Peter Vanhoutte is a former Member of the Belgian Parliament with over 10 years experience in South-East Europe. He has served as a Parliamentary Empowerment Expert in Kosovo, Georgia, Indonesia, Nepal, Surinam, Guyana, Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, BiH and Macedonia. He developed an innovative interactive learning approach for parliamentary staff and MPs with the aim to strengthen legislative drafting, oversight and outreach capacities. As a result of his expertise, he has been seconded to the OCSE in various positions: Special Envoy in the north of Kosovo to the Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Special Political Adviser to the Kosovo-Serb political parties and community, Special Adviser to the President of the Assembly of Kosovo and Senior Adviser external and parliamentary oversight on police and security/intelligence services in Serbia. From 2008 on, he worked as parliamentary empowerment expert on the implementation of security sector reform programs and security sector oversight for the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF). In 2008 – 2009, he supported in Nepal the development of a political dialogue in a post-conflict environment. In 2010 the State University of New York/Centre for International Development invited him to support a capacity building program in the National Assembly of Serbia, focusing on internal and external communication and budget oversight as well as a parliamentary capacity building program in BiH and Bangladesh. In 2013 he was appointed Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic and Participatory Governance, a Brussels based organization. From mid 2013 on, he started working as mediator in Skopje for the EU Commission. In September 2014, he joined the UN Standby mediation team as international mediator.
Peter Vanhoutte also maintains a keen interest in ICT and media issues. He served as an independent journalist and editor in Belgium for nearly twenty years, and was responsible for the launch and restyling of several low and high end ICT-magazines. In his free time he is active as novelist (‘The key of the Parliament – De sleutel van het parlement, 2010) and poet (‘trial and error’, – Vallen en opstaan, 2012).