CIVIL SOCIETY AND DEMOCRACY COMMITTEE
Strasbourg, 15 December 2008
FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE CIVIL SOCIETY AND DEMOCRACY COMMITTEE
1. The Session Chair, Jean-Marie Heydt, presented the state of preparation of consultation activities on the code of practice for good governance. An initial encounter would take place in Stockholm within the framework of Sweden's chairmanship of the Council of Europe. He also presented the next Forum for the Future of Democracy, to be held in Madrid, in which the Conference of INGOs would participate within the framework of its quadripartite activities.
2. The Session Chair opened the voting procedure for the chair and vice-chair of the Committee. He took the opportunity to thank the Committee's outgoing Chair, Cyril Ritchie, for the work carried out, for his commitment and for the results achieved during his chairship.
3. The candidates for Chair were:
Antonella Valmorbida (Association of LDAs) – Elected Chair
Loic Tribot la Spiere (Centre for Study and Strategic Prospective)
4. The candidates for Vice-chair were:
Veysel Filiz (COJEP International) – Elected Vice-Chair
Pierre Fournel (International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism)
5. Mrs Valmorbida thanked the committee members for electing her and also thanked Cyril Ritchie for his contribution and work, which she would try to continue. The initial priorities of her chairship would be:
* commitment to strengthening the committee through participation and dialogue with all the members
* continued cooperation with Council of Europe bodies and capitalising on the Committee's work
* developing work on the language and methods of democracy and participation
6. Mr Filiz spoke of the need to cooperate with other intergovernmental organisations operating in similar areas, such as the OSCE.
7. Mr Ritchie, after wishing the new Chair every success, presented the work carried out and results achieved to date by the Grouping and the Conference.
8. Mrs Valmorbida opened the discussion, and the participants stated their views on what the focal points of the committee's activities should be, in particular:
* making the committee's work more visible;
* input from women into the democratic process;
* work on the methodology of citizen consultation.
Cc: President of the Conference of INGOs
Members of the Standing Committee
Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly
Secretary General of the Congress
Secretary to the Committee of Ministers
Director of the Private Office of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Director of External Relations
Director of Strategic planning
Director of Communication
Director of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights