The Directorate of Democratic Governance and  Anti-discrimination pursues two key missions: 

  • Ensuring the implementation of standards and obligations by member States in the area of democracy and democratic governance
  • Promoting a democratic culture placing citizens as protagonists in their everyday environment

A number of Partial Agreements also contribute to strengthening member States’ commitment in these areas.

The Directorate of Democratic Governance and Anti-discrimination implements the activities under its responsibility in the Programme and Budget.

Organisation chart of the Directorate of Democratic Governance and Anti-discrimination

Democratic Institutions and Governance Department

  • Promoting democratic governance at all levels and organising free and fair elections in accordance with European standards
  • Facilitating the exchange of experience and assisting member States in the process of territorial reforms in the light of the Council of Europe’s principles
  • Ensuring the functioning of the European Committee on democracy and governance (CDDG) and of the Centre of expertise for local government reform
  • Building more inclusive societies by assisting member States at local and central level in their efforts to integrate migrants, based on Council of Europe standards and recommendations, and supported by a wide network of Intercultural cities (ICC)
  • Strengthening civil society, facilitating its work and promoting its participation in democratic decision-making processes, as well as providing the secretariat for the Conference of INGOs and the granting of participatory status in the Conference to INGO candidates
  • Organising the World Forum for Democracy, an annual gathering of political leaders, opinion-makers, civil society activists, business and academia representatives, media and professional groups to debate key challenges for democracies worldwide

Anti-discrimination Department

  • Monitoring racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, intolerance and racial discrimination by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)
  • Protecting the specific rights of persons belonging to national minorities as an integral part of human rights through the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM); compliance is monitored by an independent Advisory Committee (ACFC)
  • Protecting and promoting traditional regional and national minority languages through the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML); compliance is monitored by an independent Committee of Experts (COMEX)
  • Supporting states in enhancing the effective implementation of the recommendations and reports of the above monitoring mechanisms