Other projects

E-democracy projects

Forum History


The Forum was established by the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe  (Warsaw, May 2005), to strengthen democracy, political freedoms and citizens' participation.


Forum previous sessions


(Limassol, Cyprus, October)

Interdependence of democracy and social cohesion.

New: Proceedings

"Radical measures taken in many countries to try to balance public budgets are both necessary and understandable” but  “Countries are running a high risk of seriously undermining the European model of social cohesion.”  declared Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland while opening the Cyprus Forum.


(Yerevan, October)

Perspectives 2020 Democracy in Europe - Principles and Challenges



''The Council of Europe has a unique strategic role to play in strengthening good democratic governance at all levels in the European space''. Democracy, or rather good democratic governance, is now not only intrinsically linked to the respect of human rights but is also recognised as the most effective form of governance to ensure stability, sustainability and well-being.

 That was the main message of the 2010 Forum.




(Kyiv, October)

Electoral systems: strengthening democracy in the 21st century


 "In a genuine democracy, the citizen is sovereign and the voter decides" - that was the main message of the 2009 Forum, which highlighted the need for greater public involvement, with a view to increasing voter turnout and ensuring that all stages of public life are democratic..




(Madrid, October)

"E-democracy: who dares?"


The discussions addressed the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on democracy.




(Stockholm, June)

"Power and empowerment - The interdependence of democracy and human rights"


This event addressed issues such as the role and responsibilities of the opposition, representative democracy at the local and regional level, empowerment of the individual and non-discrimination, respect for freedom of expression and association for civil society, and fostering democracy, human rights and social networks.




(Moscow, October)

"The role of political parties in the building of democracy"


The Forum reflected on  the role and responsibilities of political parties in finding democratic solutions to contemporary challenges, the interaction between political parties and with other actors in the democratic process, and the building and strengthening of democratic institutions.



Launch meeting (Warsaw, November 2005)

"Citizens' participation"



The discussions addressed the state of contemporary democracy in Europe.


Previous projects


Democratic institutions work")


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,

  • - The Council of Europe should consider ways of providing co-funding for projects run by NGOs and explore the possibility of creating an international funding body to support NGO empowerment,
  • - The Council of Europe and INGOs should forge closer ties with NGOs in Central and Eastern Europe with a view to strengthening civil society.
  • - The joint CLRAE-NGO conference (Budapest, 28 February - 1 March 2003) constituted a step forward in the implementation of these objectives.
  • - The INGO Liaison Committee should set up a transversal working group to co-ordinate work on the subject of democratic governance carried out by the sectoral groupings of INGOs enjoying consultative status with the Council of Europe. This working group should co-operate with Council of Europe bodies, in particular in implementing the programme of activities under the Integrated Project "Making democratic institutions work".

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