Support to civil society in Russia
The Council of Europe started to implement a three-year Framework Co-operation Programme on “Strengthening Civil Society and Civic Participation in the Russian Federation” in mid-2008. In partnership with civil society actors in Russia, the Conference of INGOs works towards improving interaction and co-operation between NGOs and public authorities in order to strengthen the role of civil society in public life and policy-making. The programme is designed to create and maintain favourable conditions for NGO initiatives in fields such as human rights, democracy, civil society, culture and education, social cohesion and gender equality, in order to better respond to the needs of Russian society and increase the impact of citizens’ action. Special attention is paid to the improvement of Russian NGO legislation and its implementation.
Grandes lignes du programme cadre triennal de coopération
Mise en œuvre en 2010-2011 du programme-cadre de coopération triennal
Support to civil society in Belarus
The Council of Europe also provides assistance to human rights defenders and independent media in Belarus. Civil society representatives from Belarus participate on a regular basis in the sessions of the Conference of INGOs, attend meetings of committees of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and contribute to events devoted to Belarus in Strasbourg. The Civil Society Communication Platform on Belarus has hosted, since 2006, regular conferences on citizen activism, support to human rights defenders, independent media and elections.
Civil Society Leadership Network
One of the major co-operation programmes was the two-year Joint Programme of the Council of Europe and European Union on setting up and developing a Civil Society Leadership Network in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. It aimed at fostering a generation of civil society leaders able to advocate democratic policy changes and promote European standards in democracy, human rights and the rule of law in their countries and the wider region. The programme was also designed to promote networking, and cross-sector and cross-border partnerships at European level.