Council of Europe project “Strengthening civil participation in democratic decision making in Ukraine
19 Nov 2021 16:06:00Kyiv, Ukraine 19 November 2021
Pilot implementation of the Council of Europe training program for young women leaders from...
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Developing leadership skills and learning strategic advocacy basics – piloting of the training programme for young women leaders in Poltava region is ongoingKyiv, Ukraine 15 November 2021
On 12-13 November 2021 the next series of training sessions were conducted within the training...
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14 young women leaders from Poltava region have joined the training programme on participation in development and decision-making processes at local levelKyiv, Ukraine 5 November 2021
Today, on 5 November 2021, the Council of Europe* in partnership with Poltava Oblast Council has...
19 Oct 2021 15:48:00Kyiv, Ukraine 19 October 2021
The Council of Europe invites practitioners from local authorities and civil society from...
18 Oct 2021 17:09:00Kyiv, Ukraine 18 October 2021
Council of Europe*, in cooperation with Poltava Regional Council, is launching a selection of...
WHY CIVIL SOCIETY IS IMPORTANT
Civil participation in decision-making is an important component of any democratic society. It is a social dialogue on the most important issues. Citizens often make decisions and trust their representatives when they are able to speak during political discussions on important issues and decisions.
Local government is the level closest to citizens, and this proximity should in principle convert into increased levels of civil participation in local affairs. In practice, Ukrainian legislation often involves complex and inflexible methods and procedures that discourage citizens from active participation in decision-making at the local level. Another important challenge at the local level is the low level of people's trust in public officials and elected representatives.
It is therefore crucial that individuals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participate in the public affairs management. To help member States ensure civil and NGOs participation in political decision-making, the Committee of Ministers adopted in 2017, the Guidelines for civil participation in political decision-making and in 2018, Recommendations CM/Rec(2018)11 on the need to strengthen the protection and promotion of the civil society space in Europe and CM/Rec(2018)4 on the civil participation in local public life.
HOW THE PROJECT CAN STRENGTHEN CIVIL SOCIETY IN UKRAINE
Through the implementation of the project "Promoting civil participation in the democratic decision-making in Ukraine", the Council of Europe suggests to create conditions for strengthening civil participation, mutual trust, respect and recognition among amalgamated territorial communities and public officials for further cooperation between them and for building a sustainable inclusive dialogue in the decision-making.
We often take decisions and trust our representatives when we are able to speak during political discussions about important issues and decisions. Thus, it’s extremely important for citizens and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to take part in public affairs management.
The implementation of the project is aimed at:
- Reducing the distance between citizens and public authorities,
- Strengthening the dialogue and cooperation in the decision-making process;
- Providing and expanding opportunities for involving citizens in public affairs management in line with the Council of Europe standards and best practices.
Building on the results achieved* of the pilot project in 2017-2018 that helped to strengthen the inclusive dialogue between NGOs and Kyiv local authorities, the new project aims at:
- Improvement of the national legislative and institutional framework for civil participation;
- Raising awareness of the Council of Europe standards;
- Improving mechanisms for engaging citizens at the local level;
- Strengthening the capacity of public servants and NGOs.
* In 2017-2018, the Council of Europe launched a pilot project that helped to build a dialogue between Kyiv NGOs and City Authorities. E-participation, advocacy plan of the Kyiv water strategy, participatory budgeting and development of principles on public consultations were the priority project issues.
Strengthening dialogue and cooperation between public authorities and civil society in decision-making process at the national and local levels in line with the Council of Europe’s standards and best European practices.
1. Enhanced national institutional and policy frameworks for civil society development and participation.
2. Improved local practical frameworks and increased capacity of local public officials and NGOs on civil participation.
The implementation of project activities involves needs assessments, studies and researches, expert meetings and working group discussions, NGO platform and dialogue building activities, legislative expertise, capacity-building, awareness-raising, Academy of civil participation, trainings for trainers, development of a publication on best practices in civil participation, conferences, peer-to-peer visits and reviews, fellowship programmes or small scale study visits, development and implementation of various guidelines for NGOs and authorities. The methodology followed aims to reinforce the ownership of national and local stakeholders and to ensure the sustainability of the outcomes in line with the Programme Management Methodology of the Council of Europe.
This project supports the objectives reflected in the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine for 2018-2021 and in its Part III:
3.2. Promoting Participation and Diversity – Civil Participation
In 2014, the Council of Europe started to promote the effective participation of civil society in Ukraine in the constitutional process and the legislative reform work and to assist in setting up mechanisms for organized civil society participation. This work needs to continue and to be expanded in order to ensure that: the legal and institutional framework for the involvement of civil society in decision-making processes is aligned with Council of Europe and best international standards; a national strategy for promoting civil participation in decision-making is developed and implemented and the capacity of NGOs for influencing decision-making at the national level will be increased; civil servants are trained in the implementation of the law on public participation and other relevant legislation; platforms or mechanism.
- Academy of Civil Participation Handbook 2019
- CIVIL PARTICIPATION: POLICY ANALYSIS, ADVOCACY, BRINGING ABOUT CHANGE ACADEMY OF CIVIL PARTICIPATION HANDBOOK 2019
- Guidelines for civil participation in political decision making
(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 27 September 2017 at the 1295th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)
- Recommendation CM/Rec(2018)4 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the participation of citizens in local public life
(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 21 March 2018 at the 1311th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)
- Recommendation CM/Rec(2018)11 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the need to strengthen the protection and promotion of civil society space in Europe
(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 28 November 2018 at the 1330th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)
- Best practices in regulating civil participation tools at the local level 2019
- Comparative analysis. Government structures promoting civil participation and cooperation with NGOs in policy making
- Civic Engagement and Public Space: What is it and Who is responsible?
- School Participatory Budgeting Toolkit
- The Council of Europe toolbox on citizen participation
- Project Journal - Stories that Change Ukraine
- Involving children and young people under 18 in civil participation mechanisms and decision-making
- CivicLab methodology Toolkit
Volodymyr Kebalo, Project Manager
Council of Europe Office in Ukraine
8, Illinska str., 7th entrance, 04070 Kyiv, Ukraine
Tel.: + 380 44 425 60 01
Fax: +380 44 425 02 62 (ext.111)