Democracy assistance


D + 1 Memory of Nations in Democratic Transition

D+1 Memory of Nations in Democratic Transition is a long-term project of CEVRO and Zaostřeno o.p.s. The project aims to protect democracy which can never be taken for granted and needs to be preserved by every generation. The project cumulates the experience of nations transitioning from totalitarian or authoritarian regimes and knowledge of experts who have actively participated in democracy transition projects around the world. 

D+1 refers to the importance of immediate action right after toppling the authoritarian or totalitarian regime. Memory of Nations in Democratic Transition suggests the diversity of the nations undergoing democratic transition. Some countries need to restore the archives of the previous regimes while others need to preserve the memory of the citizens as the most valuable reminder of the crimes of the unjust regimes. But all the countries need to protect their memories to ensure successful and sustainable transition to democracy.
 
The D+1 project aims to provide guidance. Its aim is not to give step by step instructions to the transitioning nation as this would not be a realistic goal given the uniqueness of each such situation; the aim is to provide a comprehensive set of issue-specific advice coming from real-life experience, case studies dealing with the most frequent problems and a “witness account” of past errors. More than “what you should do now”, the project would answer questions of “what would we have done differently”, striving not to avoid mistakes but to avoid repeating them.
 

 
 
Democratic Transition Guide
CEVRO will use the assistance of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to establish a knowledge hub that will make available transition experiences and expertise dealing with national memory. CEVRO will assemble a team of international experts to assist new democracies with the preservation of national memory. Drawing on these experts, the think tank will produce apractical guide to help reformers deal with issues involving the security services during transitions and convene an educational conference on the topic.
 
The project started in October 2016 with duration of 12 months. On 7 December 2016 the initial expert panel and public conference were held in Kyiv, Ukraine. Following the conference the guide is nowbeing prepared to be made public in August 2017. The comparative study will serve current and future reformers as a reference point and guide for their own activities. They will be able to study different practices and processes that might have a positive impact in their own country while transforming their political system and improving governance. The study will be available to download on this web page in the second half of 2017.
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY
 

Democratic education for Egypt

The transition to democracy is a very complicated and lengthy process. Itself transition may not always end with a democracy. The current situation in Egypt is still on the road to a consolidated democracy. Project Democratic education for Egypt is based on fifteen years of experience of CEVRO with similar educational projects.

 
The objective of the project is to support the representatives of the Egyptian pro-democracy political parties, movements and representatives of non-governmental and non-profit organizations in the form of intensive trainings, which CEVRO has organized in the Czech Republic. The participants are chosen across the democratic Egyptian political spectrum. Every month arrives in Prague 20 participants. The seminars include lectures on political science, international relations, law, economics, management, etc.
 
The first phase of the project took place from March to October 2014, the project was subsequently extended to April 2015.
 
 

Rising Stars

Since 2011, CEVRO participates in international programs for the promotion of democracy in the world in cooperation with IRI (International Republican Institute). 

Rising Stars has hosted annual trips to Prague for democracy activists from closed and transitioning societies around the world (Burma, Belarus, Bhutan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Ecuador, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Honduras, Malaysia, Mali, South Sudan, Nicaragua, Persia, Russia, Sudan, Syria and Zimbabwe). Participants experience a two-week intensive practical and academic training program on topics ranging from democratic governance to executive management, anti-corruption and macroeconomic policy. 
 
During the program, participants meet with experts, academics, government officials and civil society organizations who impart information about the Czech democratic transition. They also discuss lessons learned. This year, the participants of the RS program had the opportunity to meet with Cyril Svoboda (Former Minister of Regional Development and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic), Eduard Kukan (Member of the European Parliament, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia) and also with Alexandr Vondra (Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence, Director of the Prague Centre for Transatlantic Relations).
 

 

Study Tour of Chinese Civil Society Leaders to the Czech Republic

Since 2013, CEVRO and International Republican Institute (IRI) have organized a project called Study Tour of Chinese Civil Society Leaders to the Czech Republic. Representatives of Chinese NGOs spend a week in the Czech Republic to learn about Czech civil society. Firstly, they have the opportunity to get to know every-day activities of CEVRO and secondly, they meet other Czech NGOs and learn about their projects. Additionally, the agenda includes lectures on topics related to civil society, for example civic education, development of Czech civil society or legal context of NGOs’ activities. The study tour took place in March 2013 and March 2014 so far.


Lustration Process in the Czech Republic - a Study Program for Representatives of Ukraine

At the end of April CEVRO and the American USAID prepared a three-day program Lustrations and Vetting in the Czech Republic. Among the program participants there were Ukrainian Members of Parliament, Judges and staff of the Ministry of Justice.

The aim of the visit to Prague was to learn about the Czech lustration experience, the various stages of the approval of the lustration laws, their application and the appeal judiciary process. Ukraine approved late its own lustration laws last year and the invited team participates in their application.

On the agenda there was, for example, a lecture about the history of the Czech lustration by the  former Director of the Institute for the Study of the Totalitarian Regimes Pavel Zacek, meeting with former Judge of the Constitutional Court Stanislav Balík, a Judge of the Municipal Court in Prague Tomáš Vejnar, Director of the Security Department of the Ministry of Interior Josef Veselý, Member of the Parliament  and the Constitutional and Law Committee of the Parliament Marek Benda or the Head of the Unit for Combating Corruption and Organized Crime of the Police of the Czech Republic Jaroslav Vild.

 

Lectures and Capacity Building Trainings

CEVRO experts have trained in numerous countries on political education, party building, democratic transition, historical memory and democratic governance.