4 November 2014 (14.00-16.00) - Room 5 – Palais de l’Europe, Interpretation: FR/EN


Are youth parliaments an effective tool to increase the participation and impact of young people in decision-making or do they only create an appearance of inclusiveness while politicians fail to act upon young people’s ideas?

UK Youth Parliament, House of Commons, United Kingdom

The House of Commons’ Public Engagement and Learning team, together with the British Youth Council, have succeeded in making the annual sitting of the UK Youth Parliament in the House of Commons chamber into a year-round series of activities with the key aim of galvanising mass youth participation in political decision making. Following the UKYP chamber debate the MYPs vote on five topics which then become their campaign for the forthcoming year. Since 2012, the selected topic becomes the focus of a Youth Select Committee enquiry – where witnesses give oral evidence and a report is produced, to which the Government responds.


Mr Michael HOPE, United Kingdom, Chair, British Youth Council/UK Youth Parliament, Youth Select Committee

As the Chair of the British Youth Council’s Youth Select Committee, Michael has had an extensive role engaging with young people and tackling the issue of youth political engagement. Michael represents Scotland in the Committee, and has worked with the remaining members of the Committee from across the UK in retrieving written and oral evidence from youth groups, academics and members of the UK Parliament, among others, in order to gain the broadest range of evidence regarding young people and politics. He is currently studying history at university, and has played an extensive role in Better Together – the campaign to keep Scotland within the United Kingdom. In addition to this, his role as an Ambassador for Model Westminster and the Holocaust Educational Trust, as well as his former duties when at secondary school, mean Michael is experienced in presenting an argument for a case, and seeks to work together to solve issues.

Ms Aileen WALKER, United Kingdom, Director of Public Engagement at the House of Commons

Having worked at Parliament for over 30 years in a variety of roles, Aileen is currently Director of Public Engagement at the House of Commons. She is responsible for Parliament’s Education Service, Visitor Services, and an innovative Public Engagement and Learning team. In recent years she has overseen a significant expansion in education services, the establishment of the parliamentary outreach service, and the development of new public engagement initiatives such as Parliament Week and TEDxHousesofParliament. She is a council member of the Hansard Society, a not-for-profit organization that works to promote and strengthen democracy in the UK and abroad.


Youth Parliament Indonesia, Indonesian Future Leaders

Youth Parliament Indonesia is a program under Indonesian Future Leaders, a youth-led foundation aiming to empower youth of Indonesia. Youth Parliament Indonesia aims to increase youth participation in policy-making process and democracy in general. We reintroduce the concept of ‘parliament’ as well as ‘politics’ in the bigger picture to young Indonesians (15-24 years old) through a series of activities: workshop in 11 cities, online campaign and voting, regional consultations, national youth assembly, as well as audience with ministerial institutions. So far, we have engaged over 1.750 youth in the roadshow, more than 1.400 participants of regional consultation in 34 provinces, 889 applicants for youth parliament member election, as well as outreach through social as well as mainstream media.


Mr Niwa DWITAMA, Indonesia, Associate Director of Youth Parliament of Indonesia

Niwa is Associate Director of Youth Parliament of Indonesia, aiming to re-introduce the concept of parliament to young people. In this capacity, he took the lead in designing the General Assembly of 34 youth parliament members representing their respective provinces, as well as the advocacy pillar of the movement. Graduated as valedictorian from University of Indonesia, majoring in international relations, Niwa directly joined a public policy research institute named Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International. He is involved in socio-economic policy researches on agonizing social policy topics including gender-based violence and child abuse as well as health worker’s absenteeism. Niwa`s research interest lies upon the issue spanning from human rights, democratic governance and public policy that relates to improving human`s condition.


Ms Andhyta Firselly UTAMI, Indonesia, Program Director of Youth Parliament Indonesia

As the Program Director of Youth Parliament Indonesia, Andhyta leads an organic team based in Jakarta and other parts of the country in order to increase nation-wide youth participation in democracy as well as policy-making process. Graduated with International Relations background from Universitas Indonesia, she has strong interest in politics and public sector. She is also a full-time research analyst for the World Resources Institute, focusing on the policies and enabling condition for good governance in Indonesian forestry and land use. She was previously part of the Open Government Indonesia under President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight for Indonesia. She represented Indonesia as Head of State to Y20 Russia in 2013 and writes in her free time.



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

Mr João Bosco MOTA AMARAL, Portugal, Member of Parliament and Member of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

João Bosco Mota Amaral was first elected to the Parliament of Portugal in 1969. After the democratic Revolution of 1974, he was one of the founding members of the PSD (Social Democratic Party). He was elected to the Constitutional Assembly in 1975 and performed a leading role in the introduction of self-government to the portuguese atlantic islands of Azores and Madeira. He has always been re-elected to the Assembleia da República, the unicameral Parliament of Portugal, since 1976, to which he is now the most senior member. João Bosco Mota Amaral was speaker of the Parliament of Portugal from 2002 to 2005. He is member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since 1996 (except when he suspended his participation during his term as speaker of the Parliament of Portugal).

Ms Iulia MOTOC, Romania, Judge at the European Court for Human Rights and Professor at the University of Bucharest

Iulia Motoc is Judge at the European Court for Human Rights and Professor at the University of Bucharest.  She was judge  at the Constitutional Court of Romania (2010-2013) and  the Vice-Chair of the UN Human Rights Committee. Before taking her position at the Constitutional Court, she worked with the United Nations, as Special Rapporteurfor Human Rights and Genetics, Special Rapporteur for the Human Rights Situation in the DRC, and President of several Working Groups and Subcommissions. She has taught at the European Institute in Florence, the New York University Law School, and the Saint Thomas University in Miami. She has published extensively in the fields of international law and international human rights law.

Mr Robin REDA, France, Mayor of Juvisy-sur-Orge

Robin Reda is the mayor of Juvisy-sur-Orge (Essonne). He is the president of the Agglomeration community “Les Portes de l’Essonne” with 102.000 inhabitants, and vice-president of the Greater Orly Association. Robin Reda graduated in Public Affairs and Local Authorities from Sciences Po Paris.


Ms Verena TAYLOR, Director of the Office of the Directorate General of Programmes, Council of Europe

Verena holds a PhD in political science and, after working with civil society/NGOs in Vienna and London, joined the Council of Europe in 1989 when the Organisation expanded rapidly, both with regard to member States and to new standards. She is responsible for the programming, resource mobilisation and decentralised implementation of/for Council of Europe cooperation and technical assistance.  She strongly believes that the Organisation’s standards and policies on human rights, the rule of law and participation are as relevant today as they were when the Council of Europe was founded in 1949.


Mr Laurent SALLES