Montag, 12. November 2012

Reflection on project meeting in Warsaw

Thank you very much to all Helsinki Foundation people involved in the meeting, it was really interesting to learn about your activities!

I am convinced that these exchanges about law-related education are inspiring for all participating organisations and will enable participants to draw from what they have learned in their work / voluntary work / personal life / etc.

I would like to share that I work for Democracy Reporting International, an organisation that works with civil society organisations on the process and content of institutional democracy, focusing in particular on elections, constitutions and parliaments. In our programme in Tunisia, for example, we worked with local election observation organisations on capacity building for the observation of the first democratic elections in October 2011. Now we continue working with them on political rights and institutional democracy issues in the ongoing constitution-making process in Tunisia. I think that several of the projects that were introduced at the Warsaw meeting could be interesting in the Tunisian context as well, especially the project on the observation of public assemblies, demonstrations, etc. and the project on the freedom of expression. I will definitely share these ideas with my colleagues in Tunisia!

I was also impressed by some similarities with Tunisia and other transition countries that struck me when the history of the Polish Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights was presented. Adam Bodnar mentioned that in 1989 after the regime change in Poland, civil society had to face a dilemma: a lot of former civil society members went into government while others decided to stay in civil society and adopt the 'control government ' function. It is really interesting to also consider such structural similarities and see how we can learn from one another.

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