4 November 2014 (10.30-12.30) - Room 5 – Palais de l’Europe, Interpretation: FR/EN


An unfavourable environment can further diminish the opportunities for young people to make their voices heard. How can young people create structures for advocacy to express their need and influence policies? Which mechanisms work and what are the challenges to mainstreaming such approaches?

Youth Create Change, GIZ – German Development Cooperation, Palestinian Territories

Youth Create Change (YCC) is a pilot intervention launched by the Local Governance and Civil Society Development Programme (LGP) implemented by GIZ (German Development Cooperation) in 11 Municipalities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The intervention is aiming to promote and enhance youth participation in local decision-making and increase youth services within the municipality. In order to make the social environment accepting the real participation of youth several mechanisms need to be on place: the Municipal Youth Officer, the Youth Promoters (15 young activists in each community), a yearly Youth Action Plan (YAP), a municipal budget line for youth activities and a youth centre.


Ms Alice PRIORI, Italy, Development Advisor with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ)

Alice Priori is working as Development Advisor with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in the  Palestinian Territories, responsible for Youth Create Change (YCC), a project aiming at enhancing and institutionalizing youth participation as part of the Local Governance and Civil Society Programme. Alice has gained major experiences in the sector of youth work, youth participation and international development mainly in the Middle East region working with several NGOs and local authorities since 2005. Alice graduated her M.A. in sociocultural anthropology with a thesis about structural and cultural violence in Palestine and its influence on youong people to become active citizens their society.

Mr Mohammed Fadel ZAQOUT, Youth Promoter of the YCC intervention in Al Zahara Municipality in the Gaza Strip

Mohammed Fadel Zaqout was chosen an ambassador for peace in 2010 to be part of the YES program placed in Arizona, USA. He was also steering committee member of the US-Middle East Partnership Initiative and YES alumni coordinator assistant in Gaza. In 2009, he was chosen by the Ministry of Education as the President of the Youth Parliament in Gaza. He is member of UP and Qatar Debates and studies English Accounting at the University of Palestine.


Discussants are invited to make critical comments during the lab on the impact, transferrability, sustainability and risk of the initiative.

Ms Samia HATHROUBI, France/Tunisia, Activist and European Director of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding

Samia, a French-born Muslim with deep roots in Tunisia, has a strong interest and personal involvement in human rights and democracy. A 29-year-old award winning journalist and activist who is also working on a P.hd in Islamic studies, Samia spent two years working in Palestine, Israel and in the Middle-East and elsewhere as project manager of the YaLa Youth Leaders program promoting and advocating for youth issues in the region and particulary through the new technologies and social medias. In Paris and Europe, she is working to foster minorities rights and is dedicated to the struggle against Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism. Samia is currently European director of an American NGO, the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and oversees all European initiatives and programs of the FFEU.

Ms Tracey SIMPSON-LAING, United Kingdom, Councillor, City of York, Member of the Congress of the Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

First elected in 1999, Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing is the Deputy Leader of the City of York Council (population 200,000) where she is responsible for Democracy, Electoral and Civic Services and holds the Cabinet Portfolio for Homes & Safer Communities and holds a number of positions at local, regional and national levels in the areas of domestic violence, housing and health. Academically she holds a BSc Social Science with Social Policy & Sociology and an MA Social Policy & Criminology. She is a UK Local Government Association Peer Mentor and a member of the Congress of the Council of Europe and its Governance Committee.


Mr Zoltan TAUBNER, Director of External Relations of the Council of Europe

Zoltan Taubner is the Director of External Relations of the Council of Europe, responsible for relations with non-member countries, including the political co-ordination of the Policy towards neighbouring regions, and international organisations. Before joining the Council of Europe Secretariat, he worked in the Hungarian Justice Ministry and in the diplomatic service on several posts, notably as Director of the Foreign Minister’s Cabinet and Ambassador to the Council of Europe. Mr Taubner is a lawyer with several publications in the field of international human rights diplomacy to his name.


Mr Jérôme RICH