Sponsored by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)

7 November 2019 - 11.30-13.00 - ROOM 3 - Interpretation: FR/EN/RU

In order to vote, citizens ought to be informed. It is essential to look at how some initiatives work at providing impartial information to voters on “current” topics during elections. Do we need additional tools against misinformation and disinformation in the voting process? Is there such a thing as an impartial information? If we were to be better informed, would that change the outcome of the vote?

initiative 1

#ChooseRespect, Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA), Belgium

#ChooseRespect is a project which aims to provide two resources to European voters:

  • impartial, empirical information about migration in Europe;
  • advice on how to build more positive and constructive narratives about migration.

The goal is to help European citizens to counter the fear-mongering and misinformation about migration which forms so much of current political discourse. Via our “myth-buster” page, people can get better informed regarding commonly-held ideas about migrants and refugees and share this information with others. Our “positive narrative toolkit” then offers simple advice about how to counter these myths in conversations with others, with an emphasis on dialogue as opposed to debate. This two-pronged approach is targeted mainly towards social media, where misinformation spreads easily and civility is often limited.


LENG Martin

Martin LENG

Communications Coordinator, Quaker Council for European Affairs


Martin Leng is the Communications Coordinator for the Quaker Council for European Affairs, which advocates for peace and human rights in Europe and its institutions. He led the development and implementation of the #ChooseRespect project, which aims to promote more positive, constructive conversations about migration among European voters. Martin is passionate about building a more ethical politics and has worked on peace and human rights issues in Brussels for the past five years.

initiative 2

Well-Informed Vote, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Populism rises often thrives with irresponsible promises and in places where the public is being ill-informed about their consequences. To make voting well-informed, it is suggested to characterize choice options by particular issues which are put to vote separately, and, summarizing public attitudes to the issues, make the public decision. This principle of `decomposing’ choice options into particular characteristics is implemented in an alternative voting method which is tested and improved in three experimental elections to the Student Parliament of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. The analysis of outcomes shows a significant gain in the representative capability of the Student Parliament and the voters’ satisfaction.


TANGIAN Andranik

Andranik TANGIAN

Professor of ECON Institute 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 250 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.



Programme Specialist in the Division for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, Communication and Information (CI) Sector, UNESCO

Andrea works at UNESCO headquarters in Paris on coordinating (inter alia) activities on assistance to media during elections. In previous assignments with UNESCO he has been responsible of the CI programme in sub-regional offices for North-East Asia (in Beijing - 2011-14), the Maghreb (in Rabat - 2015-18), as well as in the UNESCO office in Afghanistan (2003-2004). Always dealing with media development and the promotion of freedom of expression, he undertook shorter missions to the Middle-East, Central Asia, as well as in Central and East African countries; and worked for the specialized NGO International Media Support. In the past, he worked as investigative journalist and current-affairs documentary maker in his country of origin (Italy).



Media expert and Executive Director of CSO “Ukrainian Media and Communications Institute”


Diana Dutsyk is executive director of CSO “Ukrainian Media and Communication Institute”, lecturer at Kyiv Mogyla School of Journalism (course “Text in multimedia age”), Ph. D. in Phylology. More than 20 years in journalism at different positions: at regional and central media, chief editor of a line of printed and on-line media (“Glavred-media” holding, web-site “PiK”, newspaper “Bez tsenzury”). Analyst in the monitoring of the media coverage of the 2019 presidential and parliamentary campaigns in Ukraine that were implemented by the coalition of the Civil Society Organisations consisting of "The Commission on Journalism Ethics", "Human Rights Platform", "Ukrainian Media and Communications Institute" and "StopFake" with the support of the Council of Europe projects.



Media & election expert, MEMO 98

Slovak Republic

Mr. Rasťo Kužel is a media & election expert with over 21 years of international experience. Since 1998, he has been at MEMO 98, a proficient media monitoring organization with extensive experience of delivering media monitoring on behalf of international institutions as well as technical assistance to civil-society groups, the media and regulatory bodies. Rasťo has worked as media and election analyst, consultant, and trainer, participating in a number of election observation missions and projects. For the last 5 years, Rasťo has focused intensively on the issue of disinformation in the context of elections, conducting a research on the impact of different types of narratives in the former Soviet Union countries and beyond. More recently, he has also focused on the role of social media during elections and ways to tackle their negative impact on elections processes as well as ways how to monitor these trends in the context of international observation of elections. He co-authored a White Paper on Social Media, Disinformation and Electoral Integrity to guide International Foundation for Electoral Systems in this area.



Media expert and co-founder of NGO “StopFake"


Olga Yurkova is a journalist and cofounder of StopFake, an independent Ukrainian organization that trains an international cohort of fact-checkers in an effort to curb propaganda and disinformation in the media. She teaches different audiences how [prooaganda works and how to identify fake news, consulting a range of organizations and public structures. She has 15 years in journalism. Yurkova has been working as a media trainer since 2012. For fighting propaganda, she was included in the list of New Europe 100 and was named a TED Fellow in 2018. Her TED Talk was watched more than 1 million times.



Member of the Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe


LOISEAU Guillaume

Guillaume LOISEAU

Project and Research Officer, Division of Electoral Assistance, Council of Europe

LAB 5 - Voting Under the Influence
Palais de l'Europe, ROOM 3 7 November 2019 - 11.30-13.00
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