4 November 2014 (14.00-16.00) - Room 1 – Palais de l’Europe, Interpretation: FR/EN/RU/DE - Sponsored by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe


The Young Mayor is an institutionalized part of local decision-making. How can his/her impact be increased and what are the challenges to mainstreaming this approach? 

Lewisham Young Mayor Programme, London Borough of Lewisham, United Kingdom

Lewisham Young Mayor is part of the constitution of the London Borough of Lewisham in London, UK. The initiative was set up in 2004 to encourage young people in the borough to be involved in decision making and local politics. A young person is elected every year to represent their peers; they have a budget of £30,000 and take part in civic duties, school visits and projects, consultations, supporting community groups and campaigns. The elected Young Mayor and Deputy work with as group of young advisors and with politicians, officers and others in the community to try and address the needs and interests of young people in the borough.


Mr Jacob SAKIL, United Kingdom, Former Young Mayor of Lewisham

Jacob always had opinions and a lot to say for himself, but he became more involved in his community and with politics when he was elected as Lewisham Young Mayor in 2009 at the age of 15.  He worked with young people, politicians and officers in the borough to influence decisions and make changes. In particular, he was interested in how young people can become involved in starting their own business and what support they need, as well as how important it is for young people to be heard and contribute to their community. He is now running his own small business and continues to mentor, motivate and support other young people. 


Ms Alice SCHWEIGERT, United Kingdom, Campaigner and Member of the Young Mayor Team

Alice has been a campaigner for 6 years. This was brought on by her passion for young people, the community and the involvement that she have had within it, helping create a national campaign called Young Citizens and to continue campaigns such as the Living Wage campaign, City Safe Haven and most recently the 10,000 hands campaign. Over the years she continues to be a mentor, founder and leader as well as having a voice in the Young Mayors team having been elected a UK Youth Parliament Representative for Lewisham in 2012/13. She also studies 5 A-levels which include Psychology, Philosophy and Ethics, Art, German and Drama and Theatre studies and works alongside different organisations that focus on developing young people and their talents.


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

Mr Mohammed ALSAUD, Syria, Civil Society Activist

Mohammed studied management, sociology and global politics. Has been working for the last 6 years for more freedom in the Middle East and North Africa, mainly in terms of strategic planning and consultancy in media, campaigning, community organizing and launching community initiatives in Syria, Jordan and Tunisia. Lately was working as head of campaigning at the National Coalition of the Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces in Turkey. Mohammed is now establishing the Syrian Democracy Hub aiming to support development of a democratic culture and practices among young leaders and to prepare them for a less violent transitional period.

Ms Nataliia PILIUS, Russian Federation, Rapporteur on Youth Participation at the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

Nataliia Pilius was in 2005 and 2009 elected to the assembly of deputies of the Shchekino district, Russian Federation, with 107.000 inhabitants. The main priorities of her work are strategic planning, budgeting, education and youth policy. On the initiative of Nataliia Pilius, the Shchekino district is since 2007 continously organising the European Local Democracy Week. Since 2009, she is also working for the Youth Council. 

Mr Michael SALOMO, Germany, Mayor of Hassmersheim

Michael Salomo was elected mayor of the German town Haßmersheim in 2013. At the age of 25 he is Germany’s youngest full-time mayor. He previously worked as a customs officer and has trained as a paramedic. He has been politically active as member of the social democratic party of Germany for 10 years and engaged since 2005 as a member of the union in various capacities for the interests of his colleagues.


Mr Jean-Philippe BOZOULS, Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Local Authorities, Council of Europe

Jean-Philippe Bozouls is the Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress of the Council of Europe. He is the head of a secretariat whose main mission is to facilitate the work of elected officials in Congress. He is also the Head of Department of Statutory Activities of the Congress which includes the Table Office (Office Sessions of Congress), Congressional committees (including the monitoring of the European Charter of Local Self-Government) and the Observation of local and regional elections.


Mr Matthieu CHIARA