Strasbourg, 1 April 2003
NGO PC (2003)18 rev

Declaration on the Citizens’ Forum1

«NGOs - key players in democratic governance»

adopted at the
Extraordinary Plenary Conference of international Non-Governmental Organisations enjoying consultative status with the Council of Europe,

Strasbourg, 25 June 2003

The Plenary Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations, acting on a proposal from the grouping "Civil Society in the New Europe", expresses its satisfaction at the organisation, in November 2002, of the Citizens' Forum "NGOs -key players in democratic governance", which allowed the NGOs enjoying consultative status with the Council of Europe to participate in a "Quadrilogue" alongside the Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe.

The grouping "Civil Society in the New Europe" has a special role to play in implementing the recommendations of the Citizens' Forum, which are fully consistent with its fields of action:

- The "Fundamental Principles on the Status of NGOs in Europe", adopted at a multilateral meeting held by the Council of Europe in 2002, are of crucial importance to civil society across Europe and should be endorsed by the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers,

At a more general level, the INGOs wish to underline the benefits of the Council of Europe's integrated projects method as a means of turning to account the results of earlier work and adopting a new approach to issues of general interest.

Declaration democratic governance

1 organised by the Integrated Project «Making democratic institutions work» and the Directorate General of Political Affairs, 4-5 November 2002, Palais de l’Europe, Strasbourg