An annual event since it was established in 1994 by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, the Lisbon Forum has been a distinctive platform bringing together high-level participants from Europe, neighbouring regions and other continents to share experience, good practice and expertise.
Themes of the Forum have been closely related to the core mission of the Council of Europe: to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Following developments in the region and a refocusing of the Centre’s mission to contribute to the Council of Europe’s policy towards its neighbouring regions, recent editions of the Forum have sought to address key challenges faced by countries of the Southern Mediterranean and explore possibilities for renewed cooperation with Europe.
These recent editions have been supported by the joint EU/ CoE Programme “Strengthening democratic reform in the Southern Neighbourhood” (South Programme). SPII, a second phase of the South Programme started in 2015, calls for sustained action in the field of democratic governance in the southern Mediterranean based on acknowledged Council of Europe expertise in supporting the building of pluralist democracies across Europe and beyond. SPII will continue to support the organisation of the Lisbon Forum by the North-South Centre insofar as it contributes “Towards strengthened democratic governance in the Southern Mediterranean.”