Conference of INGOs at the Fundamental Rights Forum, Vienna, 25-27 September 2018

Strasbourg 11 September 2018
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photo source: FRA

photo source: FRA

The President of the Conference of INGOs is invited to speak at the high-level opening panel with Claude Moraes, representative of European Parliament, Peggy Hicks, representative of UN's Human Rights Office (OHCHR), Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Director of the OSCE / ODHiR.

On the second day of the Forum, the Conference of INGOs and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) will conduct a joint session entitled "Citizens' Europe: full citizen participation in public affairs". The initial question of this session is how to promote full citizen participation in a context where public trust in governments and EU institutions is not at its peak, where populist groups use this sentiment to foster their agenda of playing exclusionary politics, by opposing social groups and alienating the perceptions of the majority of a whole of public opinion.

This session will focus on collectively exploring the factors that facilitate citizen participation in all aspects of public decision-making - from law-making to policy implementation across different levels (local, national, pan-EU). The session will bring together practitioners and experts from different countries to share experiences of developing initiatives that have helped scale civic participation. It will also look to surface emerging norms around participation discussed across global movements and institutions, as well as the collaborative efforts made by civil society, government, media, and other players to further the culture of democratic decision-making in Europe.

Invited speakers to this session are:

  • Marie-Hélène Boulanger, Head of Unit, Union citizenship rights and Free movement, European Commission (tbc)
  • Cathal Gilbert, Civic Space Research Lead, CIVICUS
  • Mary Ann Hennessey, Head of Civil Society Division, Council of Europe
  • Tim Hughes, Director, Involve UK
  • Paul Maassen, Chief Country Support, OGP
  • Jeremy Mc Bride, President of the Expert Council on NGO Law of the Conference of INGOs and renowned academic
  • Irma Meznaric, Civil Society Unit, Ministry of Public Administration, Government of Slovenia
  • Anna Rurka, President, Conference of INGOs


  • Tonu Basu, OGP
  • Gerhard Ermisher, Conference of INGOs


  • Richard Pierlot, Conference of INGOs