The Conference of INGOs was represented by President Gerhard Ermischer at the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe which took place in Reykjavik on 16-17 May 2023.
The President emphasised the role of the Conference of INGOs: “CINGO as a collective body provides an overarching view of the priorities and themes arising from the many voices of civil society. CINGO´s contribution to the Council of Europe´s discourse and tangible actions is rich, meaningful, and focused on shared aims. Constantly promoting the values of the Council of Europe and its bodies, we reach out to the citizens of Europe. We are your window to the Civil Society and the Citizens in Europe and beyond”.
President Ermischer highlighted that CINGO should be seen as a necessary partner to enable the Council of Europe to achieve its aims including much-needed better visibility and engagement with people in all member States. CINGO is essential to fulfilling this mission: it represents and can model participatory democracy, it triangulates legal and national positions on human rights through the lens of grassroots experiences, and it can ensure that the Council of Europe's work is focused on civil society priorities.
He then expressed hope that after the Summit the member States will commit to strengthening the role of the Conference of INGOs in the Council of Europe and invest more in its development and work.
President Ermischer concluded his speech by urging member States to increase their contribution to the Council of Europe budget in order to ensure that its many fruitful programmes can continue and develop.
Speech by the President of the Conference of INGOs at the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe, Reykjavik 16-17 May 2023