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Posts from the ‘Egypt’ Category

Democracy celebrated at 7th People’s Meeting

For the 7th consecutive year, the island of Bornholm welcomed more than 25.000 daily visitors to Denmark’s biggest political festival. As always, DIPD participated in celebrating Danish democracy.

Each year, political parties, journalists, NGO’s and hundreds of other organisations gather in the small coastal town Allinge on the island of Bornholm to engage in four days of intense dialogue, debate and relation-building. More than 3.200 events were on offer during the 4-day festival, and DIPD once again did its part to celebrate Danish democracy.

Informal dialogue and intense debates

Even though the astonishing amount of events provided plenty of opportunities to discuss everything from the decreasing trust in politicians to the latest developments in medical rehabilitation (after a morning yoga session, but before singing worker’s songs with the trade unions), most would argue that what the People’s Meeting does best is to facilitate the informal dialogue between politicians and citizens. With the festival being an open and free event, everyone is welcome and the festival format allows you plenty of opportunities to have a chat with Ministers, MP’s and Mayors alike.

For DIPD, it was another aprreciated opportunity to catch up with the Danish political parties and discuss not only their international partnerships, but also the current developments on our own political scene.

But there was also time for DIPD director, Rasmus Helveg Petersen, to participate in a couple of larger events. The first of which took the form of a creative competition, where three different teams spend half a day working towards the best campaign idea ahead of the Danish Municipal Elections in November 2017 – an event which will be attended by a multitude of DIPD partners. Rasmus Helveg Petersen was part of the jury, which selected a campaign that looks to increase the voter turnout among young people come November.

Danish youth shares experiences

Generally, the role of youth in politics played a big role at this year’s People’s Meeting. The Danish youth parties participated in many debates on both national and international matters, on of which was organised by DIPD and long-time partner, The Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI). Stage and mic was given to four members of four different Danish youth politicians, who shared their experiences from the Danish-Egyptian Political Party Youth Network, where young Danish and Egyptian politicians gather for political dialogue and capacity development.

All in all, the People’s Meeting once again showcased that the openess and peacefulness of Danish Democracy is still a thing to be cherished.

More information

Contact Project Coordinator at DIPD, Mathias Parsbæk Skibdal:

DIPD’s Work on Youth in Politics Is Rated as Promising Practice

In an independent review of more than 76 global programmes in support of youth, DIPD’s engagement in promoting youth in politics is considered promising practice that can inspire both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and other organisations.

The Danish MFA undertook the review to inform the Ministry on how to optimize and operationalise Denmark’s new development cooperation strategy and its particular focus on youth.

In the new strategy Denmark has committed to give young people “… the opportunity to enhance their participation and influence in society as involved, committed and equal actors with the ability and opportunity to take developments into their own hands.” The strategy outlines that these objectives are to be achieved through various measures within policy, programme and partnerships. The review was undertaken in view of these two main strands.

Minister for Development, Ulla Tørnæs, presents a review of MFA’a youth engagements.

While DIPD’s youth programmes are not directly part of the MFA’s youth portfolio, DIPD’s method of work was included by the review team, discussed by the international youth panel involved in the review and rated as promising practice:

Promising practice: Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD); strengthening youth involvement in the political parties through inspiration and exchange between political parties’ youth wings.

DIPD supports democracy through support to political parties in developing countries with funding from Danida, partly through the Danish political parties and partly through direct support to multi-party democracy initiatives. DIPD has identified the strengthening of youth involvement and participation within the political parties in developing countries as one of a limited number of areas where Danish support can add specific value. In cooperation between DUF and DIPD, a guideline on ‘how to build a youth wing’ has been developed by young Danish youth wing members, used as training and inspiration material. Exchange activities between the young members from Denmark and Egypt, Swaziland, Zambia, Tanzania, Palestine, Myanmar, Bhutan, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Kenya and Bolivia has been implemented. DIPD has both directly implemented and funded a number of projects, through Danish political parties, their youth wings and youth members in developing countries to increase focus on and strengthen youth as political actors. A recent evaluation found that ‘project activities gave the young participants new skills and self-esteem, particularly among young women in traditionalist societies’.

Extracts from: Youth Leading the World 2030: A review of Danida’s Youth- Related Engagements, Final Report, 2017, p. 12

Danish and Egyptian youth share experiences on the Nile.

DIPD employs a systemic approach to working with youth in politics that engages party leadership and agenda setting through advocacy, focuses on party structures and processes that facilitates or hinders youth engagement, and finally capacitates youth and facilitates multiparty youth dialogues and platforms.

With this approach the institute and the Danish political parties together with youth and partners are very well placed to initiate and facilitate change relating to several of the main recommendations in the review. The recommendations, which DIPD can make a particular contribution to, are listed below:

  • Unleashing young people’s agency – Support formal and informal youth-led organisations, networks and movements to lead, initiate, design and implement their own initiatives – Several of DIPD’s programmes are supporting leadership development of youth and the establishment of youth wings or youth platforms that can take independent action and agency.
  • Prioritise youth-to-youth exchanges between Denmark and developing countries, particular between youth-led organisations and movements. In DIPD’s work exchange between party youth in cooperation countries and party youth in Denmark is a center piece. Mutual learning and peer dialogue has taken place with youth in Egypt, Malawi, Kenya, Myanmar and Palestine – just to mention a few.
  • Support linkages between youth and gender movements, and promote the nexus of the two – In several of DIPD’s programmes – for example in Malawi and Myanmar – the strategies on youth involvement interact with measures to involve more women in political parties. Often the agenda setting work is focused on both youth and gender.
  • Champion Youth priorities in National Policy Dialogues with Governments in Priority Countries – while it takes time and concerted action to facilitate youth dialogues on national policies, it also takes national opportunities for policy input to make it fly. In Myanmar the current formulation process of the National Youth Policy is an ideal opportunity for DIPD to facilitate input from the youth through the DIPD supported Multiparty Youth Dialogue Platforms. In several other countries, such as Kenya and Malawi, similar processes are or have been underway.

In DIPD’s updated Global Strategy for 2018-2021 Youth in Politics will continue to figure prominently.

Danida report on youth engagements.

More information

Read more about DIPD’s youth engagement in Myanmar.

Read more about DIPD’s youth engagement in Egypt and watch FUTURE DEMOCRATS – a film about the Danish-Egyptian Youth Network.

Read more about The Socialist People’s Party and the Liberal Party’s joint partnership in Malawi.

Contact Project Coordinator at DIPD, Mathias Parsbæk Skibdal:


To friends and partners of DIPD


DEPPYN: Maiken Kristensen (LAU), Mahmoud Said (Egypt Freedom) & Ahmed El-Sayed (Egypt Freedom)

Dear friends and partners of DIPD.

Among many inspiring events during 2016, we would like to mention a few highlight: Danish youth politicians visited Myanmar; two regional Women in Politics seminars in Myanmar and Nepal; politicians from Danish municipalities conducted trainings in Kathmandu; party representatives from Palestine, Swaziland, Bhutan, Tanzania and Bolivia visited Denmark.

However, it has been a year of much suffering around the world. The Nordic and Global Political Party Peer Meeting took place at Utøya, where 69 young people meeting in the Social Democratic youth wing were killed in 2011. Welcoming us, the former Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre, stressed the importance of protecting the democratic space and values that underpin our work.

Let that be a reminder to all of us that we are part of a global community committed to finding peaceful and democratic solutions to the challenges facing societies and humanity.

On behalf of the DIPD Team, I wish you an enjoyable and peaceful holiday period!


Egyptian authorities arrest women’s rights activist Azza Soliman

On December 7 2016, Egyptian authorities arrested Azza Soliman, the co-founder of the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA), on charges related to her NGO work. 

The authorities arrested her at her home in Heliopolis, and then brought her to the Masr el Gedida police station. She was then transferred to the investigative judge’s office in New Cairo for questioning after which she was released on bail for 20,000 EP.

Soliman is one of several prominent Egyptian human rights defenders under investigation in Case #173 – also known as the foreign funding case – who have been subjected to asset freezes and travel bans. Last month, the World Movement for Democracy reported on the government’s travel ban on Soliman, as well as her and her law firm’s assets being frozen. The investigative judge in Case #173 at the Cairo High Appeal Investigations ordered the asset freezes, and also submitted the arrest warrant against Soliman.

Last year, Egyptian authorities arrested Soliman and 16 other witnesses for providing evidence about the killing of the Egyptian protester Shaimaa al-Sabbagh. Though Soliman was charged with “protesting without notifying the authorities and disturbing public order,” she was later acquitted of all charges. Both of her arrests are indicative of the Egyptian government’s systematic crackdown on human rights in the country.

Arrest widely condemned

Since her arrest, Azza Soliman has received support from human rights activists and CSO’s in Egypt and abroad, and actions taken by the Egyptian authorities are being widely condemned. The crackdowns on CSO’s and human rights activists have been ongoing since President Sisi took office in June 2014, but many feel that the situation has escalated recently, with a new and stricter law regulating non-governmental organisations in Egypt also recently been passed in Parliament. All in all, the critical voices of civil society are under increased pressure.

Azza Soliman speaks at "100 Years of Women in Politics" conference in Denmark, June 2016

Azza Soliman speaks at “100 Years of Women in Politics” conference in Denmark, June 2016.

A strong voice

In June 2015, Azza Soliman took part in the international DIPD/KVINFO conference “100 Years of Women in Politics”. Here she gave an inspired presentation on the theme of political violence and women, where she drew on her vast experience with the work on women’s rights in Egypt. Through CEWLA, Azza Soliman has promoted the rights of women and marginalized groups in Egypt for more than 20 years, where her organisation has provided free legal, social and psychological services.

DIPD would like to express our support for Azza Soliman.

Danish Youths are Political Champions

Danish youth aged 15-29 secure a lead position in the OECD ranking of political engagement. According to the survey, 25% of the youth in OECD countries do not care for politics at all. But in Denmark, the political engagement among youth is the biggest of all the countries: only 7% of Danish youth remain utterly uninterested in politics.

Read more