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Please find enclosed the Recommendation 2105 (2017) adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on ‘Promoting integrity in governance to tackle political corruption’.

CoE : Venice Commission invites the President of Ukraine to submit a revised draft law on anti-corruption courts to Parliament, based on its recommendations.

In its opinion on the draft law on anti-corruption courts in Ukraine adopted today, the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the “Venice Commission”) said that many of the provisions of the draft law provide a good basis for the establishment of a high specialised anti-corruption court, but made several recommendations to reduce the risk that it could be considered unconstitutional. In order to dispel any doubts about the constitutionality of the legislative procedure, the Venice Commission invites the President of Ukraine to promptly submit his own draft law on anti-corruption courts – which should be based on the Venice Commission’s recommendations. The current draft law (Draft Law No. 6011) thus needs to be withdrawn.

In an opinion adopted today, the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the “Venice Commission”) assessed the extent to which Turkey’s Emergency Decree Laws – passed in the wake of the failed 2016 coup attempt – include measures that go beyond what is permitted by international standards and the Turkish constitution.

As stated in previous opinions regarding these laws, the Venice Commission again acknowledges the need for certain extraordinary steps taken by Turkish authorities to face a dangerous armed conspiracy.

However, as highlighted in previous opinions – the Turkish authorities have interpreted these extraordinary powers too extensively.

On 10 October 2017, the Conference of INGOs, in collaboration with the International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT), one of its members, is organising a debate entitled: "Return of the death penalty in Europe: genuine threat or populist fiction?", aimed at strengthening and better coordinating the fight against the threat of a return of the death penalty in Europe.

The Conference of INGOs remains convinced that the death penalty is not the solution and that the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) as well as its additional Protocols 6 and 13 should be defended in all circumstances.

Please register by 5 October 2017  using the online registration formParticipation is subject to the number of available places.

The Committee of Ministers today adopted guidelines aimed at promoting civil participation in political decision-making in the Council of Europe 47 member states.

The Committee of Ministers today adopted guidelines aimed at promoting civil participation in political decision-making in the Council of Europe 47 member states. At a time when democracy is challenged by diminishing trust of people towards politicians and elites in general, one of the prerequisites for guaranteeing democratic security is to ensure the participation of all individuals and societal groups in political processes and decision-making.

The new guidelines together with other existing texts such as Recommendation (2007)14 on the legal status of non-governmental organisations in Europe and the Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-Making Processnow form a solid basis for governments and civil society to work together to strengthen democracy.

The Council of Europe and civil society already interact through the Conference of INGOs which promotes participatory democracy and provides input to the decisions taken at inter-governmental level.

The preparation of this unique standard-setting instrument was recommended by Secretary General Jagland in his 2015 report on the State of Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Europe.

40 YEARS OF DIALOGUE BETWEEN CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE: LOOKING BACK BUT MOVING FORWARD

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Among the many varied debates organised during the week, some of the highlights were:

  • A Side event organised in co-operation with PACE Committee on Equality and non-discrimination: "Women's mobilization in Europe 2016: What impact on policies?"
  • A debate/training session "How to fight against discrimination and hate speech in the post-truth era"
  • A debate on the “populist wave in Europe” on the basis of the Secretary General’s latest report
  • The situation of NGOs in member States with reports from the visits led by the President of the Conference to Hungary and Ireland and the meetings held with NGOs from Cyprus and Turkey
  • The Conference adopted a Recommendation “Human Rights and Business” encouraging members States to implement the actions recommended in Committee of Ministers Recommendation (2016)3.

(Re full text in attachment)

 

 

Meeting from January 23rd to 27th, 2017 in Strasbourg, the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe brought together some 300 INGO delegates, experts, parliamentarians and permanent representatives of Council of Europe member states who discussed several major issues of concern today :

 

  • freedom of expression and of association in Turkey following the attempted coup on 15 July 2016,
  • the situation of NGOs in member States at a time when civil society space is shrinking,
  • the regulation of the activities of multinationals for a better respect of human rights and local development,
  • the surveillance of lawyers and the need for standards safeguarding client confidentiality,
  • the information society, progress made and the threats facing public authorities and NGO.

Dear members of Pax Romana Europe,

Please find attached a letter from Anna Rurka, President of the Conference of INGOs inviting us to give our contribution to the call to action to support the Turin process (European social charter). Kindly confirm your interest in this process and send me your replies  by 4 December 2016 at the latest (limit date was 4th of September but we can still participate).

You will find in the letter the links to :

With kind regards,