10 November 2017 - 10.30-12.30 / Council of Europe Hemicycle

Interpretation: FR/EN/RU

Reporting and Democracy Innovation Award

The Council of Europe’s Democracy Innovation Award is given each year to the World Forum for Democracy’s most popular initiative, which was presented in the labs, voted upon by the Forum participants.

World Forum for Democracy 2017: Plenary Session 4 and Closing session

EN / FR / RU

Council of Europe Hemicycle 10 November 2017 - 9.00-12.30
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BECHLER Rosemary

Rosemary BECHLER

Writer, journalist, and editor of OpenDemocracy

United Kingdom

In 2000, Rosemary Bechler, co-founded and chaired Peaceworkers UK, later absorbed into International Alert, while helping to pilot an innovative online global discussion forum, openDemocracy, in which she became European, then International Editor. In 2006 Counterpoint, the internal think-tank of the British Council commissioned her to write Unbounded Freedom: a guide to creative commons thinking for cultural organisations. She edited The Convention on Modern Liberty: The British debate on fundamental rights and freedoms (Imprint Academic 2010) in the year in which she became Editor of openDemocracy. She has a Cambridge doctorate on eighteenth century literature.



Assistant professor in Comparative Politics, The University of Nottingham


Fernando Casal Bértoa is an Assistant Professor in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham (United Kingdom). He is member of the OSCE/ODIHR “Core Group of Political Party Experts”. He is also Co-chair of the Council for European Studies’ Research Network on “Political Parties, Party Systems and Elections” as well as Research theme director at the Nottingham Interdisciplinary Centre for Economic and Political Research. His work has been published in European Journal of Political Research, Sociological Methods and Research, West European Politics, Party Politics, Democratization, European Constitutional Law Review, among others. Currently he is co-writing a book for OUP titled Party System Closure: Alliances and Innovations in Europe between 1848 and 2016".

DU TOIT Andries

Andries DU TOIT

Director of the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)

Andries du Toit has a PhD in Comparative Studies from the University of Essex. His training is in political theory and in qualitative and anthropological approaches to social science research. He has done extensive research on the political economy of structural poverty and racialised inequality in a range of contexts in South Africa: his publications include work on the social relations of labour on commercial fruit and wine farms in the Western Cape, on chronic and structural poverty in the rural and urban Western Cape and in the Eastern Cape, and on the dynamics of marginalised livelihoods and informal social protection in the migrant networks of the Eastern and Western Cape.



Director General for Democracy, Council of Europe

Snežana Samardžić-Marković is since 2012 Director General of Democracy at the Council of Europe, in charge of the Organisation’s action promoting democratic innovation, governance, participation and diversity. Her responsibilities include the policy areas of education and youth, local democracy, cultural policies, election assistance, the protection of human dignity, gender equality, children’s rights, and the rights of minorities, societal defences against discrimination, democratic citizenship, social cohesion, intercultural dialogue and democratic responses to crisis situations. Previously, Snežana has held numerous positions in the Serbian Government including as Deputy Director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Neighbouring Countries; Assistant Minister of Defence (2005-2007) and Co-President of the Serbia-NATO Defence Reform Group; member of the Foundation Board of WADA, Minister of Youth and Sports (2007-2012) and President of the Fund for Young Talents.


Chair of the Joint Council on Youth and the Advisory Council on Youth

Marko chairs the Advisory Council on Youth, coordinating the work of 30 youth representatives in the field of youth policy, youth and human rights, participation, peace building and global cooperation. His earlier work for the Advisory Council was focused on the education issues as well as cooperation between the Council of Europe and the Russian Federation.  Marko joined the Advisory Council as former president of European Students' Forum / AEGEE-Europe, representing voice of students towards the main European and international institutions. His experience is based on development of policies and lobbying for student rights, particularly in the field of active citizenship, youth participation, human rights and education with a focus on non-formal education.
Democracy Award

The Democracy Award will be presented by

JAGLAND Thorbjørn

Thorbjørn JAGLAND

Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Thorbjørn Jagland is the 13th Secretary General of the Council of Europe. Mr. Jagland was elected in September 2009.  In June 2014, he was re-elected, and his second term in office commenced on October 1, 2014. The former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Norway, Thorbjørn Jagland, was also the President of the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) and the leader of the Norwegian Labour Party. He is a member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
art event

The duo Manushan, Iran

The song of the forbidden and the exile.