One of the most important issues raised at the FRA forum this week in Vienna was the need for greater funding and support for non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Anna Rurka, President of the Council of Europe’s Platform of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) told forum participants that without the meaningful participation of civil society groups in public affairs, democracy cannot work properly.
Protecting the rights of NGOs to assemble and to freely express their perspectives remains an essential concern in a Europe today threatened by illiberal movements, she explained.
The Conference of INGOs, which represents 320 NGOs throughout Europe, is one of the four pillars of the Council of Europe, along with the Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.
It is composed both of specialised advocacy organizations that defend particular groups and NGOs that represent different trades (such as lawyers, teachers, and social workers, among others).