4 November 2014 (14.00-16.00) - Room 2 – Palais de l’Europe, Interpretation: FR/EN - Sponsored by the INGO Conference of the Council of Europe


Political change often begins on the local level. What are the possibilities for young people to take the initiative and influence the policies and the developments of their cities? Will they reinvent traditional models of democracy or become part of them?

Youth for Catania 2.0, Italy

Youth for Catania 2.0, constituted in 2012 and initially founded by 25 young students attending the University of Catania, started its activities as civic hub for youth initiatives related to civic, political and social commitment of young people into their communities. Its aim was to advocate the role of youth in policy, civil society and local development, fostering youth influence in the decision-making processes. With the occasion of the local administrative elections, in 2013, the group decided to express an own candidature, which could represent the youth local community. The lab will show the initiatives undertaken, particularly during the electoral campaign, aimed to raise awareness about the importance of youth participation into the public life starting from politics in local communities and it will analyse the results and outcomes of this experience.


Mr Diego A. CIMINO, Italy, Founder of “Youth for Catania 2.0”

Diego A. Cimino, 23 years old, is master senior student specialized in International Law at the University of Catania School of Law. In 2012, he has been elected as first ever students’ representative into the Evaluation Unit of the University of Catania. In 2013, he was Youth Representative and Rapporteur at the World Forum for Democracy and joined the Youth Peace Ambassadors Network of the Council of Europe in 2014. At local level he is Chief-Officer of the Catania Chapter of the International Law Students Association and President of the youth organization called “Hub-Officine Giovanili” which aim is to foster youth participation into the decision-making processes at local, national and international level.  He is the founder of the “Youth for Catania 2.0 Initiative” and, on behalf of it, he ran for the Catania’s City Council Elections in 2013 as youngest candidate in city.


Mr Emanuele STANCANELLI, Italy, Adviser of “Youth for Catania 2.0”

Emanuele Stancanelli, 23 years old, is senior student in Politic Sciences and International Relations at the University of Catania. He is very involved in the organization of sports events at regional, national and international level: in 2010 he was part of the organizing commitee  of the CEV U-20 Beach Volley European Championship and FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship “Italia 2010”. He continued working in sport events as Manager during The Sicilian Golf Tour 2010-2012 and in World Fencing Championship 2011 held in Catania. He has been elected in 2012 as member of the FIPAV Local Council of Catania, the local chapter of the Italian Volleyball Federation, and currently he is the youngest member ever elected within the Italian Volleyball Federation. He is Adviser of Catania 2.0 and elected Board Member of Hub – Officine Giovanili youth organization.

Youth@Cluj-Napoca 2015 (European Youth Capital), SHARE Cluj-Napoca Federation, Romania

The mission of Youth@Cluj-Napoca 2015 - European Youth Capital is to strengthen the role and support the active participation of young people and youth organizations in creating the change in our society through the process of sustainable, responsible and inclusive urban development, by sharing our space, culture, power, work, joy, vision and common European values, addressing topics such as youth empowerment, advocacy, mobility, structured dialogue and information, under a year-long programme in Cluj-Napoca. Youth@Cluj-Napoca 2015 wants to be an integrator and a powerful instrument in supporting local youth NGOs to act together in the urban development of the city.

Website: http://www.cluj2015.ro/english


Mr Andras FARKAS, Romania, Executive Director of the Network of European Youth Capitals

Andras Farkas has a background in central and local public administration, for-profit and non-governmental sector. He is since July 2014 the executive director of the Network of European Youth Capitals.  Mr Farkas was the Executive Director of Cluj-Napoca 2015 European Youth Capital until June 2014. Mr Farkas is the founder and expert of the PONT Group, a Cluj-Napoca based young expert group. He and his organization coordinated the creation of the concept and candidacy for Cluj-Napoca 2015 European Youth Capital, title earned during 2012.

Ms Hanna UGRON, Romania, Expert of the PONT Group, Cluj-Napoca based youth group

Hanna Ugron is a young youth policy and cultural expert from Romania, with over eight years of experience in  cultural event management, youth policies and civil society development. Since 2010 she is actively involved in Cluj-Napoca’s candidacy for the European Cultural Capital title in 2021 and the European Youth Capital title in 2015 and was one of the writers of the city’s application documentation for the latter, which met a great success, when the city was announced to receive the title on the 24th of November, 2012.  Ms Ugron is currently an expert of the PONT Group, a Cluj-Napoca based young expert group.



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

Mr Misraim HERNÁNDEZ FERNÁNDEZ, Mexico, Deputy Director of Herfer Political Consulting and Director of Citizen Participation A. C.

Misraim holds a Bachelor of Political Science and has a strong intellectual commitment to interpret, explain and critique the structures, procedures, behavior and political processes. He has the ability to link theory with practice and the expertise to design and implement policies and communication strategies as well as to understand the power relations and the various implications of the same formation. He has expertise of political advise at the various levels of government: President of the Republic, State Government Departments, Mayors, Trustee and town councilors. Misraim is active in civil society throughout the analysis and/or direct participation in NGOs, trade unions, political parties, social movements, civil associations and others.

Mr Dragan ŠLJIVIĆ, Serbia, PhD student at the University of Erfurt, Germany

Dragan Šljivić is a PhD student at the University of Erfurt, Germany. He was international secretary of the youth branch of the political party in Serbia and was working in the Serbian Ministry of Youth and Sports. His main interests are relationship between the democracy and cultural heritage in Eastern Europe, role of the youth political engagement within the political parties and institutional framework for supporting youth excellence. Currently working on PhD thesis about relationship between the Orthodox Church and democracy.


Mr Israël MENSAH, Benin, Member of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe, Catholic International Education Office 

Israël Mensah holds a PhD in Catholic Theology, majoring in political morality, from the University of Strasbourg. He also holds a degree in philosophy from Sorbonne, Paris IV. He is the former Vice-President of the Commission for Democracy, Social Cohesion and Global Challenges of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe. He is representative of the Conference of INGOs in the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe, and member of the Executive Council of the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe. Israël Mensah is also Deputy Permanent Representative of the International Office of Catholic Education to the Council of Europe and President and Founder of "Memories of Africa for Intercultural Dialogue".


Mr Guillaume DELOIZON