With debates on contemporary challenges and by opening up to Africa, the 2009 Summer University 2009 has set its sights on new horizons...

The fourth edition of the Summer University of Democracy of the Council of Europe’s Schools of Political Studies confirmed its status as a major meeting point where young leaders from the "new Europe" can debate, exchange views and try to find answers to current concerns. In partnership with the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, participants from Africa were able to attend the Summer University for the first time thus adding a new dimension to the discussions.

The 2009 edition focused on the impact of contemporary challenges on democratic values, human rights and the rule of law, as promoted by the Council of Europe since its creation in 1949.

Global challenges are placing new demands on political leaders today while at the same time their legitimacy is being called into question. Priority issues which politicians should tackle if they are to remain in control include international finance, energy, corruption and organised crime.

The purpose of the 2009 Summer University was therefore to analyze and identify ways in which political leaders, civil society activists, media representatives and business leaders should work together to meet the challenges of our time.