Warsaw Euro-Atlantic Summer Academy
Transitioning to democracy and market economy require popular support and political will. These processes of transformation in Eastern Partnership countries are highly complex and conditioned by many factors.
Building political and civil societies in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine should be accompanied by democratization, the creation of new state institutions and the ability to deal with social and economic problems.
It is with those issues in mind that the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), the Polish-American Freedom Foundation (PAFF), and the Natolin College of Europe (CoE) jointly launched a pilot project of the Warsaw Euro-Atlantic Summer Academy (WEASA). The 2013 Summer Academy was a two-week educational program, beginning July 14 and ending July 28, 2013, designed for policy analysts and experts from the Eastern Partnership states eager to develop their international network of contacts and expertise. WEASA aims to establish an annual, long-term program dedicated to assisting various groups of society in the process of democratization and transformation.
With more than forty lectures and workshops, as well as two days of study visits to central and local institutions, forty four participants have experienced a unique learning opportunity. The program of the academy was divided into three parts: European Integration, Systemic Transformation and Transatlantic Relations. Thanks to WEASA’s academic staff comprised of prominent scholars and practitioners from the fields of political science, economics, and media, the participants had the possibility to critically analyze various dimensions of relationship between the East and the West, the key components of evolution of states and the successes and failures of the European policy discourse. Among the guest lecturers were: prof. Leszek Balcerowicz, former deputy prime minister and finance minister of Poland, former president of the National Bank of Poland; Dr. Clifford Gaddy, senior fellow, Brookings Institution; Dr. Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, MEP, vice-president of EPP; Gerhard Stahl, secretary general of the Committee of the Regions; Prof. Günter Verheugen, honorary professor, European University Viadrina, former vice-president of the European Commission; and the Honorable Robert Wexler, president, S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, member of the U.S. Congress for seven terms.
The partners believe that WEASA has deepened and expanded the understanding of the political world and enriched the participants’ analytical skills. The program has presented the theoretical foundations as well as cutting-edge research on regional and global environment, which will allow for formulating objective views and states’ policies back home. WEASA also served as a platform for challenging opinions and exchanging new project ideas.
Above all, the Warsaw Euro-Atlantic Summer Academy was a two-way educational undertaking. The WEASA faculty not only inspired, but was also inspired by the up-and-coming policy community from Eastern Europe and South Caucasus. insightful comments and shrewd questions raised throughout the Academy provided a domestic perspective on developments in the countries represented at WEASA.
Read the program overview.