The Council of Europe and Non-Governmental Organisations: Promoters of democracy and active citizenship in Europe

The Council of Europe’s work benefits extensively from contacts and co-operation with the dynamic elements of society, as represented by NGOs. One of the main challenges currently facing the Organisation is to strengthen NGOs and civil society and to develop participatory democracy on a pan-European basis.

The Council of Europe’s relations with NGOs focus on the following:

I. Relations with international NGOs (INGOs): this can seen as the Council of Europe’s statutory relations with NGOs through the INGOs holding participatory status, known collectively as the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe. Through this status INGOs are now actively contributing to the decision-making process at the Council of Europe and to the implementation of its programmes, thus ensuring their relevance to the expectations of Europeans.

See web pages “Conference of INGOs” and “Participatory Status” for more information on the statutory relations with INGOs

Read more about the Conference of INGOs, its history, its structures and its projects: paper written by Iamvi Totsi


II Civil Society Initiatives and Programmes with partner NGOs: civil society initiatives and co-operation programmes aim at strengthening the role of civil society in a pluralist democracy, in particular to improving relations between NGOs and public authorities.

See web page “Civil Society Initiatives” for more information on programmes with partner NGOs