The Council of Europe work is based on ensuring the respect of the closely linked freedoms of assembly, of association and of expression.

One of the key objectives is to promote the active role of civil society in political decision-making  through:

  • Creating an enabling environment, including a favourable legal framework, for the functioning of NGOs;
  • Developing sustainable mechanisms and platforms for dialogue, consultation and cooperation between civil society and government in member states.

Activities to enhance the role of civil society in the democratic process include:

  • Setting of relevant standards (e.g., guidelines and codes) for meaningful civil participation in political decision-making;
  • Capacity-building and support to civil society projects in member states;
  • Research on the legal framework for NGO functioning and its implementation;
  • Assistance to member states for improving the environment for effective functioning of NGOs;
  • Asisstance to civil society and the authorities towards creating sustainable mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation between the two groups of stakeholders.