Non-Governmental Organisations

Document II prepared by the Chair of the Civil Society and Democracy Committee
(in English only)

Preparatory documents for the Civil Society and Democracy Division meeting
Session of INGOs, April 2009

Strasbourg, 23rd of March 2009

Interest expressed by members of the Committee

In 2008, the Chair of the Committee requested to the members to express their priorities for the future of the activities. The Chair received 16 replies. Most of them, expresses their motivation to be part of the committee and the Conference of the INGOs as such and their expectation.

First of all is, even it this exercise, it is to be underlined the large field of competences and the heterogeneity of the members. They comprise both the spheres of “democracy” and “participation” and they all interested in the theme of “civil society”.

Almost all of them had previous participation/actions in the Conferences or in the Committee’s activities, or as members of the Liaison Committee-Standing Committee. Some of them have also taken part into meetings concerning their own fields of activities.
Few Members complained that they did not get invitations in time1.

The general aims are the reinforcement of democracy in Europe thanks to a more positive and influent role of NGOs and the will to continue the process with countries in East-Europe, being more present and more responsive on the major hotheads of tension in Europe.

Emphasized by everyone is the importance of the State of Law and the importance of a real strengthening of the legal status of INGOs and good governance especially in Central-Eastern Europe.

Besides there is a remarkable interest about the Intercultural Dialogue in order to organize National Round Tables Dialogues crossing the diversities to overcome barriers.
There is also the will to prepare a “Declaration on Democracy” based on documents already existing in the Council of Europe2 and the will to participate to the European Democracy Week.

Other proposals are in order to guarantee the access of rights, the participation of the disadvantaged in the society and in the democratic system and the advancement of women in civil society and in the settlement of conflicts3.

About the suggested methods of communications all the Members agree to mail but many of them expressed the interest about regular meetings to take stock of the situation.
Others maintained that, for a good communication, could be appropriate also the website at the condition to upload it frequently.

1 For exemple: European Movement International.

2 INTERCENTER, Center of Studies.

3 ECICW, European Centre of the International Council of Women.