Democratic governance

We believe in diversity as a force for democracy and encourage dialogue as a means of building peace.


Our vision reflects the values of a democratic, dynamic, integrated and creative European society.


We strive towards a Europe where the diversity of cultures, the arts, and cultural and natural heritage are essential to the development of a genuine openness of mind and basic rights, and where open and interactive processes and practices of culture encompass different elements that combine to help us deal with the complexities of living with ourselves and one another. (more...)


Headline news ... (31/07/2015)


Bern ConventionMonitoring visit to Patara and Fethiye (Turkey) to check enforcement of conservation measures for the oldest living species on Earth, 28-30 July 2015

 An on-the-spot monitoring appraisal will take place on 28-30 July 2015 to Patara and Fethiye Specially Protected Areas, following a complaint submitted by MEDASSET to the Standing Committee to the Bern Convention.
Sea turtles are among the oldest living species on Earth, and at the same time one of the most endangered reptiles. Two of them, the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) nest regularly in the Mediterranean, namely in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus. Unfortunately, they are both endangered species.
In order to check enforcement of conservation measures for the loggerhead turtle in Patara and Fethiye Specially Protected Areas (Turkey), the Bern Convention is going to conduct an on-the-spot monitoring visit on 28-30 July 2015. The visit was decided by the Standing Committee following a complaint submitted by MEDASSET to denounce the lack of adequate management of the nesting beaches. At core of the complaint a summer house development project next to Patara beach, the presumed inadequate management of Fethiye SPA, and the plans to build a shipyard dock in Akgöl.
Representatives of the IUCN and WWF-Turkey will also join the visit.

Press release [21/07/2015]

Council of Europe Cultural Routes blogging trip along the Huguenot and Waldensian trail, 13 – 17 July

Crossing Routes – Blogging Europe is an initiative of the Council of Europe Cultural Routes Programme and the European Institute of Cultural Routes. The initiative is carried out in co-operation with the European Travel Commission and Cultural Route of the Huguenot and Waldensian trail and local and regional partners. The group of bloggers and photographers will explore the Huguenot and Waldensian trail in Germany and Switzerland from 13 to 17 July 2015, hiking through magnificent landscape following the steps of the religious refugees, exploring cultural heritage of their villages and sharing their experience on the social medial channels and the blogging platform.

Press release [08/07/2015]


C4i-DELI conference, Brussels, Committee of the Regions, 23-24 June 2015

The conference built upon the collaborative experience of two transnational projects, “Communication for Integration” (C4I) “Diversity in the Economy and Local Integration” (DELI), co-financed by the European Integration Fund and involving 21 European cities. The overall goal of the two projects (2014-2015) is to promote intercultural integration, through economy (DELI) and communication (C4i), and to enhance democratic governance and security. The conference discussed innovative and effective approaches to the economic integration and contribution of migrants (more...) [07/07/2015]


On-the-spot appraisal to Mavrovo National Park, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, 24-25 June 2015

At its last annual meeting in December 2014, the Standing Committee to the Bern Convention expressed a strong concern over the possible negative impact that two hydro-power plant projects could have on biodiversity in Mavrovo National Park. The Committee further agreed to open a case file against “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” in this respect, taking into account that the area is recognised as one of the key biodiversity hotspots in Europe. As per the decision of the Standing Committee, an on-the-spot appraisal to the area is organised on 24 and 25 June 2015. An independent expert is in charge of the appraisal visit and will be accompanied by a member of the Secretariat to the Bern Convention. Representatives from the European Commission and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are joining the mission as Observers. A report on the mission findings will be presented at the annual meeting of the Standing Committee to the Bern Convention in December 2015, together with a draft Recommendation addressed to the national authorities of “The former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia”. [22/06/2015]


2nd Council of Europe Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitisation

The 2nd Council of Europe Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitisation “Smart Creativity, Smart Democracy” is being prepared at a work session on 25 June in Linz, Austria. The multi-stakeholder exchange will take place on 4-5 September in Linz in the framework of the 2015 Ars Electronica Festival (3-7 September, “Post City - Habitats for the 21st Century”. [22/06/2015]


Biodiversity, everybody’s business

The Bern Convention is delighted to announce the launch its new Facebook page! The Facebook page has been created in the framework of the Convention’s communication strategy, the aim of which is to target and make a wider public aware of all of the issues relating to the conservation of biodiversity. You will also find information about all of our activities organised under the Bern Convention, as well as on the initiative of its 51 signatory parties, from the best natural parks to visit in Europe to endangered species and on challenges that we all have to face such as climate change or invasive alien species – as well as much more ! Why not find out for yourself what’s on offer by having a look around? Don’t forget to like and share it here! [21/06/2015]


European Diploma for Protected Areas (EDPA)

On 3 June the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted Resolution CM/ResDip(2015)1, through which it solemnly awarded the European Diploma for Protected Areas (EDPA) to the Vashlovani Protected Areas (Georgia). The award of the EDPA places the areas under the patronage of the Council of Europe until 2020. Vashlovani Protected Areas become the 74th European Diploma site. On the same occasion, the Committee of Ministers renewed - until 2020 - the European Diploma to the National Park Weerribben-Wieden (the Netherlands), under the condition that the responsible authorities adopt the Natura 2000 management plan, by the end of 2016, as an official and binding document which will be considered as covering the requirements of the European Diploma for Protected Areas.

More information: EDPA’s website [04/06/2015]

FOCUS: Cultural Heritage

4th meeting of CDCPP

The CDCPP held its 4th meeting from 1 to 3 June 2015 at the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg. The Committee examined the Council of Europe’s intergovernmental work in the field of culture, heritage and landscape, and advise the Committee of Ministers on questions within its area of competence. [05/06/2015]


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