova.

More than ten experts, practitioners and trainers from the country and abroad spoke to young people about the elements of democracy, the pursuit of justice, the importance of elections and campaign financing, investigative journalism and the fight against corruption, security, the environment, civil society and human rights.

"I came to the "Applied Democracy" Summer School because, although I am studying law, I want to progress, and for that I need more information from practitioners who can answer my questions from their own experience", said Olga Zaim, one of this year's participants.

 

On the first day of the programme, the participants learned about the support the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands provides to the Republic of Moldova from Ecaterina Vâlcu, Senior Political Analyst in the Chisinau Office. They also participated in an interactive session moderated by youth policy expert Mariana Țurcanu.

From Romania, Expert Forum president, Sorin Ioniță spoke to the participants about fake news, propaganda and the mechanisms of disinformation.

The second day started with a session on the importance of elections and the role of political parties in a democracy. Igor Botan, Executive Director of the Association for Participatory Democracy "ADEPT" engaged young people in a debate on the arguments for participation in elections and the problems of political parties in Eastern Europe.

The day continued with the session of Septimus Pârvu from Expert Forum on the financing of politics and electoral campaigns and Vladislav Gribincea, President of the CRJM, on Democracy, rule of law and human rights, giving an overview of the situation in the Republic of Moldova.

In the evening, together with Elena Tacu, program coordinator of EcoVisio Association, environmental issues and personal contribution to protect the planet were discussed.

The third day was dedicated to security. Alexandru Flenchea, director of the Initiative for Peace Association, held a session on regional security in the context of the war in Ukraine and possible risks for the Republic of Moldova, and Eugen Camenscic, a consultant in the field of sustainable energy, spoke to young people about energy security and what alternatives exist in the context of the current crisis facing Europe.

In the second part of the day, Veronica Cretu, President of the Open Government Institute, brought up artificial intelligence and new technologies - in relation to human rights, and cybersecurity expert Maxim Catanoi came up with a series of recommendations on data protection in the Internet age.

On the fourth day of the "Applied Democracy" programme, participants had the opportunity to interact with prosecutors and judges who enforce justice and ask them questions about the independence of justice, people's trust in justice, and how certain law enforcement processes take place.

Then, together with the anti-corruption expert Laura Ștefan from Expert Forum, Romania, the young people discussed the tools to prevent and fight corruption and the situation in the Republic of Moldova.

One of the most captivating sessions was that of investigative journalist Mariana Rață, who came up with several examples of investigations that contributed to fighting and preventing corruption in our country.

Mariana Ianachevici, executive director of the "Ave Copiii" Association and Stela Vasluian, director of the "Amici dei Bambini" Association spoke about the support of civil society organisations and their collaboration in managing the refugee crisis.

The final day of the Summer School culminated with a presentation by Daniel Goinic, Programme Director at the LRCM, on the myths and truths about the European Court of Human Rights. He organised an interactive session with competitions and prizes for participants.

The icing on the cake of the programme was the session by Andrei Brighidin, member of the Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Ensuring Equality, who presented a number of legal concepts, practical situations about equality and non-discrimination, but also presented a number of recommendations on how we can protect ourselves if we feel discriminated against or witness a discriminatory act.

This event was orgnized within the ”Ensuring better human rights standards in Moldova” project, implemented by the Legal Resources Centre from Moldova with the financial support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The views expressed in it are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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