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Meeting between the President of the Congress and the President of the Conference of INGOs STRASBOURG3 APRIL 2019

Meeting between the President of the Congress and the President of the Conference of INGOs

On the 3rd April, the President of the Conference of INGOs met with the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.

During this first bilateral meeting, Anna Rurka stressed the importance and interest of the Conference of INGOs to reinforce its interactions with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. She informed the President on the INGOs decision to hold the Conference of INGOs autumn session in parallel of the Congress session, in order to foster interactions and common debate.

The Conference of INGOs and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is working together on the updating of the Code of good practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-Making Process. The draft of the amended Code should be presented for adoption by the Congress and the Conference of INGOs during their reciprocal sessions in autumn.

The President of the Congress underlined the importace of the NGOs contribution to the work of the Congress in the Member States of the Council of Europe. Both highlighted interdependence between the participation of the NGOs in the decision-making process at the local, national and intergovernmental levels and the importance for the Council of Europe to continually focus its attention on the enabling environment for civil society organizations.


The future of the Council of Europe: Civil Society’s commitment

The future of the Council of Europe: Civil Society’s commitment


At its plenary session on 12 April 2019, the Conference of INGOs adopted Resolution CONF/PLE(2019)RES1 on the future of the Council of Europe and Civil Society’s commitment.

Whilst affirming that the future of the Council of Europe as a pan-European standard-setting, monitoring and co-operating intergovernmental Organisation is of great concern to its members, it called for a stronger Council of Europe with greater impact of its conventions and treaties.

The Conference of INGOs emphasised the continued need to safeguard and achieve genuine democracy and strengthen public trust in democratic institutions by supporting meaningful participation in the democratic decision-making process, which can empower citizens and NGOs and help young people to be confident in a common European future. It also underlined that reinforced interaction with civil society through a space for substantial, formal, honest and open debates on the strategic orientations of the Organization represents a real opportunity and strength for the Council of Europe.

Priorities of the French Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (17 May – 27 November 2019)

 The French Presidency will be marked by the official celebration of the Council of Europe's 70th  anniversary in Strasbourg, on the margins of the Parliamentary Assembly October part-Session, as well as the taking of office of a new Secretary General.

France will ensure that the Organisation’s cohesion is maintained . With its 47 member States, the Council of Europe forms the main platform for dialogue and co-operation on the scale of the European continent and has contributed to the creation of a shared legal space. Confronted with the rise of populism and extremism, we must gather around common values, build on the foundation of the European Convention on Human Rights and uphold the authority of the Court that guarantees compliance with the Convention.

The French Presidency will work in a spirit of trust and dialogue with the Parliamentary Assembly to overcome the difficulties of the last few years and boost the capacity of those two bodies to act jointly in

crisis situations, within the framework of the principles that guide our Organisation.

France wishes to use the opportunity afforded by its Presidency to help build the Council of Europe of tomorrow. This means consolidating the achievements of the past 70 years and responding to new

challenges linked to the development of technologies and of societies.

The Council of Europe has always demonstrated its ability to innovate and anticipate, devising new instruments to protect rights and freedoms. It must continue in this pioneering role for the benefit of our

continent's 830 million inhabitants. This also presupposes that the Organisation's financial sustainability is guaranteed.

With all this in mind, France has selected three priorities for its Presidency: 1) preserving and consolidating the European system of human rights protection, 2) promoting equality and  living together,

3) meeting the new challenges facing human rights and the rule of law.

Read the complete text CM/Inf(2019)1710/05/2019 in attachment

"We have many reasons to be proud of the achievements made by the Conference of INGOs for more than 40 years. These successes and experiences give us the strength and motivation to continue bringing the voice of national and international civil society and to represent it in the Council of Europe. This cannot be achieved without the Council of Europe Civil Society Division and people devoted to reinforcing the presence of INGOs in the Council of Europe"

Read the full text on attachment.



A Statement of INGOs on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the creation of the Council of Europe 

The Council of Europe is a more indispensable institution today than ever. It has still much to provide to the European continent. May it find, with all its stakeholders, especially civil society, the ways to make an effective renewal for a defense and greater promotion of Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law! 

Text based on the contributions of several INGOs members of the Conference of INGOs and adopted by: 

AEDE – AIC - CEP - EN-RE – Justice et Paix Europe - KEK - MIAMSI - OIEC - Pax Christi - Pax Romana - UMOFC 

(Re. Attachment)


Statement of Anna Rurka, President of the conference of INGOs

Today February 27th, the Conference of INGOs celebrated World NGO Day for the first time at the Council of Europe with a debate on “Why do we need NGOs? - (I)NGO contribution to the work and to the mandate of the Council of Europe”. The event gathered a variety of stakeholders, including representatives of Civil Society, Permanent representations of Council of Europe Members States, prominent Human Rights activists, students and members of the Secretariat of the Council of Europe. We were particularly delighted to welcome Marcis Liors Skadmanis, founder of the international calendar day for Non-governmental organizations, ‘World NGO Day’.

INGOs enjoying participatory status with the Council of Europe are partners of the Council of Europe bodies and institutions with regard to standard setting, monitoring and implementation of activities. However, most of them agree that there is room for improvement to make this contribution less sectorial and more visible.

Dear members of the Conference of INGOs, 

You are cordially invited to attend the debate organised by the Conference of INGOs on the occasion of World NGO Day entitled “Why do we need NGOs? - (I)NGO contribution to the work and to the mandate of the Council of Europe”.  

This debate will highlight the invaluable contribution of (I)NGOS to the Council of Europe’s work be it in standard setting, monitoring or co-operation activities. They will also look at the cost to (I)NGOs, and their members, of working for human rights, democracy and the rule of law in a context of democratic decline.  The final panel will focus on a Conference of INGOs  message to the Committee of Ministers about future perspectives for NGO participation in the Council of Europe.

Merry Christmas


“But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, but he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide fairly for the land’s afflicted...”

Isaïe 11, 1-4

Let us wish ourselves, as well as our fellow citizens and rulers, to practise these virtues and that this Hope will bring you Peace and Joy!

Happy New Year 2019