On Wednesday, 18th September 2013, the first group of 30 students of the Visegrád School of Political Studies attended the Inauguration Ceremony in the Przeździecki Palace in Warsaw. The guests of honor were Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland and Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski. The opening speeches were followed by a panel discussion on V4 democratization experiences and a question and answer session. The ceremony concluded with a coffee break and networking for all of the invited guests.
In the afternoon of the 18th of September, all participants attended the conference “The Hate Factor in Political Speech. Where do responsibilities lie?” hosted by the Ministry of Administration and Digitalization. During the following days, participants discussed transparency and fighting corruption on regional and local levels. The introductory lecture was given by Adam Bodnar, the President of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and the workshop was moderated by David Ondracka, director of Transparency International Czech Republic. Participants also met Dr. Katarzyna Pisarska, director and founder of the European Academy of Diplomacy, Mr. Wojciech Przybylski, editor in chief of Visegrád Insight, and Mr. Milan Zubicek and H.E. Ivan Gyurcsik, the Hungarian Ambassador in Warsaw.
The second session of the Visegrád School of Political Studies started on Wednesday, 23rd October, 2013 with a focus on Roma and Minority Rights. Two lectures were conducted by Dr. Magdalena Różycka from the Department of Religious Institutions and National and Ethnic Minorities of the Ministry of Administration in Poland and Dr. Andrzej Mirga, head of the Roma & Sinti Contact Point, ODIHR. Participants met Amb. Urszula Gacek, head of Polish Permanent Representation to the Council of Europe, Mr. Tomasz Szypuła, chairman of the LGBT Business Forum and Joanna Butryn, representative of the Vital Voice Chapter Poland. Participants were also invited to take part in the Warsaw Dialogue for Democracy 2013 program which was held at Natolin.