The Netherlands, March 2016

DTRC Europe organized a two-day training in March 2016 in collaboration with the Eduardo Frei Foundation, which is the educational institute of the Christian Democratic Party (CDA) in the Netherlands.

Through its activities, the Dutch Eduardo Frei Foundation seeks to contribute both to consolidating existing Democratic institutions and to nurturing peaceful transitions to democracy.

The two day conference hosted twelve politicians from the Middle-East. One of the subjects addressed pertained to local governance and civil society in a democracy. The training brought the politicians to a local municipality near The Hague to learn more about the decentralization of the Netherlands and its code of conduct. Of great value, was the emphasis on communication and interaction with civil society, which is essential in a democratic country. Even though some Middle-Eastern countries have a democratic political system, there could be extensive differences regarding the implementation of these values on national and decentralized level. For the politicians it was a learning experience to see and hear how work is conducted on municipality level.

A subsequent subject was the history of the main ideologies in Europe, which currently form the democratic political system in most countries of Europe. This system differs greatly from the political structure in the Middle-East. The Leiden University provided a great effort into educating the politicians from the Middle-East regarding the democratic foundation of the European system and left room for questions and discussions. Through these lessons it became clear how political systems in the world can constitute a complete set of different values and rules. Simultaneously was demonstrated where the systems collide and how they can learn from each other.