Belarusian Liberal Youth Organization “Civil Forum” is the only Belarusian liberal youth organization and the only democratic youth organization with the legal status on national level (it was registered by the Ministry of Justice of Belarus in 1996).
History and leadership
Civil Forum was created in 1996 as the youth wing of the United Civil Party of Belarus (UCP) by the chairman of the Mogilev UCP branch Vladimir Novosiad. Civil Forum became independent from the UCP after UCP changed its ideology from liberal to conservative (Liberal conservatism) and refused to participate in the Parliament election (2000) despite the position of the party youth.
Civil Forum participated in 2000 elections nominating its President Vladimir Novosiad at the Kupalauski constituency in Minsk. After winning of Vladimir Novosiad in the elections Civil Forum members developed and started lobbing at the Belarusian Parliament draft-laws on alternative military service, on citizens savings etc.
Having its own MP provided Civil Forum with the possibilities of the organizing youth events in all regions of Belarus, sending official MP requests and other means of activities. Therefore since 2001 Civil Forum started to be the leading democratic organization in Belarus.
In 2002 part of Civil Forum members initiating creation of the first liberal party in Belarus – Party of Freedom and Progress.
Minsk city organization member Vadzim Akhremka was elected as chairman of Civil Forum and brought new team into leadership of Civil Forum in 2005.
The Congress assembled on November 28, 2007 was to solve the leadership issue. The member of the Central Auditing Commission Sergey Vаrаnkеvіch was elected to the position of the Civil Forum Chairman. New Central Council of Civil Forum composition was also elected.
At the Congress on November 04, 2012 Hanna Ivashkеvіch was elected to the position of the Civil Forum Chairman.
At the Congress on November 02, 2014 Yuriy Stukalov was elected to the position of the Civil Forum Chairman.
Civil Forum holds seminars, conferences and trainings for its members, as well as cultural and sports events, and organizes youth camps and role plays, study circles and debates. Many events are aimed to teach young people proper election technics. Also, the activity of the organization includes protection of the students’ rights.
Annually the organization and its regional offices carry through a range of events, devoted to the Magdeburg Law, among which are contest for the best essay among school pupils, Oxford debates and information distribution. From the time it was founded, Civil Forum has been taking an active part in election campaigns.
In order to achieve its aims Civil Forum cooperates with international and foreign organizations on the principles of equality and mutual respect. The majority organizations Civil Forum cooperates with are based on liberal and democratic ideas. Local organizations of “Civil Forum” can participate in international cooperation sui juris only after the endorsement of the Chairman or Central Council of Civil Forum (Articles 4.20 and 4.22 of the Statutes).
After the termination of connection with conservative United Civil Party of Belarus (UCP) in 2001 and final determination of the liberal orientation in its statutory documents Civil Forum left conservative international organizations it was member in and started integration in the world and European liberal associations. Civil Forum became the full member organization of International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY) (since 2003), European Liberal Youth (LYMEC) (applicant membership since 2004 and full membership since 2008), European Volunteers Service (EVS) and European Minority Youth Network (EMYN) (since 2014)