Strasbourg, 6 June 2012

of the meeting held on 26 January 2012
2.30 to 6 pm
Room G03, Agora

The NGO members of the Democracy, Social Cohesion and Global Challenges Committee, meeting with Anne-Marie Chavanon in the chair,

Bernard MARQUET, Vice-Chair of the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Monaco), who

stressed the need to uphold the Council of Europe’s specific contribution to democracy through its quadrilogue;

Andrée BUCHMANN, member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, who

Marinette GONON, President of the association “Les 7 pains”, set up in 2002 with the backing of Caritas, an example of a social and solidarity action to help the most deprived members of society, who presented the combined mechanism of an association for integration aimed at the under 25s and the over 50s and the related activity of two solidarity restaurants in Strasbourg;

Yawo ABOTSI, originally from Togo, Secretary General of the Swiss association "Co-habiter" (Living Together), whose aim was to make it easier for migrant and native communities to live together in harmony, who presented the activities carried out by migrants for migrants (detecting racism, mediation, intercultural dialogue taking account of multiculturalism, warnings against drugs and prostitution, etc.).

Andrée BUCHMAN on the responsibility of local authorities and the establishment of the "Aqua publica europea" association, a forum for discussion and mutual assistance among local authorities but also for lobbying to protect the resource and access to it.

Édith WENGER, Bureau Européen de l'Environnement (BEE), who reminded participants of the Strasbourg Declaration ("Water, a source of citizenship, peace and development”) adopted at a European forum on 14 February 1998" and said that although the INGOs were not yet part of the decision-making process of the official forum (in which parliamentarians and local authorities had only recently begun participating), they were invited to contribute to the working groups of the Forum via the Internet and to support the contribution made by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.