Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly (HCA) has been founded 1990 in Prague by civic activists from Eastern and Western Europe, with the active support of President Vaclav Havel.
It is a non profit civic movement, based on the involvement of individual activists from NGOs and social movements.
Its main focuses are democracy, peace and empowerment of civil society. The international HCA network had developed branches all over Europe from Scotland to Azerbaijan. In 2000, HCA became a decentralised and polycentric network.
– To introduce the basic rights and freedoms accepted in international agreements ;
– To promote peaceful processes for the resolution of conflicts, using dialogue and looking for mutual understanding;
– To improve pluralist democratic bodies and civil society initiatives;
– To ensure the supremacy of law and to defend an economic system that promotes the well-being of human life and the environment.
Each branch has its own activities.
But since 1996, HCA regularly organises youth meetings (Seminar for international dialogue and understanding or “Sidu”).
The last « Sidus » took place in Turkey and Azerbaijan (2000), Hungary (2002), Armenia (2003), Georgia (2004), Moldova (2005), France (2006) and Poland (2007). HCA has cofounded the Middle East Citizens’ Assembly (MECA) in Amman in 2005 and the Middle East Youth Forum in 2006, also in Amman, while following meetings have been held in Istambul (August 2006) and Cairo (March 2007).
– Old and historic initiative
– Special links with Balkans and Caucasus, and with Turkey
– Decentralised and polycentric organisation