CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM

Living Together
Combining diversity and freedom in
21st -century Europe

Strasbourg

13 November 2011
European Youth Centre, Strasbourg

14 November 2011
Room 1, Palais de l’Europe

Draft programme

The Forum is being held by the Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGO) with the support of the Council of Europe. It builds on the outcome of the NGO Forum on “New multicultural challenges: how can NGOs play their part” which the Conference of INGOs organised on 24-25 March in Istanbul.

Objectives

1. Give a civil society dimension to the implementation of the “White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue” adopted by the Committee of Ministers in May 2008 and the recommendations of the report of the Group of Eminent Persons on “Living together: Combining diversity and freedom in 21st-century Europe” by identifying new approaches to inclusive multicultural societies in Europe.

2. Highlight the new multicultural challenges facing European societies and identify best practice in NGO work aiming at mastering diversity and making it a benefit for society.

3. Offer a framework for

a. Sharing experience among NGOs;

4. Launch the tool kit for the practice of intercultural dialogue.

5. Pursue co-operation with civil society from the Southern rim of the Mediterranean.

Participants

The forum brings together European civil society representatives who are promoting the “Living together” through their work.

In the light of the push towards democracy taking place in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region, civil society representatives from these countries will be involved as well, both as participants and in widening the debate to encompass their aspirations and experiences in living together in multicultural societies.

In addition, representatives of governments, parliaments and local and regional authorities of different European countries will be invited for a political dialogue with participants.

Civil society representatives wishing to participate in the first day of the Forum which is open to some 50 invited participants only are selected through an open call for applications. The organisers will cover their travel and most of the subsistence expenses. Selection criteria include competence in the fields covered by the Forum, geographic diversity and gender balance.

Representatives of civil society, universities and authorities who wish to participate in the second day of the Forum are requested to register for the Forum. They have to cover their own expenses for travelling to and staying in Strasbourg; registration is free of charge.

Forum structure

The Forum themes will be dealt with from the angle of civil society’s contribution to the work of the Council of Europe.

The workshops on the first day will focus on the NGOs’ practical experience and they will use interactive participatory working methods.

The plenary sessions on the second day will place the Forum discussions in the context of the Council of Europe’s achievements and activities, as well as topical developments in Europe as illustrated by the report of the Group of Eminent Persons. They will also provide an opportunity for a political dialogue between representatives of civil society and governments, parliaments and local and regional authorities. The workshop conclusions will structure this dialogue.

The thematic focus of the Civil Society Forum will be on diversity

- How intercultural and democratic education can empower people to master and to benefit from diversity;

- How social cohesion can be achieved in multicultural societies.

In order to identify the best practice of NGO action and the participation of NGOs in the political debate and decision making and implementation, these issues will be dealt with at two levels of the political process

- Making policy – the role of civil society in raising awareness on the issues at stake and putting them on the political agenda;

- Making policy work – the role of civil society in implementing concrete activities and holding government responsible.

Sunday 13 November 2011: European Youth Centre, Strasbourg
Day 1 for invited NGOs only

09.00 - 09.15 Opening

09.15 - 09.45 Presentation of the tool kit for the practice of intercultural dialogue

09.45 - 10.00 Introduction to the thematic workshops by the moderators

10.00 - 10.30 Coffee break

10.30 - 12.30 First set of parallel thematic workshops on “Making Policy”

Workshop 1 a Diversity and education (English/French)

Moderator Sabine ROHMANN, Robert Schuman Institute for Europe √

Speaker Fidele MUTWARASIBO, Immigrant Council of Ireland √

Speaker Monika STACHNIK CZAPLA, Polish Association of Extra-School Education, EAICY

Rapporteur Farah CHERIF D’OUEZZAN, Thaqafat Association √

Workshop 2 a Diversity and social cohesion (English)

Moderator Sophie KAMMERER, European Network against Racism √

Speaker Mahta WOLDEZGHI, Intercultural Centre Mondinsieme

Speaker Katerina VASILESKA, Local Development Agency, Struga √

Rapporteur Ekaterina KUZINA, Senior Specialist at the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education in Moscow

12.30 - 14.00 Lunch Break

14.00 – 16.00 Second set of parallel thematic workshops on “Making Policy Work”

Workshop 1 b Diversity and education (English/French)

Moderator Sabine ROHMANN, Robert Schuman Institute for Europe √

Speaker Una MEMISEVIC, Centre for Development of Non-Formal Education √

Speaker Narcisse MBUNZAMALOKVA, Infogroup International

Rapporteur Farah CHERIF D’OUEZZAN, Thaqafat Association√

16.00 – 16.30 Coffee Break

16.30 – 17.30 Plenary

Monday 14 November 2011: Room 1, Palais de l’Europe
Day 2 open to national and international NGOs, the public and the media

09.30 - 10.15  Presentation of the Group of Eminent Persons’ report “Living together: Combining diversity and freedom in 21st-century Europe”

10.15 - 10.30 Opening of the Civil Society Forum

10.30 - 11.00 Coffee Break

11.00 - 12.30 Round table on “Diversity and Education” with the participation of representatives of civil society, of governments, parliaments and local and regional authorities

Moderator

Elin RUUD

12.30 - 14.00 Lunch break

14.00 - 15.30 Round table on “Diversity and Social Cohesion” with the participation of representatives of civil society, governments, parliaments and local and regional authorities

Denzil NURSE

15.30 - 16.30 Democratic Change in the South-Eastern Mediterranean: What role for civil society?

16.30 - 17.00 Closing session

Mevlüt ÇAVUşOğLU
President of the Parliamentary Assembly (tbc)

Version September 2011