CIVIL SOCIETY ADOPTS DEMOCRACY CHECKLIST
Strasbourg: 24.01.2013: Civil Society representatives from all over Europe agreed on a “Declaration on Genuine Democracy” setting out the basic requirements of a democratic system. This declaration, proposed by the working group led by Giuseppe Guarneri, is based on a valuable work undertaken a few years ago at the Council of Europe.
The statement by the Council of Europe’s Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations, which represents nearly 400 Europe-wide INGOs, comes at a time when a growing number of countries and political parties are pursuing often questionable populist and nationalistic goals.
The purpose of the text is to provide a check list of the fundamental principles of democracy in order to expand and consolidate democracy in Europe and elsewhere.
The Conference also advocates its use for determining the conditions required not only for becoming, but also for remaining, a member state of the Council of Europe.
The text (see the appendix) is based on Council of Europe Conventions and Declarations as well as the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.
It is divided into 3 main sections, (A) Principles and Values of Genuine Democracy, (B) Political Conditions for the Achievement of Genuine Democracy and (C) Economic, Social and Cultural Conditions for the achievement of Genuine Democracy.
The document sets out to define more clearly the Council of Europe’s 3 distinguishing features: respect for the universal and indivisible rights of the individual, the rule of law and the genuinely democratic nature of political systems.
The views of the INGO Conference will be brought to the attention of relevant bodies and in particular the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
La déclaration de la Conférence des OINGs sera transmise aux différentes entités intéressées et notamment au Comité des Ministres du Conseil de l’Europe. Declaration on genuine democracy
Strasbourg - Place Kléber from the Christmas tree decorated by Antoinette Pflimlin (photo A. P.)
WINTER SESSION Committee on Democracy, Social cohesion and Global Challenges AgendaTuesday 22 January 201314:30 - 18:00
- Room G03, Agora 1. Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agenda 2. Adoption of the synopsis of the 26 June 2012 meeting 3. Adoption of the 2012 activity report 4. Restructuring of the Directorate General of Democracy, impact on the Council of Europe activities
Exchange of views with
- Eladio FERNANDEZ-GALIANO, Head of the Democratic Initiatives Department
5. Adoption of the draft Declaration on Genuine Democracy
- Alfonso ZARDI, Head of the Democratic Structures Department (tbc)
6. European Conference on
- Presentation by Giuseppe GUARNERI, Head of the ad hoc Working group
« Poverty and Inequality in Societies of Human Rights: the paradox of democracies - Proposals for an inclusive society
» - 21- 23 February 2013 – Strasbourg
- Daniel ZIELINSKI, President of Honour of the Conference of INGOS, representative of the European local Inclusion and Social Action Network (ELISAN),
Discussion 7. Global Challenges
7.1. Climate Change : what after Doha ?
7.2. Updating on the Political and social revolutions in MENA Countrie
s by Jean-Pierre ESTIVAL, Head of the ad hoc Working group and Marie-Hélène BRUN (FEDESPY) Break 8. Committee participation to the 2012 ministerial activity of the Council of Europe
8.1. Twelfth Council of Europe Meeting of the Workshops for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention
(and 16th International CEMAT Symposium) on “Vision for the future of Europe on territorial democracy: Landscape as a new strategy for spatial planning”
(Thessalonica, Greece, 2-3 October 2012)
- Maguelonne DEJEANT-PONS, Head of the Development Activity Unit – Directorate General of Democracy of the Council of Europe, (tbc)
- Anne-Marie CHAVANON, Chair of the Committee (FIHUAT), Patrice COLLIGNON, Director of RED, Gerhard ERMISHER, Head of the Working group on Landscape and Social Cohesion, Secretary general of CIVILSCAPE
8.2. 9th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Youth (23-25 September 2012, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation)
9. Partnership with other Council of Europe bodies 9.1. Migrations and democracy
- Israël MENSAH, (OIEC) vice-president of the Committee
: presentation of the framework settled with the PACE Committee on Migrations, Refugees and Displaced Persons.
- Silvano MARSEGLIA, President, and Jean-Claude GONON, Secretary General of the Association européenne des enseignants (AEDE), Head of the ad hoc Working group
9.2. European democracy Week coordinated by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
10. Information on the working groups’ activity
- Renate ZIKMUND, Head of the Communication and Election Observation Department of the Congress.
10.1. Creation of a new Working group on “Major Risks and Democracy” – Philippe GROLLEAU (Pax Romana) and Anne-Marie CHAVANON, International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP)
10.2. Other Working groups 11. Council of Europe and external activities
12. Other business 13. Next Meeting
- Presentation of internal and external relevant activities to the Committee by Vera JOHN MIKOLAJEWSKI, Vice-president of the Committee
From left to right : Dmitri Marchenkov, Keith Whitmore, Anne-Marie Chavanon, Jean-Marie Heydt, Alfonso Zardi, Israel Mensah, Anje Wiersinga
Towards an "Agenda in Common" in the Democracy field at the Council of Europe - A round table with the participation of Keith WHITMORE, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Jean-Marie HEYDT, President of he Conference of INGOs and Alfonso ZARDI, Head of the Democracy, Institutions and Governance Department of the organisation, presented the commitments of the three bodies for 2012.
During its summer session, the committee adressed a most important issue for its future work in the frame of the quadrilogue : how to contribute and share the agenda in commun wished by the last two presidencies of the Council of Europe (
Spain and UK) in the democracy field
- The Council of Europe 2012 Commitments on Democracy were presented by the Congress, the CDLR and the Conference of INGOs
- Giuseppe GUARNERI, Head of the Ad hoc Working Group, presented the Chart on Democracy project ,one of the Committee’s contributions to the World Forum for Democracy and the European Democracy Week
UNCSD - RIO + 20
Among the Major 2012 Global issues, the committee listened to three viewpoints by Cyril RITCHIE, President of the Conference of UN-NGOs, Maguelonne DEJEANT-PONS, Head of the Heritage, Landscape and technical Assistance Division of the Council of Europe and Anne-Marie CHAVANON, Delegate from the International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP) – Committee’s Contribution
(link to the declaration adopted by the committee)
UNFCCC - DOHA Conférence des Nations Unies sur le Changement climatique
– Qatar (26 Novembre –
7 Decembre 2012) – The chair informs the committee of the proposition of the Parlimentary assembly of a commun work to the Conference
Gender equality : a condition for success of the Arab Spring
The committee supported the appeal made by the IFHR through the adoption of a resolution and a recommendation to the member states (texts presented by Anje WIERSINGA, Head of the Working group on "Including Gender perspectives in political and democratic processes, in particular during and after conflicts” )
Report on the Committee’s working groups activity
- Climate Change and Human Rights (Edith WENGER) link
- European Citizenship (Hélène DUQUIN) link
- Health Risks and Mobility, a Global Challenge (Thierry MATHIEU)
- Housing and Health (Bernard AUBERT) link
- Landscape, a social Cohesion Tool at Threat (Gerhard ERMISCHER) link
- Migrations and democracy: situation, problems and provided examples of answers (Jean-Claude GONON) link
- Relations with EU Bodies of Civil Society (Claude-Laurent GENTY) link
- Social and political evolutions in Southern Mediterranian Countries (JP ESTIVAL) link-
Women's participation in political and democratic processes particularly dealing with conflicts (Anje WIERSINGA) link
Representations or the Committee and/or the Conference of INGOs
- European Committee on Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR) - 2-3 April 2012 - Anne-Marie Chavanon
- European Steering Committee for Youth and Advisory Council on Youth mars2012 - Israel MENSAH
- Steering Committee for Culture, Heritage and Landscape (CDCPP): 15 – 16 mai 2012 - Patrice COLLIGNON (RED), Gerhardt ERMISCHER (CIVILSCAPE)
- European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) – Hearing of Anne-Marie CHAVANON and Antonella VALMORBIDA (ALDA)
- Sub/committee of the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe – 23 mai 2012 - Paris – Audition d’Anne-Marie CHAVANON on the Committee’s contributions to Rio and Doha Summits
- International Observatory on participatory democracy (OIDP) – 12 Jun 2012 - Porto Alegre (Brésil) – Participation to a round table - Anne-Marie CHAVANON
Link to the declarations websites
The Committee urgently requests the Heads of States and Governments
- to promote human rights, democracy, solidarity and quality of life in each and every item,
- to support the right to a healthy environment as an integral part of human rights and take the necessary measures to ensure its translation into positive law
- to promote the necessity of using new index of sustainability to measure well-being, (such as Human Development Index already adapted to local level) replacing or at least amending economic indicators such as GDP
- to interlink the mentioned key issues, whilstintegration is axial in this document. (e.g. food security and energy, forest and climate change)
- to consider essential goods and security as common goods (biodiversity, water, landscape, land, soils, prevention against industrial and natural risks, etc.) that are not marketable
- to consider essential services as a fundamental duty for the States and local authorities towards their citizens in order for them to live in dignity
Porto Alegre (Brazil) :
12 April 2012The quadrilogue and the Code of Good Practice for citizen's participation to the decision making
have been presented to the Congress by Anne-Marie Chavanon,
chair of the CommitteeThe Conference gave an impressive demonstration of participatory budgeting, field in which Porto Alegre is a world leader.
Anne-Marie CHAVANON for the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe