Non-Governmental Organisations

AIMS AND PRIORITIES

OF THE CONFERENCE OF INGOs

Document adopted by the Standing Committee
on 28 April 2010

“BUILDING AN ACTIVE AND SOCIALLY COMMITTED EUROPEAN CIVIL SOCIETY”

Three main priorities :

- Promoting the Council of Europe's values
- Giving substance to participatory democracy
- Developing the political role of the Conference of INGOs

I. Promoting the Council of Europe's values

1. Democracy: creating and supporting a true democratic dynamism, especially in the voluntary sector, complementing member states' democratic practice and action;

2. Human rights: defending and promoting inalienable and indivisible human rights, taking into account gender equality in a transversal way, and not only observing developments but also taking decisive initiatives;

3. Rule of Law : contribution to the elaboration and implementation of Council of Europe standards;

4. Social cohesion: acting to ensure that the social dimension (extending to every form of exclusion) becomes an integral part of public action and intervention for the benefit of the individual, including in the health field ;

5. Education and culture: taking a dynamic approach to education based on measures which are adapted to suit everyone’s needs and making today’s children free and responsible citizens ; promoting cultural openness based on respect for the individual and the pursuit of social cohesion;

6. Sustainable development: creation of synergy between relevant approaches combining public action and the dynamism of the voluntary sector so as to preserve the range of human and natural assets necessary to a life of quality;

7. Solidarity : promoting a spirit of solidarity in a global interdependent world, especially towards Europe’s Southern neighbouring countries.

II. Giving substance to participatory democracy

1. Geographical co-operation :

    with Belarus (in progress)
    with the Russian Federation (in progress)
    with the Caucasus (prospective)
    North-South relations (in progress)

2. Means of action :

    a. Co-operation

    Committees and transversal groups of the Conference of INGOs
    Regional thematic congresses of NGOs
    Seminars in Council of Europe member States

    b. Monitoring activities: Expert Council on NGO Law

    c. Standard-setting activities: Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-Making Process

    d. Participation in Council of Europe co-operation, conventional and monitoring activities.

    e. Contribute to development and to support the voluntary sector

III. Developing the political role of the Conference of INGOs

1. Strengthening co-operation with other Council of Europe bodies and participation of the Conference of INGOs in the decision-making process and in flagship projects;

2. Strengthening co-operation with Council of Europe member States ; surveying and taking position on the discrepancies between the member States of the Council of Europe as regards fundamental civil rights and democratic institutions;

3. Diversifying and strengthening partnerships with the European Union, the United Nations Organisation (ECOSOC, UNESCO, etc), the OSCE and other international organisations (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, etc), and with European and international civil society networks (Platform of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency, etc)

4. Optimising operations by developing communication (internal and external), improving management and increasing financial resources.