Democracy and Decentralisation On 3 and 4 May 2010, the University of St.Gallen will host the International Conference on Democracy and Decentralisation under the patronage of the Swiss Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. 27 April 2010. The Conference will bring together high public officials from Strasbourg, experts, politicians, representatives of civil society, and students from the Council of Europe’s Member States for an exchange on the strengthening of democratic institutions and the fostering of a citizen-based democracy, a priority of the Swiss Chairmanship and one of the basic values of the Council of Europe. The Conference is being jointly organized by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, the University of St. Gallen and the latter’s International Students’ Committee (ISC). The four Workshops scheduled for the second day of the Conference will provide the occasion for renowned international and Swiss personalities to discuss the themes of subsidiarity, decentralization in multi-ethnic states, administration of resources, and referendum at regional and local level. European student contest Participative democracy in the academic domain will be given concrete expression by a student contest organized around the four workshop themes. Students from the 36 member States submitted pertinent essays and one student from each of the countries was chosen and invited to the Conference. Two of the students will be awarded prizes for their essays at the end of the Conference. The Swiss Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will come to an end with the 120th Session of the Committee of Ministers to be held in Strasbourg on 11 May 2010.