ERSTE Foundation brings “Democracy Workshops” to Montenegro

Demokratiewerkstatt Montenegro_(c) Forum MNE

The „Democracy Workshops“ of the Parliament of Montenegro were inaugurated on 22 January in Podgorica in the presence of Austrian Parliament President Barbara Prammer, the President of the Montenegrin Parliament, Ranko Krivokapić, the Chairman of ERSTE Foundation’s Advisory Board, Erhard Busek, and the Ambassador of Austria, Martin Pammer.

After a two-year preparatory period, the official inauguration of the „Democracy Workshops“ marks the successful establishment of an Austrian educational project in Montenegro. Since 2007 the Austrian Parliament’s „Democracy Workshops“ have provided children and young people aged 8 to 14 with interactive access to topics such as democracy and parliamentarianism through six different workshops.

ERSTE Foundation approached the Austrian parliament in 2010 with the idea of bringing the „Democracy Workshops“ to South Eastern Europe.  And Montenegro was chosen as the first country to host these workshops.

Together with the educational agency “Müllers Freunde”, which was responsible for the implementation in Austria, the Parliament of Montenegro and ERSTE Foundation selected the renowned Montenegrin NGO Forum Youth and Non-formal Education (Forum MNE)  following a call for proposals, to be in charge of holding the workshops. As part of a pilot phase, workshops have been taking place in Podgorica every day since October 2012, showing interactively to children and young people in the age between 9 and 15 years how modern democracies and the work of parliaments basically function. By the end of December more than 1,300 children from 17 Montenegrin schools had participated in these workshops. Starting in early 2013 two workshops will be held every day to meet the high demand.