A consultative meeting
organised by the Youth Department
in co-operation with the Council of Europe Conference of INGOs
and the European Youth Forum
to explore the
Shrinking space for civil society: its impact on young people and their organisations
7 – 8 November 2018
European Youth Centre Strasbourg
AIM AND OBJECTIVES
To bring together key stakeholders to explore the phenomenon of the “shrinking civic space”, its effect on young people and their organisations, and to examine models that are being used to ensure the meaningful participation of civil society.
The main objectives
- to explore the challenges and restrictions faced by civil society organisations – with particular emphasis on young people and their organisations – to their activities and involvement in public life that are in contradiction with the relevant Council of Europe and other international standards;
- to allow for indepth reflection on and discussion of the current situation and its consequences, including various perspectives from civil society, governments, international organisations, and other stakeholders;
- to explore positive examples that promote civil society participation, including mechanisms used by national and/or local/regional authorities and initiatives/practices used by civil society;
- to identify realistic and effective courses of action for the Council of Europe youth sector, and possibly other sectors, to support youth participation on local, national, and international levels in the current political and legal environment.
 Among them: Recommendation CM/Rec (2001)19 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the participation of citizens in local public life; Guidelines for civil participation in political decision making, adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 27 September 2017; Recommendation CM/Rec (2007)14 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to member states on the legal status of non-governmental organisations in Europe.
The expected results
To provide recommendations and ideas to the Joint Council on Youth (CMJ) on how to effectively address, within its mandate, the challenges faced by youth civil society organisations and the restrictions on their work, as well as examples of good practice that can be promoted in the states parties to the European Cultural Convention.
- Jorge Orlando Queiros, European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ)
- Lea Meister, Advisory Council on Youth (CCJ)
- Rares-Augustin Craiut, Council of Europe Conference of INGOs
- John Lisney, European Youth Forum
- Ruxandra Pandea, Facilitator
- Dariusz Grzemny, Rapporteur
- Balint Molnar, Deputy Director, European Youth Centre Budapest, Council of Europe
- Joanne Hunting, Secretary to the Advisory Council on Youth, Council of Europe
- Claudia Montevecchi, programme assistant, Council of Europe