Non-Governmental Organisations


Strasbourg, 15 December 2009



The Civil Society and Democracy Committee, meeting on 30 September 2009 :

1. Adopted the agenda and the synopsis of the meeting held on 24 June 2009 (CONF/CIV (2009) SYN3)

2. The chair reported on the latest activities and participation in different events. In this presentation, it was announced that the representative of the Committee of the Regions (Mrs. Anna Kadar) could not attend to present the point on Easter Partnership and that the issue would be presented by the chair.

Some of committee members mentioned their difficulties in getting the meeting documents from the website and requested a short explanation. A presentation was given by a representative of the Secretariat.

3. Christoph Spreng, Special Advisor of the Conference of INGOs on Intercultural Dialogue presented the Council of Europe/European Commission Joint Programme on Minorities in Russia: Developing Languages, Culture, Media and Civil Society.

The committee decided to further explore the possibility of creating synergies between the Conference of INGOs and the Joint programmes of the Council of Europe in areas of mutual interest.

4. Process for a Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership of the European Union

The chair informed the members of the committee that the European Commission has launched a process of consultation and involvement of civil society, in parallel to the programme launched at governmental level called “Eastern Partnership”. The programme aims at creating a platform for strategic partnership with non EU Members States such as Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The platforms for co-operation are

a) Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance and Stability;
b) Economic Integration and Convergence with the EU Policies;
c) Environment, climate change and energy security;
d) Contacts between people.

The Civil Society Forum (16-17 November 2009, Brussels) would make recommendations to be presented by the representatives of the Forum at a meeting of the Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers on 8 December 2009 in Brussels.

5. The chair presented three requests for hosting regional meetings of the committee :

a) A group of NGOs from Belarus b) The Association of Local Democracy Agencies for a meeting in the Balkans c) Il Consiglio Nazionale delle Donne Italiane for a meeting in Italy, in Parma in April 2010 (see annex I, II and III).

Despite an initial agreement on the methods adopted, the committee members did not confirm their interest in these proposals. In particular, the proposal for a meeting in Belarus was put in question and the rapporteur of the Conference on Belarus, Cyril Ritchie, proposed a postponement to 2011. The committee accepted his suggestion (see attached letters).

6. Report on the European Local Democracy Week

Jos Lemmers, Head of Department for Democratic Participation, DGDPA, presented the results of the European Local Democracy Week (ELDW). Members of the committee highlighted the lack of visibility of the these events at local level. It was proposed to participate actively and as soon as possible in the elaboration of the ELDW in 2010.

7. Report on the Forum for the Future of Democracy (Kyiv, 21-23 October 2009).

An update on the event was presented by Michael Remmert , Project Manager of the Forum. The committee confirmed its intention to be fully active in the next Forum in Armenia in 2010, which will inter alia aim to take stock of the results achieved so far.

8. Preparation of a strategy to raise awareness of the code of good practice on civil participation in the decision-making process and to promote its implementation.

Cyril Ritchie, rapporteur of the code of good practice, made an introductory statement and the committee discussed the implementation tools. The committee agreed to work on the implementation phase, as proposed in the document that was distributed.

9. Co-ordination on civil society issues between the Council of Europe and the European Union

The item was postponed to the next meeting.

Annex 1


      Strasbourg, 28th September 2009

Regional meeting of the Civil Society and Democracy Committee in the Balkans – proposal from the Association of the Local Decmoracy Agencies

Dear Chairman of the Civil Society and Democracy Committee,
The Association of the Local Democracy Agencies (ALDA) has been committed to the promotion of local democracy, especially in the Balkans, since its foundation. Promoting democracy and civil society empowerment is still a very important issue in this region and ALDA is constantly working in this direction. We therefore would like to invite you to consider the possibility of organising a regional meeting of the Civil Society and Democracy Committee in the Balkans. As we are planning to co-organise with the European Civic Forum an important event in Skopje (former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia) on the 4th December to promote this Forum and civic participation in the Balkans, we would like to offer you to seize this opportunity to held such a meeting.

The European Civic Forum (ECF) is a young network with a strong European ambition: to encourage a civic and popular ownership of Europe by its citizens. It was created on 17 December 2005 in Strasbourg after a meeting of European NGO leaders that took place in the Council of Europe. Some European networks involved in these questions are also members of the network. It aims at working to bring to the foreground a real European civic dialogue based on clear thinking, at encouraging meetings and exchange programmes between associations and NGOs in each of the countries involved during initiatives and events of civic nature and at carrying information and awareness campaigns for the European citizens, but also claiming campaigns through the collection of signatures in order to influence the policies of the European Union. It is a transnational network gathering today 91 associations and NGOs from 23 countries of the European Union.

Through their conference in Skopje, ALDA and the ECF aim at promoting civic participation and enlarging the ECF network in the Balkans, as it is of great importance to include stakeholders from these countries in this European dynamic. NGOs and local authorities from the whole region will be invited to attend the event.

We do think that this high visibility event could represent a good opportunity to held a regional meeting of the Civil Society and Democracy Committee and strengthen our cooperation. ALDA staff would be at your disposal to assist you in the organization of this meeting.

We hope that our proposal will draw your attention. We remain at your disposal should you have any additional questions.

Sincerely yours,

      Per Vinther
      ALDA President

Annex II

Mrs Antonella Valmorbida

Chair of the Commission of Democracy and
Civil Society of the Conference of the INGO

Dear Mrs. Valmorbida!

Let me to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for activity as of Commission
you lead so for INGO as a whole organisation.

Representatives of some Belarusian NGOs have participated in actions organised by INGO and have noticed their high both substantial, and organizational level. It is especially necessary to mention the INGO understanding of situation in Belarus and readiness to support Belarusian NGOs. This is very important and actual position of INGO for us.

The well known and one of essential problems of Belarusian NGOs is establishment and
development of meaningful dialogue with different institutes of public authorities. Unfortunately the lots of approach have been made in this way does not bring any sustainable results.

As a possible step in resolving of this problem could be considered the actions of the Commission (or INGO itself) directed on establishment of contacts with: Administration of the President of the Republic of Belarus, The Council of Republic, the House of Representatives, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus. The main point for these contacts is subsequent discussion of possible directions for cooperation on the way to establishing the dialogue between the governmental bodies and civil society structures.

In development of this position we would like to suggest the realization of preliminary consultations with corresponding representatives of authorities and organization the one of sessions of Commission of Democracy and Civil Society of the Conference of the INGO in Belarus with participation of authorities and representatives of Belarusian NGOs.

Within the limits of the given action it would be possible to discuss:

    · The Belarusian legislation on NGO;
    · Organizational conditions for NGO activities in Belarus;
    · Questions of interaction of authorities and NGO in Belarus;
    · Other issues.

We consider, that implementation of the given idea would promote the beginning of meaningful dialogue between authorities and NGO in Belarus.

In case of Your approval of the given idea we are ready to discuss the details.


Tatiana Poshevalova,
member of the Board of Pubic Association “Centre for Social Innovations” [signature]
Minsk, Belarus
Phone. +375 29 6649426

Uladzimir Matskevich,
the Head of the Humanitarian Techniques Agency
Minsk, Belarus,
Phone. +375 29 6505806
e-mail [signature]

Uladzislau Vialichka,
executive director
of the Public Union “Education Center “POST”
Minsk, Belarus
Phone: +375 29 6120973
E-mail: [signature]

Miroslav Kovasa,
Chairman of the Board
NGO “Lev Sapieha Foundation”
9-506 ul Kulman
220100 Minsk
fax +375 17 237 4430
mob +375 29 640 1492 [signature]

Annex III

Gentile Signora
Antonella Valmorbida
Presidente Commissione Democrazia e Società Civile della Conferenza delle Organizzazioni Non Governative Internazionali

Gentile Signora Valmorbida,

dopo la recente telefonata le invio una prima bozza del programma che il CECIF svolgerà a Parma.
L’incontro in questione potrebbe proporre un evento collaterale dove proponiamo una riunione regionale della Commissione Democrazia e Società Civile della Conferenza delle Organizzazioni Non Governative Internazionali, da lei presieduta.


    · Seminario e Assemblea del CECIF – ECICW che si svolgerà a Parma dal 9 all’11 aprile 2010.
    · Assemblea del CNDI

Numero dei partecipanti al Seminario: 6 membri del board e rappresentanti permanenti, più i delegati dei 23 paesi membri ed eventuali osservatori di tre paesi che non sono membri
A questi si aggiungono le associate al CNDI, Consiglio Nazionale Donne Italiane ed eventuali altri ospiti.

Il numero è ancora impreciso ma va sottolineato che non sono mai presenti tutti i 23 paesi.

Tema del seminario : si tratterà il tema dell’alimentazione e pensiamo di coinvolgere:

    · la Fao
    · EFSA, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Agenzia Europea
    · L’Università del gusto - il rettore è il prof. Capatti ex docente all’Università di Pavia
    · Carlo Petrini, docente di filosofia dell’alimentazione
    · L’Agenzia per la sicurezza alimentare di Parma
    · Alma, Accademia di cucina di Colorno – Parma
    · Valeria del Balzo,dell'Università della Sapienza di Roma professore di Scienze dell'Alimentazione

Evento collaterale : Incontro Regionale della Commissione Democrazia e Società Civile della Conferenza delle Organizzazioni Non Governative Internazionali – possibile tematica sull’alimentazione, sviluppo sostenibile e ruolo delle Organizzazioni non governative

Il Seminario si svolgerà al My Onehotel Villa Ducale, Via Molatolo, 53/A
43100 Parma

Interpreti: Per il Seminario, che si svolgerà in una delle sale dell’albergo, si rende necessaria la presenza di due interpreti, una per il francese e una per l’inglese.

Per quanto riguarda l’Incontro Regionale della Commissione Democrazia e Società Civile della Conferenza delle Organizzazioni Non Governative Internazionali, la prego di notare che non esistono possibilità per noi di sostenere alcuna spesa addizionale.

Come già anticipato telefonicamente saremmo onorate di poter contare sulla sua presenza in qualità di relatrice nell’ambito del Seminario sulla nutrizione in calendario per il giorno 9 aprile 2010.

Un cordiale saluto

Annamaria Castelfranchi Galleani
Delegata per l’Italia al Cecif Ecicw