Council of Europe: On the way towards participatory democracy

The President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities meets the President of the Conference of INGOs

Gerhard ErmischerAddress of Mr Gerhard Ermischer, President of the Conference of INGOs at the 131st Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe 

Strasbourg, May 22.– Congress President Leendert Verbeek, met with the newly elected President of the Conference of International non-governmental organizations (INGOs), Gerhard Ermischer, on 20 May 2021 to enhance co-operation between the Congress and the voluntary sector to promote active citizenship in political decision-making at local and regional level building on the Code of Good Practice on Civil Participation, a set of guidelines for NGO participation in decision-making processes.

Both Presidents stressed that, in this period of health crisis and mistrust of democratic institutions cooperation of INGOs and the Congress is more relevant than ever, as local authorities and civil society organisations are at the forefront of promoting democracy and restoring citizens' trust in politics, as they help to bridge the gap between politics and citizens. Building democratic societies is one of the main Congress priorities for 2021-2026, President Verbeek underlined."

The Congress of Regional and Local Authorities had previously adopted its priorities for 2021-2026 at its 40th session held online 23 to 24 March 2021. 

The Congress will focus on the contribution of local and regional authorities to the UN Sustainable Development Goals by promoting:

  • Resilient societies: effective responses to public health crisis;
  • Democratic societies: quality of representative democracy and citizen participation;
  • Cohesive societies: reducing inequalities;
  • Sustainable societies: environmental issues and climate action;
  • Digital societies: digitalisation and artificial intelligence in the local context.

The Congress priorities take into account the strategic framework of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the priorities of the members States and put the emphasis on environmental and social sustainability, digital revolution, as well as citizen engagement in a democracy.

[ More info. ] 
[ Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-Making Process

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