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 8 - Interpretation: FR/EN

The lab will explore educational initiatives to ensure more informed voter choices and their implications for voting systems in general.

initiative 1

Learn before you vote, House of Europe, Lithuania

Learn Before You Vote (Lt.: Žinau, ką renku) is a Lithuanian watchdogging initiative aiming to foster a dialogue between politicians and citizens (especially young ones) as well as promote the interest and participation of the latter in politics. The initiative aims to encourage Lithuanian citizens to vote not just with regard to politicians’ appearances, populist statements or any other irrelevant information, but consciously, upon taking into consideration electoral programs and promises given by the candidates, electoral debates, etc. as well as to raise direct accountability of politicians to their voters by publicizing how they fulfill their pre-election promises and programs as well as organizing public discussions with the elected representatives.  Most of the initiative‘s group members are school or university students from various Lithuanian cities and towns.




Project coordinator, House of Europe


Aušrinė Diržinskaitė is a Lithuanian student of Political Science in Vilnius University Institute of Political Science and International Relations. For years now, she has been working in the NGO sector, coordinating and implementing projects encouraging civic participation and civic awareness of society, especially young people. Currently she is a coordinator of the Lithuanian watchdogging initiative “Learn before You Vote” (Lt.: Žinau, ką renku) and works at the Lithuanian NGO “Europos namai” (House of Europe).

initiative 2

Turning a political education instrument (Voting Advice Application) in a new election method, Hans-Böckler-Foundation, Germany

Voting advice applications imply an alternative election method. Instead of casting votes for parties, the voters answer questions on policy issues, and the parties, who had answered the questions before the election, are given the parliament seats proportionally to the degree of matching of their policy profiles with that of the electorate. Thereby, the question “for whom to vote” is replaced with “for what to vote.” This method enhances policy representation and bridges representative and direct democracies. We test it within the election of the student parliament of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (22,000 eligible voters) on July 4-8, 2016.




Student at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


Marius is Co-Founder of the initiative “The Third Vote” at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Since 2013 he studies Industrial Engineering (B. Sc.) at the university in Karlsruhe. In 2012 he spent one year in Obidos, Brazil, as a volunteer. Responsible for education courses in music and languages, he worked in a youth centre in a poor part of the town.

DIEMER Antonia

Antonia DIEMER

Co-Founder of the initiative “The Third Vote”


Antonia Diemer is a student of Industrial Engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. She grew up in the United States and went on to attend an international school in Germany. Her profound interest in politics developed during her participation in several Model United Nations conferences in 2010-2014. This multi-cultural background has encouraged her to keep an open mind when considering political issues and her work with “The Third Vote” required her to do just that.

TANGIAN Andranik

Andranik TANGIAN

Head of unit “Policy modeling”, Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI) at the Hans-Böckler-Foundation and Professor of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


Head of unit “Policy modeling” at the Hans-Böckler Foundation, Düsseldorf; since 2009 also professor of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.  Born in Moscow (1952), mathematician (Moscow State University, 1974), Ph.D. and habilitation in mathematics (Moscow, USSR Academy of Sciences, 1979; 1989), “Umhabilitations” in mathematical economics (University of Hagen, 1998) and general economics (University of Karlsruhe, 2008). Author of eight books, including “Mathematical theory of democracy”, Springer, and over 230 articles in mathematical social sciences, artificial intelligence, cognition, and music theory. Composer of music for two theatrical plays and four films. Expert of European Parliament, European Commission, European Training Foundation, UNESCO.


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.



Visiting Research Professor, New York University


Manuel Arriaga is a Visiting Research Professor at New York University and a Fellow of the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Rebooting Democracy: A Citizen's Guide to Reinventing Politics, which has been published in several European countries and has received endorsements from figures as diverse as leading political scientists, award-winning journalists and Hollywood comedian Russell Brand.



Associate Professor of economics and management, Mayor and Vice-President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe


Xavier Cadoret is the Mayor of Saint Gerand le Puy since 1991, Associate Professor of economics and management in higher classes, Member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe since 2010 and Vice-President of the Congress since 2016. Xavier Cadoret holds elective offices since 1989 either at the national level (deputy mayor, mayor, substitute deputy of the National Assembly) or at the European level (Member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities). In his capacity as a member of the Congress Monitoring Committee, he has participated in several election observation missions in Bulgaria, Armenia, Ukraine and Albania.



Co-Founder of GovFaces


Tudor Mihailescu is a Co-Founder at GovFaces and a Doctoral Candidate at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland. Tudor believes the current political communication system is in deep crisis because of an over-reliance on top-down mass broadcasting. That’s why in 2013 he co-founded the digital start-up GovFaces- on a mission to find an efficient way to facilitate two-way conversation at scale between citizens and politicians. In the last three years, Tudor and his colleagues have offered consultancy on digital engagement to various stakeholders at the European Union, the United Nations, but also in Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Before GovFaces, Tudor worked in volunteer management and political awareness campaigns in Romania. Complementing his professional experience, Tudor is currently pursuing doctoral research in speechwriting and foreign policy rhetoric.

BOZOULS Jean-Philippe

Jean-Philippe BOZOULS

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

Before his appointment to the position of Director of the Congress in 2016, Jean-Philippe Bozouls was Head of the Statutory Activities Department of the Congress and Executive Secretary of its Chamber of Local Authorities. Before joining the Congress Secretariat in 2005, he worked as Acting Director of Communication and Research of the Council of Europe and earlier as Special Advisor to Catherine Lalumière, Secretary General of the Council of Europe (1989-1994).

Lab 7 - Reloading Elections
palais de l'Europe - Room 8 8 November 2016 -10.00/12.00
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Themes 2016