Strasbourg, 20 August 2012
OF THE MEETING ON 25 JUNE 2012
1. Opening of the meeting by Jean-Marie Heydt
Appointed Maritchu Rall (AIC) rapporteur.
Briefly went over the main developments since April:
· Presentation of the Code of Good Practice to the Venice Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee and in Tunisia with a view to future work on the code
· Handover of the Committee of Ministers from the United Kingdom to Albania
· Meeting with the new Director General of Democracy
· Preparation of the World Forum for Democracy
· Preparation of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17 October) with the quadrilogue
2. Adopted the agenda, with the addition of an item on the review of participatory status.
3. Adopted the synopses of the meetings held on 23 and 24 April 2012 [CONF/SC(2012)SYN3].
4. Preparation of the June 2012 session
Presented the programme for the June 2012 session.
Underlined the importance of setting up panels with speakers from various continents for the World Forum for Democracy in October 2012.
Stressed that the “communication” aspect was vital for raising the profile of the Conference’s activities.
5. European Year of Citizens 2013, Alain Mouchoux, Vice-President
Said that the project had been launched in 2010 and the European Parliament would determine the themes in September 2012, and proposed that the various bodies of the Council of Europe be approached so that it worked with the European Union to ensure the success of the Year of Citizens 2013. Many towns and cities were willing to host events at all levels (local, regional, national and European). He would liaise with Daniel Zielinski, who was organising a colloquy in Marseille.
Pointed out that, since 1 April 2012, it had been possible to exercise the right of European citizens’ initiative, ie citizens’ committees of at least seven people living in at least seven different EU countries could launch a European initiative in a very wide range of areas (social, cultural, educational, etc).
6. Rules of Procedure of the Conference of INGOs: Rémy Berthier, Chair of the Verification and Dispute Committee
Underlined the importance of bringing the Rules of Procedure into line with the new provisions implemented. The Standing Committee therefore validated the proposals made, except for certain points which would be discussed in the autumn.
Agreed to discuss the following points in the autumn:
· Voting system for the Conference’s internal elections
· Role of honorary presidents
· Breakdown of members with deliberative capacity and members with consultative capacity in both the Bureau and the Standing Committee
· Clarification of the process for drawing up recommendations and resolutions.
Accordingly, all the other points set out in the April 2012 document on principles applied for revision of the Rules of Procedure were approved by the committee.
The final version of the Rules of Procedure would be adopted by the Conference of INGOs in January 2013.
7. Towards action by the Conference of INGOs in the countries of the Southern and Eastern shores of the Mediterranean
· Noted that many activities were being carried out in several countries in the Mediterranean basin and called for better organisation and co-ordination so as to raise the profile of the action with appropriate responses. The effective co-operation with the North-South Centre in Lisbon was underlined.
· Wished the Conference to step up relations with the countries concerned, as the NGOs had direct contacts there.
· Asked the committee chairs to notify the Standing Committee of the work being done in this area by the working groups. Also called on all INGOs to pass on information to Alain Koskas.
8. Communication, Sophie Dimitroulias, Vice-President
The brochure presenting the Conference of INGOs was being drawn up. This communication tool for promoting the INGOs would be distributed at the World Forum for Democracy in October.
9. Review of Participatory Status
Noted that the Bureau had set up a working group to put forward ideas/proposals as a contribution to the review of participatory status being conducted by the Secretary General, in particular concerning the granting and withdrawal of participatory status.
10. Other business
Rapporteur: Maritchu Rall