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Civil Society: Working with the Council of Europe

Thursday 31 March

13.00 – 16.00 at SOSTE, Yliopistonkatu 5, Helsinki

14.00 – 16.00 Online, Zoom

The Conference of INGOs (CINGO) of the Council of Europe is organising country visits in its member states. In that context CINGO is visiting Helsinki, Finland on 29 March – 1 April 2022.

CINGO is the voice of organised civil society at the Council of Europe and is composed of 327 international NGOs which hold participatory status with the Council of Europe. It interacts with the Council of Europe institutions and with the Member States.

The purpose of the fact-finding visits is to meet domestic NGOs and public authorities to introduce them to the Conference of INGOs and discuss NGO participation in the public decision-making process. Certain legal frameworks are in place in countries in order to consult NGOs and to associate them in decision-making.  The Conference would like to hear the point of view of both NGOs and authorities to find out what use is made of these participatory tools. The result of the visit will also contribute to advancing the Council of Europe’s work in this field.

The participation of civil society in decision-making is one of the priorities of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and guidelines on civil society’s effective and meaningful participation in the political decision-making process are being developed for possible adoption by the Committee of Ministers.

CINGO and the hosting organisation SOSTE are organising an open hybrid event for NGO’s to hear and discuss more on the possibilities of engaging with the Council of Europe. 

The registration for the event at SOSTE has closed.

The event is free of charge. The maximum amount of participants at SOSTE is 40.

torstai 31.3.

  • 13:00
  • Lunch

Lunch is served for participants at SOSTE

  • 14:00
  • Opening of the event

Gerhard Ermischer, President, Conference of INGOs 

  • Remarks by the State Secretary to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs Finland

Johanna Sumuvuori, State Secretary to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs Finland 

  • Presentation on CINGO on opportunities of civil society engagement

Gerhard Ermischer, President, Conference of INGOs 

  • How can NGOs get involved with the Council of Europe? Practical examples.

Anu Juvonen, Policy Advisor, Council of Europe 

  • Comment by Finland's ambassador to the Council of Europe

Nina Nordström, Ambassador, Permanent Representative, Finland’s permanent representation to the Council of Europe 

  • Comment from the Ministry of Education and Culture

Kati Anttalainen (TBC), Senior Specialist, Ministry of Education and Culture

  • 14:55
  • Discussion
  • 16:00
  • End of meeting