Non-Governmental Organisations



Strasbourg, 27 February 2009




The Conference of INGOs, meeting in Strasbourg on 28 January with Annelise Oeschger, followed by Jean-Marie Heydt, newly elected President, in the chair:

    · Adopted the agenda [CONF/PLE(2009)OJ1] and the report of the meeting of the Conference of INGOs held in Strasbourg on 25 June 2008 [OING/CONF(2008)CR3];

    · Welcomed, through its President, the INGOs newly granted participatory status;

    · Welcomed Childerik Schaapveld, the new Director of Democratic Institutions, in the presence of Jean-Louis Laurens, Director General of Democracy and Political Affairs. By virtue of his previous duties, Mr Schaapveld had wide-ranging experience of co-operation with civil society. Mr Laurens thanked the outgoing President for firmly consolidating the role of the Conference of INGOs in the Council of Europe institutional set-up and said that, by virtue of the very fact that it was non-governmental, the Conference of INGOs was capable of making progress more easily on certain issues and in certain countries and of promoting the Organisation's core values.

1. Stock-taking by the President of her two terms of office

2. Annual activity report of the Conference of INGOs

    · Took note of the annual activity report [CONF(2008)RAPACT] presented by the Vice-President, Silvia Geise, and adopted the report, with one abstention.

3. Revision of the INGO Conference's Rules of Procedure

    · On the basis of the document that had been available for 60 days on the website of the Conference of INGOs (as provided for in the Rules of Procedure), and in the absence of proposals for amendments, adopted (with two abstentions) the provisions to be added to the Rules of Procedure with regard to transversal groups, in accordance with paragraph 6 of the transitional provisions adopted by the Conference of INGOs on 25 June 2008;

    · Adopted the new Rules of Procedure, as amended, as a whole, with two abstentions.

4. Election of the President of the INGO Conference

    · After a reminder of the voting procedure from the President and the appointment of four tellers (Rémi Berthier [International Union of European Guides and Scouts], Jean-Philippe Durrenberger [European Association of Leisure Time Institutions for Children and Youth], Christine Cromwell-Ahrens [Soroptimist International of Europe], Jean-Claude Gonon [European Association of Teachers]), elected Jean-Marie Heydt (European Association of Training Centres for Socio-Educational Care Work) new President of the Council of Europe Conference of INGOs, as follows:

    o Number registered: 125
    o Number voting: 124
    o Number of votes: 117
    o Blank ballots: 5
    o Spoiled ballots: 2.

5. Election of the Vice-Presidents of the Conference of INGOs

    · After a reminder of the voting procedure from President Jean-Marie Heydt and an oral presentation of the candidates in alphabetical order by surname, elected as Vice-Presidents of the Council of Europe Conference of INGOs, with the following results:

    o Number registered: 131 
    o Number voting: 131 
    o Blank ballots: 1 
    o Spoiled ballots: 0,

    o Gérard Greneron (European Council of Police Trade Unions): 69 votes
    o Iamvi Totsi (International Confederation of Professional and Intellectual Workers): 65 votes
    o Alain Mouchoux (European Trade Union Committee for Education): 55 votes.

6. Election of the Rapporteurs of the Conference of INGOs

    · After a reminder of the voting procedure from the President and an oral presentation of the candidates in alphabetical order by surname (with the approved exception of Giovanni Rigone [Lions Clubs International, European Districts], who had had to leave the meeting earlier because of a transport strike, and in the absence of two candidates, Albert Bikmoullin [International Information Ecological Parliament] and Gigel Lazar [Europe against Drugs – EURAD]), elected as Rapporteurs of the Council of Europe Conference of INGOs, with the following results:

    o Number registered: 115
    o Number voting: 112
    o Blank ballots: 0
    o Spoiled ballots: 0,

    o Jenny Schuler (Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe): 67 votes
    o Maritchu Rall (International Association of Charities): 57 votes
    o Taras Poljanec (European Action of the Disabled): 56 votes
    o Catherine-Sophie Dimitroulias (Association of Women of Southern Europe): 47 votes.

7. Follow-up to the third Regional NGO Congress (Penza, Russian Federation, 5-7 December 2008)

    · Took note of the statements by members of the INGO Conference delegation that had attended the Penza Regional Congress, concerning the general context in which it had taken place, the outcome of the workshops (legislation on NGOs and law-enforcement practice, participation of NGOs in intercultural dialogue, and the media and civil society) and the conclusions of the Congress;

    · Took note of the lively discussion that had taken place between members of the Conference of INGOs and representatives of Russian NGOs, particularly on the subject of the three-year framework programme in the Russian Federation;

    · Also took note of the Regional Congress's proposal that a round table shortly be held in Strasbourg on the role of NGOs further to the August 2008 conflict in the Caucasus.

8. Statement by Michel Muller, President of INGO-Service

    · Took note of the statement by the President of INGO-Service concerning the contributions paid by INGOs in 2008 (€ 26,810, paid by 209 INGOs) and setting the objective of obtaining 50 new contributions in 2009.

9. Draft recommendations submitted to the Conference of INGOs

    · Adopted the following recommendations:

    o Recommendation on the first report of the Expert Council on NGO Law [CONF/PLE(2009)REC1] (with one abstention);

    o Recommendation on the proposed Council of Europe Convention to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence [CONF/PLE(2009)REC2] (unanimously);

    o Recommendation instituting a "European Year of Voluntary Action" [CONF/PLE(2009)REC3] (unanimously);

    o Recommendation on the Durban Review Conference “to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance” [CONF/PLE(2009)REC4] (with four abstentions);

    o Recommendation on the protection of Human Rights Defenders in the Russian Federation [CONF/PLE(2009)REC5] (unanimously);

    o Recommendation "Conference of INGOs – a budget to meet its mission" [CONF/PLE(2009)REC6] (unanimously).

10. Title of the Human Rights Committee

    · Decided, by a large majority, to change the French title of the Human Rights Committee from "Commission des droits humains" to "Commission des droits de l’homme".

11. Draft Charter of Good Governance of INGOs

    · Decided to defer discussion of this item to the next meeting of the Conference of INGOs.

12. Honorary presidency of the conference of INGOs

    · Decided, under Rule 2.1.9 of the Rules of Procedure of the Conference of INGOs, to appoint the outgoing President, Annelise Oeschger, Honorary President of the Conference of INGOs and confirmed Claude-Laurent Genty and Daniel Zielinski as Honorary Presidents of the Conference.

14. Dates of next meetings: Wednesday 29 April 2009 (9.30 am – 12.30 pm)
Wednesday 30 September 2009 (9.30 am – 12.30 pm)

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
Directors General
Director of the Private Office of the Secretary General
Director of External Relations
Director of Strategic Planning
Director of Communication
Acting Director of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights