Eastern Europe Summer Academy 2016 – Building a social democratic future

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Participants at the academy with their certificates of completion

The seventh annual political summer academy for young social democrats from Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus took place from 27-31 July 2016. The academy was gathered just outside Lviv, a historic city in western Ukraine. We were very pleased to welcome participants from Belarus, Georgia and Moldova, as well as our hosts from the New Social Democratic Platform of Ukraine.

The training team included representatives of the Foundation Max van der Stoel and the Labour Party, as well as local Ukrainian trainers who were alumni from last year’s academy.

The academy offered skills training on a range of subjects including social democratic policies, campaign strategy, communication methods and interview techniques. Participants had the chance to carry through concrete campaign plans on a range of issues including education, health care and gender equality. A workshop was held on how to conduct a good training session, and this was especially useful for those who were going on to train members of their youth wing in the coming months.

Another particularly important part of the training, and one the participants found most enriching, was the practical sessions in interview techniques and debating. A Question Time session was held which led to lively and engaging discussions. In addition, the cross-country nature of the group discussions allowed participants to exchange experiences, learn from each other and form connections to be carried forward for the future.

There was a great sense of warmth and friendship as the academy came to a close, and participants went away inspired to take forward what they learned and to work to strengthen social democracy across the region.

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