Following its visits to London on 20 and 21 May 2018, and on 16 October 2018, the Conference of INGOs is publishing a report that highlights the issues that NGOs and representatives of the Ministries and other public agencies had at stake at the time of the visit: regulatory framework, political activities, lobbying regulation, participation in decision making and Brexit.
A public consultation on the Civil Society Strategy which took place during the first visit of the Conference of INGOs, and the publication of the Strategy during the second visit, constitute an important political step for civil society, presenting a structured vision on how the government wishes to work with the CSO sector. As CSOs have underlined, the government had not published a CSO Strategy for 15 years. The elaboration of the Strategy is seen as the “beginning of the conversation”. To be really valuable, it needs to be followed by action. Its implementation and its monitoring are of primary importance for the accountability of the public authorities toward CSOs. Even if we had hoped for a more in depth exchange with the representatives of the Charity Commission during these two meetings in London, we hope that the latter, as well as other entities concerned by this report, will be able to contribute to this discussion by presenting their comments to this report and take the recommendations presented in the report into account.
We would like to thank BOND our hosting organisation for great collaboration, guidance and substantial contribution to the debates. We thank all the public officials who made themselves available for discussion, and the Permanent Representation of the United Kingdom to the Council of Europe for the preparatory work.