29 November from 9.30 to 11.30 - Room 8 - Palais de l'Europe

Interpretation: FR/EN/RU


Sponsored by the INGO Conference of the Council of Europe


Internet enables people, in particular the young, to express their social and political views and aspirations by various means, including through art and games, and receive feedback by the wider community. Do these forms of expression have a real impact on public opinion, political debate and decision-making or are they just an outlet for the emotions of a frustrated youth?

Tunisie4.0, Nesselfen, Tunisia

The association is participating in the debate about the future of Tunisia by producing documentaries and docu-fiction films which present different scenarios of Tunisian society's evolution along four main axes: Islam (radical vs. moderate), technology – freedom of expression on the internet vs. police state (one of the films features the new Tunisian pirate party), democracy and geopolitics. So far 40 documentaries and 20 docu-fiction films have been produced. In the runup to the (hypothetical) elections of 23 October, the association is inviting young people to film their vision of democracy in Tunisia and encourage them by offering a price of 2500€ for the film that will gain the most votes. They are using Facebook and other social media, as well as traditional media to reach out to people. There are about 2500 visitors per day on the website.

Website: http://www.tunisie4.org/

Video: http://player.vimeo.com/video/68917975


Ms Syhem BELKHODJA, Tunisia, Artist Choreographer

Syhem Belkhodja is choreographer and director of a variety of art festivals such as the Tunis Capital of Dance, the International Film Festival documentary "Doc à Tunis" Fashion & Design Carthage, Al-Kalimat (words marathon) and festivals by the School of Arts and Cinema and the Mediterranean Centre for contemporary dance. Syhem Belkhodja is driven by the desire to promote the development of Tunisia in different artistic fields, linking artistic and educational dimensions in its approach and involving outreach and training.


Mr Tarak TABKA, Tunisia, Co-founder of Ness El Fen

Tarak Tabka is an electronic engineer and one of the founders of the Ness El Fen Association in 2001. He is technically responsible for all activities of the association such as Dance, Theater, Tour, Video, Festival, and many more. 


Lenguas Jovenes (Languages of Youth), Puerta Joven, Mexico

Lenguas Jóvenes (Languages of Youth) is a project that fosters youth cultural expressions through mobile phones for intercultural dialogue. Puerta Joven, a youth-led organization, visits schools and community centres with young professional filmmakers to teach the use of arts and new technologies as a way to promote cultural interaction and appreciation of cultural diversity. The young filmmaker teaches the beneficiaries, aged twelve to twenty years old, how to use creative tools found in mobile phones (photo, audio and video) to develop short films. Young people from different cultural identities cooperate with each other to generate shared cultural expressions and express their ideas about youth engagement, cultural diversity and peace. The project serves urban communities where indigenous youth groups have migrated and are being discriminated because of their cultural identity or the use of an indigenous language.

Website: http://www.puertajoven.org/web/lenguas-jovenes/


Mr Aldo ARCE, Mexico, Founder of Puerta Joven

Aldo Arce is the Founder of Puerta Joven, Youth, Technology and Culture for Development. Being a college student on Communications, Aldo suffered misunderstanding and stereotyping. As a Latin American, young entrepreneur, with indigenous roots, in his early 20s, his ability to launch and manage a successful social enterprise was often questioned. Facts have proven him right.  His persistence and passion have granted Puerta Joven the recognition of numerous partners. Puerta Joven not only promotes intercultural dialogue but, it does so by improving access to basic education; preserving young indigenous people's intangible cultural heritage.



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

Mr Ahmed DRISS, Tunisia, Professor of Law at the Faculties of Law and Economic Sciences and Management, Tunis University

Ahmed Driss is Professor of Law at the Faculties of Law and Economic Sciences and Management at Tunis University since 1998. Since 2000, he has been a member of the Governing Council of the Académie internationale de droit constitutionnel of Tunisia and, since 2005, President-Director of the Centre for Mediterranean and International Studies (CEMI) in Tunis. Since 2012, he is the Director of the Tunisian School of Politics which forms part of the network of 19 Schools of Political Studies under the auspices of the Council of Europe.


Mr Michal MLCOUSEK, Slovakia, Executive Producer at Time for Words

Michal Mlcousek is Executive Producer at TIME FOR WORDS, which focuses on film and video production for global NGOs. He worked as Foreign Affairs Secretary for the teachers' union in Slovakia and Policy Coordinator for the European region of EI.  Michal studied at Pearson College (UWC), York University and Dominican University College. His documentary film Revolution of Love was presented at World Youth Day 2002 to a crowd of 500,000 people gathered in Downsview Park in Toronto, Canada. Michal performed co-leads in three musicals, worked as television reporter, official interpreter - among others - for the Dalai Lama, the King of Norway and the Duchess of Norfolk and hosted municipal functions as an MC.

Mr Petre ROMAN, Romania, Former Prime Minister of Romania and Member of the Club de Madrid

Petre Roman was Prime Minister of Romania from 1989-1991. As the first Prime Minister after the Ceaucescu dictatorship, Roman played an important role in the drafting of a new Romanian Constitution and contributed to the achievement of a democratic balance between the powers of the Government branches. From 1993 to 2001, Roman served as the President of the Democratic Party and as the chairman of the Senate from 1997 to 2001. In 1993 he was chosen to be special Rapporteur to the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO. Roman was Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1999 to 2000 and serves as a senator since 2000. In 2008, Petre Roman was appointed Romanian Government's high representative for the Romanians living abroad.

Ms Patrycja SASNAL, Poland, Head of the Middle East and North Africa Project, Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM)

Patrycja Sasnal is the head of the Middle East and North Africa Project at the Polish Institute of International Affairs. In 2010, she was a visiting Fulbright scholar at Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. She coordinated the 2012 "Y2Y Youth-to-Youth in Diplomacy" project for young Egyptian, Tunisian and Algerian professionals on sharing experience in transition. She lectured at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland where she holds MA in International Relations and MA in Arabic Language and Culture.

Rapporteur to the plenary session

Mr Engin SOYSAL, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the Council of Europe
Mr Engin Soysal is a graduate of the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences of Marmara University in Istanbul, the College of Europe in Bruges and the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (promotion "Saint Exupery"). After a first position as a Research Assistant at Marmara University in 1983, he made his career in diplomacy. He was assigned to the Turkish Embassy in Paris, where he was First Secretary and Counsellor from 1992 to 1997. He performed the responsibilities of Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of Turkey to the United Nations in New York from 1999 to 2000. Mr Engin Soysal was assigned to the Turkish Embassy in Washington as Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission from 2003 to 2007. He was appointed Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan from 2007 to 2009. Mr Soysal was appointed Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Turkey to the Council of Europe in 2011.


Mr Roberto OLLA, Executive Director, Eurimages, Council of Europe



Your opinion

Does/Do the following initiative(s) increase significantly citizens' influence in the policy-making process and/or make democratic institutions more transparent, responsive and accountable? 

For the Tunisie4.0 initiative:
% Votes
66% 57
a. Yes
34% 29
b. No

Total Votes: 86

Voting is disabled because this poll expired on 29/11/13 12:00.

For the Lenguas Jovenes initiative:
% Votes
72% 58
a. Yes
28% 23
b. No

Total Votes: 81

Voting is disabled because this poll expired on 29/11/13 12:00.