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Forum History

 

The Forum was established by the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe  (Warsaw, May 2005), to strengthen democracy, political freedoms and citizens' participation.

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Forum previous sessions

Forum_Democracy2011

(Limassol, Cyprus, October)

Interdependence of democracy and social cohesion.

New: Proceedings

"Radical measures taken in many countries to try to balance public budgets are both necessary and understandable” but  “Countries are running a high risk of seriously undermining the European model of social cohesion.”  declared Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland while opening the Cyprus Forum.

2010

(Yerevan, October)

Perspectives 2020 Democracy in Europe - Principles and Challenges

Proceedings

 

''The Council of Europe has a unique strategic role to play in strengthening good democratic governance at all levels in the European space''. Democracy, or rather good democratic governance, is now not only intrinsically linked to the respect of human rights but is also recognised as the most effective form of governance to ensure stability, sustainability and well-being.

 That was the main message of the 2010 Forum.

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2009

(Kyiv, October)

Electoral systems: strengthening democracy in the 21st century

(Proceedings)

 "In a genuine democracy, the citizen is sovereign and the voter decides" - that was the main message of the 2009 Forum, which highlighted the need for greater public involvement, with a view to increasing voter turnout and ensuring that all stages of public life are democratic..

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2008

(Madrid, October)

"E-democracy: who dares?"

 

The discussions addressed the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on democracy.

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2007

(Stockholm, June)

"Power and empowerment - The interdependence of democracy and human rights"

 

This event addressed issues such as the role and responsibilities of the opposition, representative democracy at the local and regional level, empowerment of the individual and non-discrimination, respect for freedom of expression and association for civil society, and fostering democracy, human rights and social networks.

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2006

(Moscow, October)

"The role of political parties in the building of democracy"

 

The Forum reflected on  the role and responsibilities of political parties in finding democratic solutions to contemporary challenges, the interaction between political parties and with other actors in the democratic process, and the building and strengthening of democratic institutions.

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Launch meeting (Warsaw, November 2005)

"Citizens' participation"

 

 

The discussions addressed the state of contemporary democracy in Europe.

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Previous projects

("Making

Democratic institutions work")

 


Citizens’ Forum “NGOs – key players in democratic governance”

Council of Europe, 4-5 November 2002

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), vital components of civil society, are engaging in dynamic partnerships with governments in many Council of Europe member states. What are the conditions that will enable these partnerships to work? What structures and processes should be in place to help NGOs and public authorities reach a common position on the formulation and implementation of policies? What contributions do NGOs make to an increasingly responsive and accountable governance at local, national and international levels?

These are among the central questions that the Citizens’ Forum, to be held on 4 and 5 November 2002 at the Council of Europe’s headquarters in Strasbourg, will address. A starting point for the discussions will be the fundamental principles on the status of non-governmental organisations in Europe, adopted recently by a multilateral expert group of the Council of Europe.

Increasingly active and constructive participation of organised civil society in democratic policy-making in member states is a source of inspiration and an invaluable asset for the Council of Europe. Representatives of local, national and international NGOs, members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe, academics and members of government administrations present at the forum, will discuss ways of giving a greater and more effective role to NGOs in the work of the Council of Europe.

The Citizens’ Forum, co-organised by the Integrated project “Making democratic institutions work” and the NGOs Unit of the Directorate General of Political Affairs, will be opened by Walter Schwimmer, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Ambassador Gérard Philipps, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg and Chairman of the Ministers’ Deputies.