Council of Europe forum in Warsaw to focus on citizens' participation

Warsaw on 3 and 4 November
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The forum brought together representatives of government authorities, parliaments, local and regional authorities and civil society from all over Europe to discuss the theme of citizens' participation.

The launch of this forum is one of the concrete direct results of the Third Summit of the Council of Europe, which took place in Warsaw on 16 and 17 May 2005.

The meeting was opened at 2.30 pm on Thursday 3 November at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. Speakers included Ambassador Joaquim Duarte, Chairman of the Ministers’ Deputies for the Portuguese Chair, René van der Linden, President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Giovanni Di Stasi, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, and Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General.

Key guest speakers included Lech Walesa, Timothy Garton Ash, of the European Studies Centre in Oxford, and Gesine Schwan, Dean of the Viadrina University in Frankfurt an der Oder.

The second day was devoted to an exchange of experience and discussion of practical initiatives and programmes for enhancing citizens' participation. The launch meeting was closed by Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and Bogdan Borusewicz, Speaker of the Polish Senate.

  for the press
Journalists accreditation and press contact:
Alun Drake, Council of Europe Press Division
Tel. +33 6 75 65 03 46 ;
Press contact : Forum Warsaw
Michel Klinger, Deputy Head of the Preparatory Committee, Poland Foreign Ministry
fax. +4822-5238159,
  useful links
File ''Warsaw Summit''
Venice Commission

Joaquim Duarte: ''Worst enemies of democracy are indifference, egoism and a lack of commitment among citizens''
René van der Linden: ''Democratic government is a basic social necessity''
Terry Davis: ''I hope that Council of Europe will come to be recognised as 'the home of democracy in Europe' ''
Maud de Boer-Buquicchio: ''The current state of democracy in Europe should not be a cause for panic, but for concern and action''

PROMOTING COMMON FUNDAMENTAL VALUES: HUMAN RIGHTS, RULE OF LAW AND DEMOCRACY : one of the principal tasks of the Council of Europe in the coming years fixed by the Action plan of the Warsaw Summit
Action Plan