At selected diplomatic representations and other institutes in Europe brainstorming dinners will be organized, bringing together groups of young policy makers, students and others who will discuss the goals of the project and what steps need to be taken to realize these goals.

The “young agents of change” dinners will be informal for a where participants can discuss the three “baskets” of the Reviving the Helsinki spirit program, the current political climate in Europe, the importance of the Helsinki Accords values and principles within the current context, and how to reverse the downward political spiral in Europe.

Each dinner will be led by the Ambassador-host, a moderator who sets the scene and manages the debate, and a secretary who takes minutes however on basis of the Chatham rules – no direct reference to any of the individual participants. The outcome of the dinners will be used to develop future activities within the framework of the Reviving the Helsinki Spirit program.

It is of great importance that candidates for these special events as well as their participation in events e.g. the Sakharov Hearings is carried out in a transparent and effective manner. With regard to the “change maker dinners”, the selection will take place in the countries where the dinners will take place through consortium partners in the project or organizations that have been selected for that purpose e.g. universities, youth organizations or civil society organizations. In countries where there are no partner organizations we will entrust the selection process to trusted individual partners, however the same transparency standards will be adhered to.

When sufficient funding becomes available, young change makers will be invited to attend the Sakharov Hearings, Sakharov Conferences and other events that will be planned. For this purpose, an international commission of experts has been established that will review motivation letters by candidate participants. In the letter the applicants should explain what they have done so far in contributing to the development of a civil society, why they want to attend the event and how they think they will use the knowledge in future.

The commission that will review the motivation letters consists of:

  • Vyacheslav Bakhmin, President of the Board, Andrei Sakharov Center, Moscow
  • Robert Brinkley (UK) - former UK Ambassador to Ukraine, Chairman of the Ukrainian Institute, London and of the Chatham House Ukraine Forum
  • Prof. Ineta Dabasinskiene, pro-rector for International Relations at the Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania
  • Prof. Georgy Kasyanov, Institute of History, Academy of Sciences, Ukraine
  • Elizabeth Teague (UK) - former member of the Research Analysts at the UK Foreign Office
  • Sir Andrew Wood (UK) – former UK Ambassador to Yugoslavia, Russia and Moldova

Reviving the Helsinki Spirit
Central coordination office
Andrei Sakharov Research Center for Democratic Development


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