These 15th Workshops dedicated to the implementation of the European Landscape Convention were hosted by Turkey Urgup, on 1 and 2 October 2014 on the theme "Landscapes and sustainable economy."
Gerhard ERMISCHER, president of CIVILSCAPE, Head of the Landscape working group of the Committee on Democracy, Social Cohesion and Global Challenges and Patrice Collignon, director of the NGO Rural Affairs, Environmentand Development (RED), brought the testimony of the Committee and the Conference of INGOs on the subject
According to Gerhrard ERMISCHER, the landscape is the source of our identity and the mirror of society. Facing economic stress, the question is who has the authority and legitimacy to bring change, who has the right to decide the future of our landscapes? This is a highly political act but also very emotional.
For him, the European Landscape Convention points us to a path of co-operation between all the actors in the field, mainly the public administration and policy on one side and the civil society and NGOs on the other: because we need to work hand in hand in these fundamental matters for our future, not in total harmony and single mindedness, but in a well organized and moderated dialogue and permanent debate, an exchange of ideas and a competition for the best models for our future landscapes – and our future societies.
In his summary report, Patrice COLLIGNON said that in times of crisis, highlighting the links between landscape management and the business sector is essential to maintain the landscape in the major issues promoted by the States and the regions. Landscape is a significant element of the wealth of territories, a decisive incentive of attractivity for rural areas
He felt that the conference had shown by its many contributions that the landscape in its multifunctionality, could contribute to short-term economic territories, keeping in mind the importance of sustainable management, even to provide a quality of life and environmental quality for future generations.
Approaches to participatory governance around local development projects in his eyes showed their relevance for smart landscape management, he pleaded for the establishment of permanent consultation structures.
It is the partnership between the Romanian government and civil society that marked the 14th Forum of Romanian NGOs. The event, organized for 20 years by the NGO CENTRAS has this year received strong support from the Government. The meeting was held in Bucharest on 16 and 17 October 2014, the main Romanian NGOs and several government members and representatives from many departments interacted together.
Aurelia CRISTEA, Minister for Social Dialogue, co-organizer of the event, stressed in her speech that civil society has had and still has an important role in the modernization of the Romanian society. "Romania has become a better place, thanks to NGOs for many years in the field of participatory democracy and human rights," said the minister.
Ms. CRISTEA estimated that NGO criticism against the government over the past 20 years has reflected a desire to improve the political and social life of the country:
"Civil society is the place where ideas and bold projects are born, often at the vanguard of democracy."
Trust and legitimacy
On behalf of the Conference of INGOs, Anne-Marie CHAVANON, Chair of the Committee and special guest of the event, congratulated the partners for such a model initiative and hoped that it can take a permanent form by establishing a permanent structure. Refering to the Code of good pratice for civil participation in decision making adopted by the Conference of INGOs, she recalled that participation is based on trust and ethical perceptions of public action
Building on the code of participation in decision making, she stressed the need to
From left to right : Viorel MICESCU, executive director of CENTRAS, Ioana CAZACU, Deputy Minister for Equality, Eugen TEODOROVICI, Minister of Structural Funds, Aurelia CRISTEA, Minister in charge of Social Dialogue, Radu Puchiu, Secretary of State by the Prime Minister, in charge of Turism, and MSE, Anne-Marie CHAVANON, president of the committee on Democracy, Social cohesion and Global Challenges, Daniel MINDRUT, counsellor to the Minister in charge of Social Dialogue
A contribution to participatory democracy
The event seized the European Local Democracy Week opportunity to enhance participation between organized civil society and public authorities in various fields
Seven silmutaneous workshops had the following objectives:
1. The identification of deficiencies concerning transparency, public consultation and cooperation in the central public authorities/NGO relationship in connection with the results of consultations initiated by the Ministry of Social Dialogue
2. Searching solutions to identified difficulties.
3. The presentation of public policies in which the authorities and NGOs can intervene.
4. Propositions from NGOs to be introduced in the public authorities agenda and priorities
The workshop on Participatory democracy and Human Rights, moderated by Mircea KIVU, sociologist, stressed the need to enforce existing laws, including the desire for greater use of the expertise of NGOs helpful to public administrations. Among the wishes expressed, that of an appropriate selection of the most representative NGOs in the field and a publication on internet of the list of NGOs consulted by the Government.
Social dialogue Ministry website
Texts on climate by the committee
Living together in multicultural societies : respect, dialogue, interaction