The Committee of Ministers today adopted guidelines aimed at promoting civil participation in political decision-making in the Council of Europe 47 member states. At a time when democracy is challenged by diminishing trust of people towards politicians and elites in general, one of the prerequisites for guaranteeing democratic security is to ensure the participation of all individuals and societal groups in political processes and decision-making.
The new guidelines together with other existing texts such as Recommendation (2007)14 on the legal status of non-governmental organisations in Europe and the Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-Making Process now form a solid basis for governments and civil society to work together to strengthen democracy.
The guidelines were prepared by the European Committee on Democracy and Governance, in cooperation with the Conference of INGOs and take into account contributions from the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the Venice Commission as well as comments received during a public consultation. They build on Council of Europe standards (see the appendix to the Guidelines) and the practice in member States.
The preparation of this unique standard-setting instrument was recommended by the Secretary General in his 2015 report on the State of Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Europe