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Code of good practice for civil participation in decision-making processes

Adopted on: 1 October 2009
Reference number: CONF/PLE(2009)CODE1 Adopted by: Conference of INGOs
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The Code of Good Practice aims to provide a framework and guidelines for improving the participation of NGOs in decision making, to learn from each other through sharing good practices and bringing them to the attention of NGOs and public authorities alike. The Code is addressed to public authorities and civil society. It can be used by NGOs from local to national and international levels in their dialogue and co-operation with parliament, government and public administration. The Code can be used by NGOs in various ways: in their internal work when planning activities and finding ways to engage; in their discussions with public authorities on how to start co-operation or take stock of existing co-operation and identify areas for improvement. They can also use it to build awareness of their work, to promote the key principles for a good working relationship with authorities and to develop mechanisms for engagement. The document presents four principles required to foster a constructive relationship between NGOs and authorities: participation, trust, accountability and transparency, and independence. It also describes the conditions of civil participation and provides useful information on how civil society may participate in decision-making processes on different levels. The reader will find a description of the cycle that defines the six different steps to political decision-making process such as: agenda setting, drafting of policy, decision making, implementation of policy, monitoring and reformulation of policy with tips on how it can be done. The document includes a matrix that visualises the steps in the political decision-making process and their connection with levels of participation. It is based on good practices and examples from civil society across Europe and is intended to offer inspiration for action and strengthen interaction between NGOs and public authorities.

Youth specific: No

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