IRI – studio visit of emerging democratic leaders

In mid-May Centre for International Relations hosted five public leaders from Myanmar, Honduras, Bolivia and Nicaragua – participants of the project: Rising Stars Alumni Program: Theory and Practice for Emerging Democratic Leaders. During week long sessions, workshops and studio visits, the CIR’s guests found out on Poland’s example how the process of transformation from totalitarian state into a well-functioning democracy and market economy looked like, and how the Polish civil society was created. They also participated in academic lectures concerning theories of economic development, democratic institutions and policy building, financial control, transparency and anti-corruption activities.

Well-known Polish economists, entrepreneurs, politicians, nongovernmental activists and media representatives shared their experiences and knowledge with the foreign guests. The participants of the Centre for International Relations’ project met with Sejm Marshal – Ewa Kopacz, Mazowieckie Voivodship’s governor – Jacek Kozłowski, Henryk Wujec – an advisor to the President of Poland regarding social matters, and Michał Olszewski – Vice-President of Warsaw. They visited Polish Solidarity Fund, Stefan Batory Foundation, Poland’s National School of Public Administration, and Lewiatan Confederation.

After the workshops, the participants agreed that lesson of Polish transformation can be a source of inspiration for public activities in their home countries. They also appreciated personal involvement of the speakers and their experiences in democratic opposition before 1989.

The program was carried out in partnership with International Republican Institute from Washington, a non-governmental organization, which goal is to support freedom and democratic transformations around the world. To date IRI has trained – with the help and support of local partners – over 200 ‘rising stars’ from South America, Asia, Africa and Middle East, equipping them in knowledge and skills, useful in wielding democratic regime.

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