Non-Governmental Organisations

WINTER SESSION

STANDING COMMITTEE
CONF/SC(2009)SYN1

Strasbourg, 27 February 2009

S Y N O P S I S

OF THE MEETING HELD ON 26 JANUARY 2009

FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE

The Standing Committee of the Conference of INGOs, meeting in Strasbourg on 26 January 2009, with Annelise Oeschger in the chair:

1. Meeting of the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Committees and Transversal Groups (Strasbourg, 24 November 2008)

    Took note of the presentation by the President of the main conclusions of the meeting, in particular concerning the following points:

      o The need for the committees and transversal groups to consider their thematic priorities in greater depth and identify new competencies among their members;

      o The desire of a majority of the Chairs and Vice-Chairs to limit the time spent in Strasbourg during sessions to three days and, if possible, to limit the number of Plenary Conference meetings;

      o The implementation of the new document formats for the agendas and synopses of all bodies of the INGO Conference for the purpose of raising the profile and improving the dissemination of the documents;

      o The inability to provide the new transversal groups and committees with a permanent secretariat unless additional human resources were made available;

      o The strengthening of co-operation with the other pillars of the Council of Europe (in particular, the possibility of the INGO Conference contributing to the preparation of reports by the Parliamentary Assembly, proposing issues to be addressed or, indeed, submitting proposed amendments);

      o The partnership with the Directorate of Human Rights and Legal Affairs (DGHL) on the following topics: the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, domestic violence and the corresponding convention (with the participation of the INGO Conference from the start of the convention drafting process), representation on the steering committees and INGOs’ role in the monitoring process;

      o The planned new brochure and new website of the INGO Conference.

2. Organisation of sessions of the INGO Conference in 2009

    Approved the President’s proposals concerning the organisation of sessions, based on five principles, which would be implemented on a trial basis for the three remaining sessions in 2009:

    o Length of sessions: three days, from Monday to Wednesday inclusive. Any study days could be held either in the afternoon of the third day (if there was no INGO Conference meeting) or on a fourth day;

    o Parallel meetings of the committees and transversal groups, on a rota basis;

    o Length of committee and transversal group meetings:

      - Committees (four meetings a year): three 3-hour meetings and one 1-hour meeting;

      - Transversal groups (four meetings a year): three 1-hour meetings and one 3-hour meeting;

    o INGO Conference: meetings in January (one day) and in April and October 2009 (half day);

    o Standing Committee: one meeting only at the end of each session, with any urgent issues being dealt with by the Bureau meeting held at the start of the session.

    Took note, in this context, of the proposals by some members about the need to assess these new arrangements or possibly to hold the fourth annual session in conjunction with a plenary session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.

3. Verification and Dispute Committee: report on the meeting held on 3 December 2008

    Took note of the presentation by Janine Duprey-Kennedy of the report on the meeting, which had declared admissible all the candidatures for the January 2009 elections (one candidature for the Presidency of the INGO Conference and 18 candidatures for the Bureau) and clarified the arrangements for the campaign (oral presentation by candidates, sequence of the various votes, candidate information);

    Took note of the Verification and Dispute Committee’s desire to review the election methods and revise the relevant provisions in the Rules of Procedure.

4. Other business

    Took note of the reminder by the President of the need for the committees and transversal groups to appoint rapporteurs to draw up their meeting synopses.

5. Dates of the next meetings: Thursday 29 January 2009 (2 - 5 pm)
Wednesday 29 April 2009 (2.30 - 5.30 pm)
Wednesday 24 June 2009 (4.15 - 6 pm)
Wednesday 30 September 2009 (2.30 - 5.30 pm)

Cc: 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 of the Council of Europe
Director of External Relations
Director of Strategic Planning
Director of Communication
Director a.i. of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights