Non-Governmental Organisations

AUTUMN SESSION
EUROPE AND GLOBAL CHALLENGES
TRANSVERSAL GROUP
CONF/TG/GLO (2009) SYN4

Strasbourg, 5 October 2009

DRAFT SYNOPSIS OF THE MEETING ON 29 SEPTEMBER 2009

FOR THE ATTENTION OF MEMBERS OF THE EUROPE AND GLOBAL CHALLENGES TRANSVERSAL GROUP

The Europe and Global challenges Transversal Group, meeting on 29 September 2009:
1. Opening of the meeting.
Michel Julien, Chair of the Europe and Global challenges Transversal Group, opened the meeting.
2. Adopted the agenda unanimously.
3. Adopted the synopsis of the meeting held on 23 June 2009 [CONF/TG/GLO(2009)SYN3] unanimously.
4. The global issues investigated at the Summer University for Democracy (Strasbourg, 6-10 July 2009)
Listened with interest to François Friederich, project co-ordinator in the Council of Europe Directorate General of Democracy and Political Affairs, who summarised the programme of the Summer University for Democracy, which had brought together some 600 participants from schools of political studies from 16 European countries to study the consequences of contemporary challenges to the values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. He gave an overview of the subjects addressed in the working groups:
- Democracy and business are they compatible? What are the consequences of the financial crisis for democracy?
- Democratic society and organised crime: how to reconcile national, cultural and religious identities and democracy; the fight against terrorism and organised crime.
- How to promote a better and effective protection of the environment: what is the role of public authorities?
In its final declaration, the Summer University underlined the extent of today's crisis, which was not purely financial or economic in nature, but first and foremost a global crisis of trust in political leaders. The aim is to induce a change in attitudes at all levels - individual, local, regional, national and worldwide - to increase openness. The free-market economic system needs regulatory instruments. Mr Friederich ended by saying that it was necessary to identify new ways in which civil society could participate and to place people at the centre of all public action.
5. Contribution to a full-blown Council of Europe anti-poverty campaign
- heard a presentation by Marie-José Schmitt of the draft recommendation on poverty [CONF/PLE(2009)REC8];
- noted that the policy memorandum drawn up by a working group, which had served as a basis for preparing the draft recommendation, could be found on the Internet site along with the agenda of the Conference and that the draft text should be submitted to the Conference of INGOs for adoption at its meeting on 1 October.
- took note of the announcement by Anna Rurka concerning the seminar on “Children in danger, Families in danger. Innovatory approaches to social and educational intervention in Germany, Belgium, France and Poland”, which would take place from 22 to 28 November 2009. This should help to define a programme on combating poverty for the period 2009 to 2011. The President of the Conference of INGOs, Gérard Greneron and Jenny Schuler, and members of the Bureau of the Conference of INGOs would be attending the seminar.
6. The new alignments of the European Parliament and Europe in crisis
- heard Claude-Laurent Genty talk about current developments following the election of the new President of the European Parliament, the first President to come from a country of the former Soviet bloc, Poland. Noted his suggestion that the sub-group on “relations with the European Union”, for which he was responsible, should prepare a proposal which would help the INGOs to secure a genuine ‘status’ with the European Union and the European Commission.
- also took note of the importance of the referendum on the ratification of the Lisbon treaty that was to be held in Ireland on 2 October. If the treaty was ratified by Ireland, Poland would no doubt also ratify it. The Czech Republic, however, might defer its ratification, making it difficult to bring about the changes that would arise from the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty.
- considered that civil society still required an institutional presence in the European Union.
7. Draft co-operation agreement between the Conference of INGOs and the North-South Centre:
- heard Sophie Dimitroulias’ explanations concerning the draft revised agreement;
- decided to submit the agreement to the Conference of INGOs for adoption at its meeting in January 2010, subject to the draft text being approved by the Executive Council of the North-South Centre at its meeting in Lisbon on 12 November 2009.

    "This is an unadopted draft document. Under no circumstances shall it be considered binding on the persons referred to therein".

Cc: Members of the Standing Committee
Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly
Secretary General of the Congress
Secretary to the Committee of Ministers
Directors General
Registrar of the Court of Human Rights
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 of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights