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Empowering the voices of tomorrow in the future of the Summit for Democracy

15 September 2023 - 10:00

International Democracy Day (IDD) Brussels is an annual Brussels-based event organised each September to mark the UN International Day of Democracy. Each year, this event is organised by a partnership of democracy organisations and think tanks, namely: European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP), European Endowment for Democracy (EED), the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD), International IDEA, and since 2020, Carnegie Europe. Each year, the event is led by one of the co-organisers.

In commemoration of this important day, the Youth Democracy Cohort and International IDEA propose to organise a session that focuses on the involvement of European countries in the Summit for Democracy. Both panels will first focus on the insight of the S4D and explore innovative ways for Youth to participate and engage in Public Affairs. 

Part 1: Insights into the Summit for Democracy 

This session will host high-level panellists which will focus on insights, experiences, and perspectives on the Summit for Democracy. They will focus on the lessons learned, the future of the S4D, and what the role of the European Union is.

Panellists for this session will be Johnny Walsh (Deputy Chief of Staff, USAID), Ellen Kang (Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea), and a Representative of the Belgian government.

Part 2: Democracy in action : youth driving innovative engagement

This session will bring together dynamic young leaders, advocates, and activists to discuss and showcase how youth-led initiatives are playing a pivotal role in shaping democratic engagement through innovative projects. The session will inspire attendees with concrete examples of advocacy work led by Youth Democracy Cohort members who are supported by the grants initiative, demonstrating the impact of their efforts in driving democratic change.

Filsan Abdi, former Ethiopian Youth minister and Executive Director of Horn Peace Institute, will deliver a keynote introduction for the second panel to explore innovative ways to advocate on Youth engagement and participation. 

And the selected organisations know all about it. Over the past few months, they have been supported in their efforts to raise awareness and defend YDC’s Menu of Possible Commitments at their own level. The panel will be moderated by Natalia Gomez-Solano (Special EU Youth Advisor and climate activist). 


  • Olga Caballero (Executive Director at Alma Civica), 
  • McDonald Lewanika (Country Director at Accountability Lab South Africa).