Sponsored by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

8 November 2016 -10.00/12.00 - palais de l'Europe - Room 3 - Interpretation: FR/EN

The lab will explore the benefits and challenges of experiential learning about representative democracy and its institutions.

initiative 1

On-site experience with political processes, democracy & the rule of law, ProDemos - House for Democracy and the Rule of Law, Netherlands

In the Netherlands ProDemos successfully reaches many young people with programs suited to all levels of education and on location. In 2015, more than 83.000 pupils experienced the program in The Hague, which includes a visit to the House of Representatives. Next to that, more than 30.000 pupils were reached at their own schools, at the own municipality, at a court or at another on-site location. We like to share our experiences, to allow more young European citizens to gain on-site experience with the political process, democracy and the rule of law.





Project Manager, Education Department of ProDemos


Ms drs. Lilian Leeuwenburgh-Stolwijk MA from the Netherlands works as a project manager for the Education Department of ProDemos – House for Democracy and the Rule of Law. In her work she focuses on Intermediate Vocational Education and the way ProDemos can support teachers in citizenship education. Mrs. Leeuwenburgh studied Public Administration, but never visited the House of Parliament in the Hague until she started working for a predecessor of ProDemos in 2004. Since then she has dedicated her contribution to ProDemos to enabling more pupils to visit the Hague and experience one of the interactive programs or have a similar experience at location, e.g. at school or municipality.

initiative 2

Parliamentary Education Centre, Houses of Parliament – Education Service, United Kingdom

In 2015 Parliament opened a new, world-class Education Centre, with the aim of transforming young people’s democratic engagement. The centre will enable one million school children aged 5-18 to visit Parliament over the next decade and is centred around three core messages: Parliament is relevant ; Parliament is yours ; Parliament is evolving.  The centre brings Parliament and democracy to life through its innovative design, presentation and use of technology. Visits are free for all schools and a Transport Subsidy is available to support the costs of school travelling from further afield. Innovative technology is at the heart of the new Education Centre and plays a key role in its vision to make democracy education accessible and inclusive for all young people. The Centre provides a wholly unique learning experience.




Education Manager, Parliament’s Education Service

United Kingdom

Dan creates new learning experiences for the 100,000 school children that visit Parliament each year. Alongside developing workshops & working with visiting students in the new state-of-the-art parliamentary education centre, Dan was recently the learning consultant on the development of a 360° film, The Story of Parliament. A Teach First ambassador, Dan taught English at a school serving a low socio-economic community. Selected to attend the 2013 Global Teach Summit in Delhi, Dan collaborated with educators from across the globe to consider solutions to the barriers to learning that young people are facing nationally and internationally. Dan is committed to ensuring that young people understand their parliament, consider it relevant to their lives and take ownership of it.


Discussants are invited to take part in the Labs in order to share their experience with the presented democratic initiatives and try to bring broader perspectives to the following discussions.



Convenor of Democracy Matters

United Kingdom

Titus Alexander is founder of Democracy Matters, the UK Alliance for Learning Practical Politics, and Fellow of the Bernard Crick Centre for Understanding Politics at Sheffield University. He is a community educator, campaign coach and author of Practical Politics: Lessons in Power and Democracy (Trentham/Institue of Education Press 2016), Learning Power (Campaign for Learning 2007); Family Learning: foundation of effective education (Demos 1997), Citizenship Schools: a practical guide to education for citizenship and personal development (2001) and Unravelling Global Apartheid: An overview of world politics (1996).



President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe


Gudrun is a Member of the Congress of Local and regional Authorities since 2009, Head of the Austrian Delegation since 2010 and she is the first woman to be elected to the presidency of the Congress, in October 2016. Before that she was President of the Congress' Chamber of Regions (2014-2016). From 2010 to 2012 she was Vice President of the Monitoring Committee and from 2012 to 2104 she was the head of the Socialist group in the Congress.  Since 1999 Gudrun Mosler-Törnström has been a member of the regional Parliament in Salzburg, Austria and since 2004 she has been Vice-President of the regional Parliament. From 2009 to 2013 she was municipal councillor in Puch, Salzburg, Austria. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Stockholm. She speaks German, Swedish and English.

KIEFER Andreas

Andreas KIEFER

Secretary General of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe


Andreas Kiefer was elected Secretary General of the Congress in 2010 and was re-elected in March 2015 for another 5-year mandate. He holds a doctorate of Law and finished a post-graduate university programme “General Management with a focus on public management”. A. Kiefer worked as Head of the Private Office of Land Salzburg’s President, was Director of the European Affairs Service of Land Salzburg and served as Secretary General of the Conference of Presidents of Regions with Legislative Powers (REGLEG). He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Institute for Studies on Federalism and Regionalism of the EURAC Bolzano/Bozen and the board of the Salzburg Institute for Education and has published articles about local and regional democracy issues.

Lab 4 - Unlocking parliament
palais de l'Europe - Room 3 8 November 2016 -10.00/12.00
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Themes 2016