Non-Governmental Organisations

Recommendation adopted on 28 January 2009

“Conference of INGOs – a budget to meet its mission”

The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe,

    1. Pointing out that the introduction of participatory status for international non-governmental organisations with the Council of Europe [Resolution (2003)8 of the Committee of Ministers] led to the creation of the Conference of INGOs in 2005 and did much to encourage the collective expression of civil society within the Council of Europe;

    2. Emphasising in this connection that the Council of Europe is the only intergovernmental organisation in the world with an institution anything like the Conference of INGOs;

    3. Noting that since its creation, the Conference of INGOs has contributed to the spread of political dialogue within the Organisation as well as increased participatory and pluralist democracy in the member states;

    4. Welcoming the increase in budgetary resources allocated to the Conference of INGOs in the years from 2006 to 2008 but fearing that the current context of zero real growth in the budget may jeopardise this approach precisely at the time when the Conference of INGOs is required to apply the institutional reform it adopted in 2008;

    5. Urges the Committee of Ministers to increase the Conference of INGOs’ budget from 2010 onwards to enable it to carry out its tasks properly and, in particular:

    a. to ensure that it can hold its sessions in satisfactory conditions (especially as regards covering the costs of Bureau members, the Standing Committee and interpretation);

    b. to establish a proper secretarial service for all its bodies and the forty or so meetings it holds per year as its secretarial work is currently carried out partly by the members of the Conference of INGOs;

    c. to enhance its capacity to fulfil its commitments vis--vis other Council of Europe bodies;

    d. to step up its grassroots activities with civil society organisations in the member states as well as its participation in the Council of Europe's priority projects;

    6. Instructs its Chair and its Bureau to forward these requests to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe so that he can take account of them when preparing the draft Council of Europe budget for 2010.