The Visegrád School of Political Studies is a joint project of the Council of Europe and the European Academy of Diplomacy in Warsaw, supported by the International Visegrád Fund and organized in cooperation with the Antall Jószef Knowledge Center | Corvinus University, the Diplomatic Academy of Prague, and the Slovak Atlantic Commission.

The program brings together young politicians, civil society activists, journalists and civil servants from the countries of the Visegrád Group – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland & Slovakia – for 3-day seminars to help increase involvement in democratic processes, foster exchange of know-how, and strengthen regional cooperation among a new generation of Central European leaders.

The goal of the program is to develop participants’ ability to identify and solve the complex challenges facing Central European societies, as well as enhance their capacity to shape and strengthen the democratic processes in their respective countries. The School provides participants with the opportunity to establish a regional network of like-minded leaders, ready to take on greater responsibility for a more mature political culture in Central Europe and stronger leadership within the European Union. The program supports the Council of Europe’s mission of reinforcing democracy, human rights, and the rule of law on the European continent.

As the 19th member of the Council of Europe’s Schools of Political Studies network, the Visegrád School benefits from the sharing of vast knowledge, experience and know-how from the other schools in the network.

The program is a 100% scholarship initiative, with all fees, materials and meals (lunches and coffee breaks) covered. Additionally, during each session, all participants except for participants/nationals of the country hosting the session, are provided with accommodation (e.g. during the Warsaw session, accommodation is provided for participants from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary).


The Visegrád School of Political Studies comprises of 4 thematic workshops held in each of the V4 capital cities – Bratislava, Budapest, Prague and Warsaw – and the annual World Forum for Democracy hosted annually at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. Participants engage in discussions, case study analyses, and work groups focusing on contemporary thematic issues facing the VSPS and the European Union, such as:

  • Identifying the main challenges to the democratic process in the Visegrad Group

  • Strengthening the democratic process in the Visegrad countries

  • The Visegrad Group and the future of the European Union.

Participants have a chance to work together and with experts on contemporary challenges commonly facing the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.


The goal of the VSPS is to equip participants – young civic and political leaders – with an activist toolkit, a set of fundamental skills required to be successful in influencing the dialogue of their communities, regional and national governments. Participants take part in expert lectures and work groups focusing on the common challenges facing the countries of the V4 to supplement skill development, and take part in study visits to national and European institutions, locally based embassies, and VIP meetings.


  • Participation in an unique, hands-on program, which allows sharing of experiences between current and future Visegrad states leaders;

  • Obtaining an activist toolkit – fundamental skills required to be successful in influencing the dialogue in communities, as well as regional and national governments;

  • Joining the Council of Europe network of leaders from 21 Schools of Political Studies;

  • Receiving a joint EAD and Council of Europe graduation diploma (upon successful completion of the program and fulfillment of all requirements)

  • Participation in the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg, France;

  • Access to the EAD Alumni Club;

  • Access to the EAD Career Office.


The VSPS invites 20 – 25 young leaders between the ages of 26 – 40 from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Recruitment efforts are directed to attract participants from political parties, civic organizations, public administration and media. The ideal candidate has a proven track history of involvement and engagement within their community, demonstrating leadership potential and a desire to take an active role in positively shaping the world around them. The program targets equal representation of female participants.


  • Minimum 26 years of age;

  • Minimum 2 years of working experience and proven track history of involvement and engagement within their community (i.e. involvement in the NGO sector, student unions, local and national political parties);

  • Participants must submit an online application form, CV in EuroPass format, and letter of motivation;

  • Chosen applicants will be asked to take part in a phone interview;

  • English language competency: C1.


Active participation in all sessions (participation in the Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy in France is not obligatory); Submission of policy paper on issues related to current V4 countries political and social challenges;

Sharing the Council of Europe and VSPS values (democracy, human rights, rule of law) and committing to their promotion in their respective communities.