Upon a recommendation of the Council of Europe’s Forum for the Future of Democracy, the Conference of INGOs drafted a Code of Good Practice on Civil Participation in the Decision-Making Process. The principal objective of the Code of Good Practice is the definition of a set of European principles and guidelines for NGO participation in decision-making processes that are to be implemented at local and national level in Council of Europe member States.

Several regional NGO consultation conferences were held throughout Europe before its adoption by the Conference of INGOs on 1 October 2009 and its official launching at the meeting of the Forum for the Future of Democracy in Kyiv on 21 October.

Elaborated using a multi-stakeholder approach, the Code has the support of the Council of Europe:

  • the Committee of Ministers gives its support in a Declaration in which it “recognised the importance of the Code of Good Practice as a reference document for the Council of Europe, and as a basis for the empowerment of citizens to be involved in conducting public affairs in European countries”;
  • the Parliamentary Assembly underlined “the clear need for guidelines and good practices in this field”;
  • the Congress and Local and Regional Authorities said it is “ready to contribute to the promotion of this reference tool”.

To ensure follow up, the Conference of INGOs adopted a Promotion and implementation strategy for the Code of Good Practice in October 2009. An expert group has been created to follow developments and raise awareness to the Code.

The online compendium BePart is the reference tool developed jointly by the Congress, the Conference of INGOs and the Council of Europe’s Division of Elections and Participatory Democracy to showcase good practice examples, from civil society and governments, to highlight and exchange practical experiences of civil participation.

Civil society organisations and public authorities can participate by adding their projects, initiatives and examples of civil participation and help to make this the living tool envisaged.

Share your experience on the BePart Civil Participation Forum

See also: Country visits of the Conference of INGOs