The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), together with the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), organised the workshop Political Parties and the Citizen on 14-16 November 2013, in Yangon, Myanmar. The workshop was hosted by the Sun Institution in Myanmar and it was organised under ASEF’s long-standing programme Asia-Europe Democratisation and Justice (AEDJ).

The workshop built on to the research previously conducted as part of the same project. On one hand, the research examined Asian and European case studies on the relationship between political parties and civil society organisations (CSOs) and how they interact with one another. On the other, the workshop expanded these case studies to address the challenges political parties and CSOs face in their interactions, how these challenges have been addressed, and present policy recommendations to improve the effectiveness of their interaction to promote mutual interests.

The first two days of the workshop were limited to the participation of 25 local and international experts. The themes of their presentations included i) Parties and Citizens: State of Play, ii) Citizens Political Participation and Social Movement, iii) From Social Movements and Civil Society Organisations to Political Parties and iv) Social Media and Information and Communications Technology (ICT). The third day of the workshop was an opportunity for the participants to share their expertise with local organisations in Myanmar. Over 20 local representatives from the different political parties, NGOs and academics in Myanmar attended this session.

The outcomes of the research and workshop will be compiled into a publication to be ready by the first quarter of 2014.