Non-Governmental Organisations

STANDING COMMITTEE
CONF/SC(2011)SYN5

Strasbourg, 20 April 2011

SYNOPSIS

FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE

Summary of decisions taken on 13 April 2011
and approved by the Standing Committee
at its meeting on 14 April 2011

Present:
Bureau: J-M Heydt, G Greneron, A Mouchoux, I Totsi, Maritchu Rall, Y Zvereva, M Muller
Committees and transversal groups: A-M Chavanon, C Colpaert, I Donadio, B Kahn, V Filiz, M Julien, G Mäschig, G Nissim, K Nordmeyer, A Valmorbida
Chair of the Expert Council on NGO law and Honorary Presidents: C Ritchie, C-L Genty, A Oeschger
Division of NGO and Civil Society: J Gützkow, J Crozier

The other members of the Standing Committee had apologised for absence.

1. Adoption of the agenda [CONF/SC(2011)OJ5]

    - Reform implementation:
    Points outstanding following the meeting on 11 March 2011 [CONF/SC(2011)OJ4].
    - Information and discussions on the reform of the Council of Europe and its implications for the Conference of INGOs.

2. Synopsis of meeting held on 11 March 2011

The summary of decisions drawn up by G Greneron and A Mouchoux was amended and adopted.

3. Reform implementation (continued)

    a) An interim report on the progress of the reform and recent developments such as the Istanbul Forum on “New multicultural challenges: how can NGOs play their part?” would be sent as soon as possible to all INGOs holding participatory status, the other partners in the quadrilogue and the Secretary General.

    b) The person in charge of the gender equality transversal sector would be elected by the Conference of INGOs in accordance with the arrangements in place for the election of members of the Bureau and would sit on the Standing Committee.

      c) Experts from NGOs that were not members of the Conference and other civil society experts could be invited to committee meetings without the right to vote.

    d) Working groups

      - The existing working groups would complete their work.
      - The committees could set up new working groups. The committee chairs would notify the Standing Committee, indicating the title of the working groups, the names of the co-ordinators, brief descriptions of the remits, the dates for the submission of interim reports and the scheduled dates of completion of the working groups’ terms.

      - Experts from NGOs that were not members of the Conference and other civil society experts could be invited to working group meetings.

      - The working group co-ordinators were responsible for organising their work during the June 2011 session.

      e) Arrangements for the June 2011 session

      Monday morning: Bureau and Standing Committee
      Monday afternoon and Tuesday all day: the three committees, each meeting for three hours
      Wednesday morning: plenary meeting of the Conference
      Wednesday afternoon: Standing Committee
      INGO-Service board: last half hour of Monday afternoon at 5.30 pm
      INGO-Service general assembly: last half hour of Tuesday morning at 12 noon (Standing Committee members would make sure that the maximum number of INGO representatives took part)

      f) Preparation of the elections of the committee chairs and vice-chairs

      - The Standing Committee instructed the Verification and Dispute Committee to draw up various scenarios for the election of the two vice-chairs per committee and to submit the proposals to it by 20 May 2011. The Standing Committee would discuss the matter by email and agree the procedure to be adopted at its meeting on Monday 20 June 2011. The procedure would be announced at the start of the committee meetings.

      - The election processes in each committee would be chaired by one of the Conference vice-presidents.

      - In the interim report to the INGOs on the reform, it would be necessary to stress that there would now be two vice-chairs per committee.

      g) Arrangements for the committee meetings at the June 2011 session

      - Elections and declaration of the new chairs

      - A Conference vice-president would chair each committee meeting until the new chair was elected.

      - The chair elected would then be responsible for chairing the meeting.

      - Interim report and presentation of the priorities agreed by the Conference at the January 2011 session (by the outgoing chairs of the five former committees and two transversal groups; breakdown according to the subjects dealt with by the former committees and transversal groups).

      - Presentation by the INGOs present of their activities in connection with the priorities agreed and discussions to generate interaction between them (notify the INGOs).

      - Presentation of the existing working groups and possible setting up of new working groups.

      h) Items for the agenda for the meeting of the Conference on Wednesday 22 June

      - Situating the reform of the Conference in the context of the reform of the Council of Europe

      - Presentation of the conclusions of the general assembly of INGO-Service on 21 June

      - Presentation of the committees’ work plan

      - Future of the Expert Council on NGO Law and related topical issues

      - The toolkit on intercultural dialogue drawn up following the Istanbul Forum on “New multicultural challenges: how can NGOs play their part?”

      - Results of the 3-year framework co-operation programme on “Strengthening Civil Society and Civic Participation in the Russian Federation” (2008-2011)

      - Preparation of civil society debate on living together in multicultural societies in autumn 2011
      Representatives of other pillars would be invited.

      i) Great European civil debate

      For the sake of consistency with activities of other Council of Europe entities (including the Group of Eminent Persons) on the theme of the Istanbul Forum in the broad sense and on “living together” in the autumn, the Great European civil debate would be held at the Council of Europe on Monday 17 October 2011 (ie on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and during the week of the Congress session), preceded by a working day with NGOs on Sunday 16 October, for instance at the European Youth Centre. If that coincided with another major event, the debate could be moved to Friday 21 October.

Rapporteur: Annelise Oeschger