The international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) with participatory status with the Council of Europe held their summer session from 26 to 30 June 2017. This session was marked both by the elections of the chairmen and vice-chairmen of the transversal commissions “education and culture”, “democracy, social cohesion and global challenges” and “human rights” only by the 40th anniversary of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe celebrated at a reception given by the Mayor of the city and Eurometropolis of Strasbourg (see the President’s word: https://rm.coe.int/16806ecbd3).
Jean-Jacques Kuster participated for the EUR in the Conference.
Several issues were discussed and texts adopted at this session, which can be consulted on the Council of Europe website: http://www.coe.int/en/web/ingo/june-2017
The worrisome situation of NGOs in some countries was mentioned in particular in Hungary and Turkey.
The Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Ms Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, closed the proceedings by highlighting the major role of INGOs and their recognized place in the Council of Europe. Representing civil society, their role is to protect the health and liveliness of our democracies, more than ever threatened by extremism and fanaticism. They are the voice of citizens in Council of Europe bodies to strengthen their action and continue to promote human and social rights, as well as the protection of vulnerable people.