Seminars are the core activity, helping to disseminate the School’s ideals and values. The School is based on an annual four session programme. Three-five sessions are held in Armenia, and the one in the Headquarters of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France.
The School’s seminars are a great learning and growing opportunity for YSPS participants. The programme is based more on problem solving and team work rather than on instruction. It creates an atmosphere in which participants can exchange ideas, experience and information through open debate.
Local seminars are held outside the capital city. They do not last more than 4 days each and are organized over a weekend plus working days, enabling participants to avoid major disruption to their normal activities.
The thematic scope of our work is focused, most of all, on such topics as European integration, globalisation, democratisation processes, strengthening of democratic institutions, the development of civil society, reform processes, etc. Variations within the broad themes depend mostly on current affairs of Armenia.
In addition, specialized working groups meet to single out, highlight and analyze the main issues of the day in the country. The workshops offer participants a better opportunity to prepare for the seminars, study issues in depth, increase their knowledge and awareness and express their views to a very diverse audience. Besides, participants are able to communicate with each other during the periods between seminars for preparing research and analytical papers on important political developments.
In the course of an academic year the School representatives participate in a week-long concluding seminar in the Headquarters of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. The Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy (former Summer University for Democracy), which is made up of various events, brings together hundreds of participants and prominent experts, including Heads of State and Government, representatives of European institutions and the French government, European and international academics. This grand event facilitates the formation of ties and fosters cohesion within the network. Strasbourg seminar programme includes plenary sessions, study visits and interactive working sessions, i.e. workshops with keynote speeches dedicated to various issues related to the phenomenon of governance, its relations to politics, economic development, democracy, human rights, etc. The event is an outstanding opportunity for leaders to exchange experiences and personally get to know their counterparts from other countries.
Participants who complete the programme are awarded with YSPS diploma as well as Council of Europe certificate signed by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and YSPS Director.
SPS COOPERATION PROGRAMME
Over the last few years, as the SPS Network has gradually expanded, cooperation has been established between different Schools which now hold regular bilateral and regional meetings facilitating dialogue and often contributing to reconciliation in divided countries and regions. This opens opportunities for Armenian participants to meet and establish relations with their colleagues from Eastern European and CIS countries and not only.
Thematic seminars, lectures and presentations tackling current political and social issues provide platform for discussions and coalition building.
The objective of the events is to further strengthen the SPS Network community, foster cooperation and facilitate exchange of relevant experiences on various topics.
YSPS delegations participated in numerous international conferences, round tables and other events in different countries – Bulgaria, Sweden, Ukraine, Serbia, Switzerland, Romania, France, Hungary, Russia, etc.