DG II DEMOCRACY NEWSLETTER Issue 32 – 15 October 2021
The Council of Europe Observatory on History Teaching in the spotlight in the latest issue of the magazine L'Histoire
One year after the assassination of Samuel Paty, in homage to the history teacher he was, the French monthly magazine L'Histoire published a special issue in October presenting the reality of the profession today and the challenges facing history education. Interviewed by L'Histoire, Piero Colla, a member of the OHTE Scientific Advisory Council, draws up a picture of the different approaches to teaching history in Europe. Alain Lamassoure, Chair of the OHTE Governing Board, recalls the genesis and mission of the CoE Observatory on History Teaching
Driven by the need to enable sport to deliver its benefits, such as health, inclusion and education, to the whole population, the European Sports Charter strongly emphasises the concept of sport for all. It formulates the principle of a “Right to Sport” that everyone should enjoy.
“In the context of globalised and commercialised sport, it is more important than ever for European States to clarify the common features of a framework for European sport and to clarify the values to be upheld in sport. I particularly welcome the fact that the revised version underlines the principle of a right to sport to be enjoyed by all citizens”, highlighted Deputy Secretary General Bjørn Berge, upon the adoption by the Committee of Ministers.
DIRECTORATE OF HUMAN DIGNITY, EQUALITY AND GOVERNANCE
WORLD FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY Forum Talk: Energy democracy drives just transitions : strategies from across the globe
Energy systems and climate action cannot be left to the market. It’s urgent to transition to energy democracies that are optimal for people and planet. How can public ownership, community control and participatory governance ensure that justice is served? And which forms of collective action will help us get there?
In this webinar, on Monday 25 October 2021, we will dive into the biggest challenges to a renewable energy future and best practices from across Europe, South Africa and the Americas. A set of formidable speakers is ready to equip participants with concrete handles for building system-wide people power to ensure that those on the frontlines of the climate crisis are the ones driving the energy transition.
The role of foreign policy in advancing gender equality: Addressing the challenges, pushbacks and obstacles faced by women”
The Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General, Bjørn Berge, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, will open the conference on “The role of foreign policy in advancing gender equality: Addressing the challenges, pushbacks and obstacles faced by women” which is organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus in partnership with the Council of Europe. Diplomats, representatives of the Council of Europe and other international organisations as well as NGOs, will address the following three main themes: the role of multilateralism in the promotion of gender equality and women’s rights, good practice examples of national feminist foreign policies and the role of gender-sensitive foreign policies in the area of migration. The conference is organised on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Cyprus joining the Council of Europe.
18 October 2021 - Conference of INGOs organises two events dedicated to the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and the European Anti-trafficking Day
The Conference of INGOs is organising two events on 18 October 2021, to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17 October) and the European Anti-Trafficking Day (18 October).
A ceremony with senior officials of the Council of Europe will be held outside the Palais de l'Europe from 12h30 - 13h15. Testimonies of persons who have been a victim of trafficking or whose rights to decent work have been denied will be presented.
The ceremony will be followed by a webinar that will explore the issue of decent work - articles 1, 2, 3, 4 and 26 of the revised European Social Charter related to: the formality of work; usefulness of work and impact on the environment, respect for the rights and dignity of all persons.
The webinar can be followed online - a link will be made available before the event
GRETA carries out second evaluation visit to Belarus
A delegation of the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) carried out an evaluation visit to Belarus from 28 September to 1 October 2021 as part of the second evaluation round of the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. During the visit, the GRETA delegation held consultations with Mr Hennadz Kazakevich, Deputy Minister of the Interior, as well as officials from the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Border Committee, the Investigative Committee, the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Supreme Court. In addition, the delegation travelled to Brest where it met representatives of relevant regional and local authorities and law enforcement agencies. The delegation held separate meetings with representatives of non-governmental organisations, intergovernmental organisations, lawyers and victims of human trafficking. In the course of the visit, GRETA visited a specialised shelter for victims of human trafficking in Minsk, run by the IOM, and the crisis room of the territorial centre of social protection in Brest, which can accommodate victims of human trafficking.
Round-table meeting on Turkey’s progress in implementing GRETA’s first report
On 7 October 2021, the Anti-Trafficking Division of the Council of Europe, in co-operation with the Directorate General of Migration Management of Turkey, organised a round-table meeting in Ankara to discuss progress made in the implementation of the first report (add hyperlink) of the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) on Turkey and the related Committee of the Parties recommendation (add hyperlink) to the Turkish authorities. The meeting brought together some 60 representatives of relevant ministries, public agencies, intergovernmental organisations and civil society. Participants discussed progress and remaining challenges in the field of prevention, identification and assistance provided to victims of human trafficking, the criminal justice response to human trafficking, and co-ordination of anti-trafficking action. Turkey is expected to report to the Committee of the Parties to the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings on measures taken to comply with the recommendations by 18 October 2021.
GRETA publishes its second report on Kosovo*
On 11 October 2021, GRETA published its second evaluation report on Kosovo*, which acknowledges progress made in certain areas and calls on the authorities to further strengthen their anti-trafficking efforts, particularly with regard to the identification of and assistance to victims of trafficking. GRETA welcomes the steps taken since the publication of its first evaluation report on Kosovo* in 2016, such as measures to prevent human trafficking through awareness raising and training, the adoption of unified indicators for the identification of victims and potential victims of trafficking, and the appointment of human trafficking co-ordinators at prosecutor’s offices.
The report contains a comprehensive analysis of the implementation of the provisions of the Istanbul Convention. It highlights numerous positive legal and policy measures but points out that less attention is directed towards the forms of violence against women other than domestic violence. Women from socially vulnerable groups should be paid more attention to, data collection should be improved, stronger criminal justice response is needed.
COUNCIL OF EUROPE DEVELOPMENT BANK
Turkey and CEB sign agreements to mitigate seismic risk in Istanbul and to support healthcare investments for refugees
The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and the Ministry of Treasury and Finance of Turkey signed a third loan agreement worth € 100 million in support of the Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project (ISMEP). Initiated in 2005 under the sponsorship of the Istanbul province governorship, ISMEP is one of the largest single city seismic risk mitigation programmes in the world. It seeks to implement a comprehensive set of mitigating measures and disaster management system to gradually transform Istanbul into a city resilient to a major earthquake.
The Bank also signed an agreement with the Turkish Ministry of Health on the implementation of two EU grants in total value of €80.6 million to support refugee healthcare investments. The grants will finance the construction and/or renovation of migrant health centres and physiotherapy and rehabilitation units in public hospitals as well as the purchase of medical equipment and supplies. They are part of a €90 million investment project in refugee healthcare infrastructure that will make quality health care services more accessible to refugees and persons eligible for subsidiary protection in Turkey.
COMMITTEES, MONITORING, WORKING GROUPS,
Drafting Committee on migrant women concludes work on a Recommendation on the rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls
During these two days, representatives of 22 member states, 2 observer states, 4 observers and 8 sectors of the Council of Europe discussed a compromise document prepared by the Chair and the Secretariat following a final consultation of member states and other stakeholders in June-July 2021. The revised text addresses the rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls and looks at issues of non-discrimination, access to justice, intersectionality, protection, support, residence, integration, and returns.
The text of the draft Recommendation as delivered by GEC-MIG will be forwarded to the Gender Equality Commission for consideration at its November 2021 plenary meeting.
GRETA - Capacity building trainings and workshops
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, a training for media representatives on protection of private life and personal data of victims of trafficking took place on 30 September 2021. International tools and the role of the media, as well as ethical interviewing and storytelling in order to avoid further traumatisation, especially of children who are victims of trafficking, were discussed.
In Serbia, a multi- disciplinary workshop on detecting and identifying cases of human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation was held on 7 October 2021. It gathered labour inspectors, police officers, representatives of the Centre for Human Trafficking Victims’ Protection and NGOs who compared experiences and exchanged on trends of labour exploitation in Serbia as well as challenges they face in their work.
In Kosovo*, on 29-30 September and 1-2 October 2021, training on “Detection, early identification of, and assistance to victims of human trafficking” was organised for some 30 participants from community action groups and institutional working groups established under the ROMACTED II project from 10 municipalities. The training was axed on a mix of topics including importance and means of cooperation for prevention, detection, early identification and assistance to victims of trafficking.
Manual for Georgian investigators, prosecutors and judges on cases of sexual violence crimes
Presented online on 22 September 2021, the manual was developed with the support of the Council of Europe , UN Women and the international organization Equality Now, as well as the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and international and local experts, including court representatives.
The guide combines the best techniques and methodologies for investigation, prosecution and adjudication on rape and other forms of sexual violence. To date, there was no educational tool tailored to the Georgian context and aimed at improving access to justice in cases of sexual violence. Carolyn Edgerton, one of the authors of the manual, qualifies it as a “capacity-building milestone”.
This project aims at building institutional capacities to promote women’s political participation and to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence in the Russian Federation. It aims at empowering those who can be actors of change in the Russian Federation, hence contributing to mobilise them in favour of gender equality and women’s human rights. The project is expected to contribute to the practical implementation of the National Action Strategy for Women (2017-2022). The project will run until 17 March 2023.
The action aims to strengthen women's access to justice in Turkey in line with international and European standards. It will contribute to improving the capacity of legal aid and victim support services to effectively respond to the needs of women, enhancing legal aid access for women through work with legal aid lawyers and civil society, and increasing legal literacy and awareness among women, especially groups of women in vulnerable situations.
The action will run for 15 months from 1 October 2021 to 31 December 2022.
The Board took note that, since its last meeting in February 2021, a total of 166 participants attended project activities related to combating violence against women and domestic violence and to the Istanbul Convention, and a further 500 actively engaged through social media.
International conference on Women’s Access to Justice (7 and 8 October)
Opened by Council of Europe Secretary-General Marija Pejčinović Burić and EU Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli, the online conference drew around 200 participants, including decision-makers, legal professionals and academia. Conference panelists tackled current challenges and the barriers women face when accessing justice, which were especially exacerbated during the COVID 19 pandemic, and discussed measures and practical action to ensure women’s access to justice. The event also provided a platform for advocacy on the full ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention.
Second communication workshop “Building engagement: #IstanbulConventionSavesLives”
On 28 September, the second communication workshop “Building Engagement: #IstanbulConventionSavesLives” targeting NGOs in Latvia took place online. The Council of Europe, UN Women and WAVE Network brought together communication specialists, journalists and NGO activists to exchange practices on impactful communication on gender equality and human rights. The first workshop took place on 25 June, joining Czech and Polish civil society organisations.
In the framework of the South Programme IV, the Council of Europe and the Presidency of the Public Prosecution of Morocco organised From October 6th to 7th 2021 in Fes, the last training session aiming at strengthening the role of public prosecutors in combatting violence against women and domestic violence. This training is a follow up to several similar trainings held since December 2019 in Marrakech, Agadir, Rabat, Tangier and El Jadida enabling around 370 magistrates, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, to deepen their approach to the challenges related to this issue at the judicial chain level, as well as their knowledge of national and international standards and the best practices in this field. These activities took place in the context of the implementation of Law 103-13 on the fight against violence towards women, of Law 13-2012 identifying the conditions of domestic labour and of the efforts made by the representatives of the Public Prosecutor's Office in the fight against child marriage.
New Legislation for Bratislava and Košice
The reform of the status of the Capital City of Bratislava and the city of Košice in the Slovak Republic is being discussed between the Slovak Ministry of Interior, the authorities of the two cities and the Council of Europe experts. Following the discussions and consultation with the national stakeholders, a Policy Advice with recommendations for strengthening the regulatory framework will be prepared, in line with the Council of Europe standards. The policy advice is being prepared by the Centre of Expertise for Good Governance, in cooperation with the Slovak partners and experts, in the framework of the Council of Europe – European Union joint project "Delivering Good Governance in Slovakia - II phase"
Leadership Academy Programme launched in Serbia
Good institutional leadership is key to providing good governance. This is why the Council of Europe’s Leadership Academy Programme (LAP) was launched in Serbia and the first training of trainers was organised on 28 – 29 September, aimed at increasing the knowledge and skills related to leadership and good democratic governance of local trainers, who will later provide training for the elected local authorities. The training was attended by 22 trainers and was held online, whereas the second session is expected to be held in person by the end of October in Belgrade. With the support of the Centre of Expertise for Good Governance, the first LAP module on Good Local Governance was integrated into the National Management Training Programme adopted by the Serbian Government in 2021.
Good Governance, Resilience Building, and the functioning of local administrations in times of COVID: a Conference in Poland
The event was opened with an ELoGE award ceremony, during which several Polish municipalities, having demonstrated their ability to comply with the 12 Principles, were awarded the Label. The Congress also included a roundtable discussion with representatives of Italian, Portuguese, British, and US municipalities on the functioning of local administration during the pandemic. The event was organised by the Foundation in Support of Local Democracy and the National Council of Secretaries' Forums with support of the Centre of Expertise for Good Governance.
Legal Personality at Local Level in Ukraine: Council of Europe takes the lead
Ukraine is undertaking a large reform of its local self-government system. Again this background, the issue of legal personality of local governments has become one of the most debated topics, and the Specialised Parliamentary Committee on Local Self-Government requested that the Centre of Expertise for Good Governance of the Council of Europe provides support through the organisation of a number of thematic discussions, with the involvement of high-level national officials, such as MPs, Ministers, mayors, legal professionals, and experts.
On 8 October, the case studies from several countries, prepared in collaboration with other international partners, were presented to the members of government, parliament, and a wide audience of stakeholders. The experts discussed the main issues related to legal personality at local level, summarised in 13 reports, including the responses collected from the members of the European Committee on Democracy and Governance (CDDG). By the end of the year, the Centre of Expertise will prepare a Policy Advice for the Ukrainian authorities based on the results of these discussions.
How to make local communities free from discrimination and sexism — discussed during the Fifth Ukrainian Women's Congress
Current challenges and possible strategic solutions for building non-discriminatory local communities, in particular European and Ukrainian experience in this field, were discussed on September 16, 2021 during a special event of the Council of Europe* within the V Ukrainian Women's Congress held in Kyiv on September 15-16, 2021.
OGP awards the project on civil participation in Ukraine
The Council of Europe project “Strengthening civil participation in democratic decision- making in Ukraine” received the award for its contribution to the development of the open government from the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Initiative in Ukraine in honor of the tenth anniversary of the OGP Initiative in Ukraine. Through the awards, the most impactful OGP commitments in Ukraine over the last decade were recognised and the Council of Europe project was honored to be one of the winners in the category "Development of Civil Participation in Ukraine". The project in Ukraine has been supporting 30 local authorities in integrating the Council of Europe democratic standards into municipal regulations and practical frameworks and providing policy advice and expertise to regional and national authorities.
Democracy Café for young people in Republic of Moldova
A discussion platform called “Democracy Café for the young people” was launched by the Council of Europe, in co-operation with the Republic of Moldova, the Central Electoral Commission of the Autonomous Territorial Unit Gagauzia (ATU Gagauzia) and the National Youth Council of Moldova.
Keeping History Teaching on the Agenda: OHTE at World Congress of School History Teachers
As we celebrated World Teachers Day on 5 October 2021, the OTHE presented its work, mission, and structure at the World Congress of School History Teachers in Moscow. A session dedicated to the OTHE also allowed history teachers to actively discuss the impact of this project on their professional lives and their students understanding of democracy
Strengthening Democratic Culture in Basic Education in Turkey
The pilot implementation starting in 110 schools through 10 provinces of the EU/CoE Joint Project Strengthening Democratic Culture in Basic Education was officially launched on October 28. The implementation will serve to test the education materials developed with the support of the project and aiming at consolidating a democratic school culture. On the following day, policymakers started to work on the development of policy recommendations to ensure that the competences for democratic culture are integrated into Turkish educational policy documents. Following this summer Trainings of Trainers (TOTs) the Ministry of National Education decided to accredit the two modules (on Strengthening Democratic Culture in Basic Education and on Methods and Approaches in Adult Education) in the regular teachers’ annual in-service training offer
On 27 September, the BeNeLux Secretariat organised an event to celebrate the recent signing of a BeNeLux – Baltic agreement on automatic recognition. The hybrid event saw the participation of the Ministers of Education of Belgium (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles), Latvia, Lithuania and the Netherlands. The Council of Europe was invited to moderate a panel debate with stakeholders.
Reviewing progress of the recommendation on Young People’s Access to Rights
On 16 and 17 September a hybrid consultative meeting was held to discuss the conclusions of the review of the Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)7 on Young People’s Access to Rights and its implementation in member states and by youth organisations. The participants of the meeting discussed the outcomes of a study and desk research made to support this review process. They also provided input to the draft conclusions to be presented by the monitoring group to the Joint Council on Youth in October.
The review focuses on measures taken to address discriminatory practices faced by young people and on obstacles to the right of young people to assemble and to freely form, join, and be active in associations and trade unions. A specific page containing the results of the desk research and surveys is set up to provide knowledge on the review process for the participants and wider stakeholders interested in young people's access to rights: Young People’s Access to Rights.
The Joint Council on Youth is expected to discuss the conclusions and adopt measures for supporting and monitoring issues of young people’s access to rights.
25th Council of Europe Meeting of the Workshops for the implementation of the Council of Europe Landscape Convention: “Landscape policies! Landscape strategies, action plans and policy documents for landscape quality”
The 25th Council of Europe Meeting of the Workshops for the implementation of the Council of Europe Landscape Convention on “Landscape policies! Landscape strategies, action plans and policy documents for landscape quality” is being organised in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, on 6-8 October 2021, by the Council of Europe – Secretariat of the Convention, Directorate of Democratic Participation – in co-operation with the Ministry of Culture and Sport of Spain and the Council of Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, within the framework of the Work Programme of the Convention.
The Meeting aims to present experiences of public policies concerning the implementation of Article 5 of the Council of Europe Landscape Convention on “General measures”, according to which each Party undertakes:
to recognise landscapes in law as an essential component of people’s surroundings, an expression of the diversity of their shared cultural and natural heritage, and a foundation of their identity;
to establish and implement landscape policies aimed at landscape protection, management and planning, through the adoption of the specific measures set out in Article 6 of the Convention ;
to establish procedures for the participation of the general public, local and regional authorities, and other parties with an interest in the definition and implementation of the landscape policies;
to integrate landscape into their regional and town planning policies and in their cultural, environmental, agricultural, social and economic policies, as well as in any other policies with possible direct or indirect impact on landscape.
The final weeks of the European Heritage Days 2021 events are approaching, but there is still plenty more to discover and explore. The events are happening soon in Bulgaria, Armenia, Malta, North Macedonia, Albania, Spain and Montenegro based on this year’s shared theme of “Heritage: All Inclusive!”. Events to coincide with the European Year of Rail are planned in several areas, while Greece will also be remembering the 200th anniversary of the 1821 Greek Revolution, ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’ will be a focus for San Marino, and Croatia will be celebrating the country’s ‘Year of Reading’.
Strategy 21 - New Methodology Guidelines
The new Strategy 21 Methodology guidelines are designed to assist both government officials and project managers in their daily work, by demonstrating the main approaches to ST21 and proposing implementation methods already tried and tested by stakeholders. The guidelines clarify:
Which stakeholders can make use of Strategy 21 – public /national /regional / local authorities, professionals, associations, museums, communities, citizens and cultural heritage owners.
Their roles vis-à-vis cultural heritage.
How can they use Strategy 21 in practical ways, taking into account the principles of participation and sustainability, and with the aim of producing transversal impacts (social/territory/knowledge) and responding to migratory, climatic and innovation challenges.
Introductory session of the 3rd Seminar of Heritage Education at School
San Millán de la Cogolla, Spain (29-30 September 2021)
Organised by Hispania Nostra, the San Millán de la Cogolla Foundation and the Obra Pía de los Pizarro Foundation and the SM Foundation, the 3rd Seminar of Heritage Education at School promoted the awareness of teachers and civil society about heritage education. It aims to open a line of dialogue and exchange between teachers and managers of heritage institutions to redefine heritage education programmes and adapt them to the learning needs of students.
One of the two introductory sessions, delivered by the Faro Convention secretariat at the Council of Europe, focused on citizen participation in the management of cultural heritage and the role of education in the context of the Convention. This presentation highlighted the major importance given to education in the Faro Convention and was an opportunity to discuss the important role of educational actors in its implementation. The online seminar brought together more than 500 participants, mainly from Spain and Latin America.
Greening the youth sector - Sustainability Checklist Published
Young people are leading the climate justice movement, advocating for more sustainable practices at the global level and making environmentally-conscious choices in their daily lives. “Thinking green” is a continuous process, requiring creativity and adaptability. The EU-Council of Europe Youth Partnership’s sustainability checklist serves as a guideline for integrating sustainability into all aspects of youth sector activities.
For more information about our work on sustainability and climate, visit our website.
New video: Zero waste and young people
What is zero waste? Who are the young people practicing it? Is it accessible to all?
Explore this topic in the new Perspectives on Youth video and learn more about young people's views and attitudes towards zero waste practice, as one of the ways to reduce pollution and respond to climate change with Claudia Maffei, zero waste coach, Mikko Piispa, youth researcher, and Tom Campbell, youth activist interviewed by Aleksandra Maldziski and Matina Magkou.
The Perspectives on Youth series aims to stimulate critical and anticipative discussions on youth issues that need to be considered by youth policies in Europe to ensure their relevance for and positive impact on young people, seeking for trends in the youth field that need innovative and forward-looking answers and strategies. Read the articles and watch the recordings of the previous Perspectives on Youth webinars on our website.
The conference on “Preserving independent production, diversity and pluralism in TV series in Europe” took place in Budapest on 30 September and 1 October. Industry professionals exchanged on the most urgent needs to facilitate the production of high-end series in a very competitive market dominated by non-European players. In their conclusions, the participants confirmed the importance of the role of the Council of Europe in preserving cultural diversity and pluralism in the audiovisual sector. They also highlighted the role of international cooperation to offset the fragmentation of the European audiovisual market. As a next step, Eurimages would further explore the legal and financial solutions to codify the rules of drama series co-production and possibly cover part of the constantly increasing budgets required at critical moments of the production chain.
On 6 October, the opening ceremony of the 2021 edition of the Etoiles et Toiles du Cinéma Européen initiative was held at the Odyssée cinema in Strasbourg. A selection of 14 Eurimages-supported co-productions were shown and the screening schedule is available on the Odyssée cinema’s website. A jury composed of Permanent Representatives of several member States of the Council of Europe and senior civil servants of the Organisation, chaired by Marie Fontanel, French Ambassador and Permanent Representative at the Council of Europe, will award two prices at the closing ceremony which will take place on 10 November 2021.
ECML - European Centre for Modern Languages
The ECML Governing Board was held on 5-6 October with nineteen representatives in Graz and a further eighteen participating online. The Board partly renewed its Bureau, adopted a new 2-year project on language-sensitive teacher education and expressed satisfaction with the latest revisions to the draft Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers on the importance of plurilingual and intercultural education for democratic culture. It also paid tribute to Sjur Bergan, outgoing Head of Education, for his tireless support for the Centre over the years.
The ECML’s first ever hybrid workshop for the project Developing teacher competences for pluralistic approaches attracted 42 professionals from 33 countries. Participants considered which specific competences were required to allow teachers to implement approaches involving several languages and how these could be developed through teacher education programmes. The workshop evaluation confirmed that 70% of the participants intend to integrate workshop content into their own practices.
NORTH SOUTH CENTRE
The Meta-University is a new initiative of the North-South Centre created in 2020 with the purpose to keep working on youth cooperation and youth participation in these critical circumstances, while exploring the possibilities of digital youth work.
With over 10 different workshops run by different partners for an audience of 300 participants, the four days programme will offer the chance to:
build your capacities through ten workshops led by partner organisations;
contribute to the development of the global youth agenda by following the plenary sessions;
connect with peers and practice intercultural dialogue by joining informal gatherings such as online coffee-breaks and dynamic group chats;
network with organisations, present projects and opportunities, build new partnership in the “Expo Area”;
lead of the event by opening a new rooms to follow-up ideas and proposals, to deepen a conversation or to address issues not yet covered.
The Meta-University allows different levels of engagement and involves a variety of partners (grassroots initiatives, institutional organisations, national bodies and international networks) covering diverse regions of the world.
The Global Education Week 2021 is around the corner
A new edition of the Global Education Week will take place to celebrate and promote Global from 15 to 21 November.
The Global Education Week is a worldwide awareness raising campaign and a call to rethink our world together, using Global Education as a tool for solidarity and change. It calls each of us to play our role as global citizens and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable world, by sharing solutions to rethink our habits and ways of living, but also finding new forms of education and socialisation.
As in previous years, under the motto “It’s our world, let’s take action together!”, the Global Education Week 2021 will promote the activities proposed by the Global Education Network and participating organisations under the overarching theme of the Sustainable Development Goals.
To officially launch the preparation of activities that will lead to the Week, an online participatory info session will be held on 27 October, 3 pm CET.
During the first part of the session, the North South Centre of the Council of Europe will provide a global overview of the activities planned for this year. Further on, two national coordinators from the network will talk about the specific set-up of the Week in their own countries. The session will then end with a Q&A, where speakers will answer the attendees' questions gathered during the session.
In order to attend the info session, please register here.
If you wish to discover the activities already registered for this year edition, we invite you to visit our webpage.
EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement (Natural and technological hazards)
The invitations to ministers from State Parties and Observer States to attend the the EUR-OPA Major Hazards Ministerial Meeting to be held on 24 November in Matosinhos, Portugal were sent out at the end of September by HE Eduardo Cabrita, Minister for Home Affairs of Portugal. The Secretariat actively followed up by soliciting confirmations of attendance and interventions during the meeting. In order to ensure the smooth organization of the meeting and given that the EUR-OPA Major Hazards Ministerial Meeting will be held back-to-back with the UN European Forum on Disaster Risk Reduction, the Executive Secretary visited the UNDRR Europe Office in Brussels on 5 October to discuss the technical modalities of the event and the perspectives for future cooperation. The Executive Secretary also met in Brussels with representatives of EC’s DG for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) to discuss synergies and future cooperation.
Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (BERN CONVENTION)
The 10th meeting of the Group of Experts on the Conservation of Amphibians and Reptiles took place online on 28 September.
The main objective of the meeting was to review currently implemented national conservation initiatives, the status of species and progress made to prevent and control the Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans chytrid fungus (a pathogenic chytrid fungus responsible for declines of amphibian populations worldwide).
The Secretariat was pleased to welcome representatives of national authorities, scientific experts on amphibians and reptiles, and representatives of partner institutions/organisations. For more information, please visit the meeting page.
The 12th meeting of the Group of Experts on Protected Areas and Ecological Networks was held online on 5-6 October.
The Group elaborated its programme of work for 2022 and discussed issues related to the Emerald Network of areas of special conservation interest and the reporting under Resolution No. 8 (2012) on the conservation status of species and habitats.
CULTURAL ROUTES - 10th Annual Advisory Forum on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe: 29 September-1 October 2021 (Kutaisi, Georgia, online)
The 10th edition of the Annual Advisory Forum on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth of Georgia and the Kutaisi City Municipality, took place online from 29 September-1 October 2021.
The Forum featured over 80 video contributions from high-level speakers addressing the role of Cultural Routes in encouraging resilience, innovation and sustainability, with an opportunity to showcase the extraordinary cultural heritage of Georgia, the city of Kutaisi and its region. The Forum welcomed the attendance of representatives of the 35 EPA member States, 45 Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, International Organisations including UNESCO, UNWTO, OECD, the European Commission, BSEC and OEI, hundreds of stakeholders as well as streamed on social media for a very large audience.
An accession ceremony took place to welcome Sweden and Ukraine to the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, and a certification Ceremony celebrated the 7 newly certified Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe in 2020 and 2021.
Next year, the Annual Advisory Forum will be held in Chania, Greece, on the theme of Cultural Routes and Intangible Heritage, at the invitation of the Greek Authorities (5-7 October 2022).
New “Key-to” LEMON courses on social media available
Three new LEMON key courses are now available, focusing on providing guidance for educators and educational stakeholders on understanding, teaching and using social media, particularly as educational tools for democracy: “Understanding Social Media, Democracy and Human Rights: A Guide for Educators” , “Teaching Democratic Competences for Social Media”, “Using Social Media as an Educational Tool for Democracy”.
The Living Library breaks a record with close to 300 readers!
The Youth Department organised a Living Library as part of the European Youth Event (EYE) on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 October 2021. The Living Library aims to challenge preconceptions and discrimination by facilitating a conversation with a living book who shares his/her experience.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover ! “ 185 enthusiastic young participants borrowed a living book and were touched, surprised, moved by their reading of the rich human stories they discovered during this experience; “the ex-Nazi”, “the Gipsy from the inside”, “the Imam”, “the Psychologist”, “the Lesbian Mum”, “the Freemason”, “the former Guantanamo detainee”, “the Unaccompanied Minors from Afghanistan and Mali”, “the Muslim and/or French”, “the Person with a disability” were all best-sellers during this Living Library!
About Time! – Digital Launch
About Time! the reference manual for youth policy from a European perspective was launched on 5 October with Matjaž Gruden, Director of Democratic Participation, Council of Europe, Babis Papaioannou, Policy Officer, DG EAC, European Commission and Mila Mila Lukić, member of the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe.
Ukraine: Strengthening youth participation on local level
Between July and September, teams from ten local communities – partners of the project Youth for Democracy in Ukraine – learned about applying the principles of the Council of Europe on youth policy and youth participation in a medium-term capacity building programme.
These activities are part of the component Young People, Full Citizens of the project which aims at supporting youth policy actors on local level in Ukraine to develop policies that enhance youth participation and civic engagement of young people. Representatives of public authorities, youth councils, NGOs and youth groups discussed the future co-operation of local teams in order to strengthen youth participation based on the Charter on the participation of young people in local and regional life and applied it to their project. As a next step, experts of the project now provide mentoring and practical advice to support the local teams to implement their own projects on strengthening youth participation.
COMPASS Training Course in Azerbaijan
The national training course on human rights education COMPASS was held between 13 and 19 September at the Resource Centre for Youth Organisations in Baku, Azerbaijan. The training course brought together young trainers and multipliers from 10 regions of Azerbaijan to build capacity in human rights education and to advocate for human rights in local and national contexts. It was organised in cooperation with the Youth Department of the Council of Europe and the National Assembly of Youth Organisation of the Republic of Azerbaijan (NAYORA).
The activity introduced participants to the Council of Europe Charter on Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education and enabled the use of COMPASS in their daily experiences as human rights educators.
As a result of a weeklong training course, participants developed their knowledge, skills and attitudes as youth trainers and paved the way to create the future network of human rights educators from Azerbaijan. The coursed was concluded with participants sharing their personal goals as human rights educators and developing follow-up activities to be implemented in the upcoming months.
SHARED – Compass training course in Italy
Support HumAn Rights EDucation was the title of the Compass training course on human rights education promoted and coordinated by the NowHere+ (progeaNGO) Association and REDU – Rete Educare Diritti Umani within the framework of the "Youth for Democracy" programme of the Council of Europe.
The course took place from 17 to 20 September 2021 in Florence and involved over 30 youth workers, educators and trainers from all over Italy. The programme supported the development of participants' skills in human rights education and democratic citizenship and how to multiply those values in a broad and widespread way among young people in Italy through youth work and non-formal education.
The training course was based on the Compass manual, the principal European tool for the education of young people in human rights, with practical and interactive workshops to make it an integral part of the future experiences of the participants.
The impact of the Lanzarote Convention on case-law, decisions and legislation
On 4 October 2021, a public event on “The impact of the Lanzarote Convention on case-law, decisions and legislation” was held online. The event focused on the impact of the Lanzarote Convention on the case-law and decisions of international bodies with Mr Robert Spano, the President of the European Court of Human Rights as one of the keynote speakers. He presented how the Court has referred to the Convention and its interpretation by the Lanzarote Committee when examining allegations of breaches of the ECHR. Other key speakers included Pr Aoife Nolan, Member of the European Committee of Social Rights, Mr Bragi Guðbrandsson, Member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and Ms Christel De Craim, Chairperson of the Lanzarote Committee. The event also discussed the impact of the Lanzarote Convention at national level with examples drawn from case-law (from Norway) and the legislation (from Spain).
An Intercultural Cities expert visit took place on 5-6 October to Neumarkt, Germany to discuss the city’s Intercultural Cities INDEX results and their significance for the future policies. The visit gathered a large number of diverse actors including political leaders, city officials, NGOs and engaged citizens, to discuss the policies in place and to brainstorm ideas for the future plans. The visit provided information for the “intercultural profile” of the city which will form the basis of the subsequent work of Neumarkt within the Intercultural Cities network.
COMMITTEES, BOARDS,WORKING GROUPS
On 5 October 2021, ECRI made public its conclusions on the implementation of its priority recommendations by Latvia and the Russian Federation.
In its conclusions on Latvia, ECRI finds that the country has implemented one recommendation, namely to provide for the automatic recognition of Latvian citizenship for children born to “non-citizens”. However, ECRI considered that measures taken to address hate crimes are insufficient. In particular, community policing does not constitute an acceptable alternative to the creation of a specialised unit within the State Police, as recommended in its 2019 report. Community policing, if implemented effectively, can be a useful measure in addition to the creation of a unit specialised in the handling of racist and homo-/transphobic hate crimes, but not an adequate replacement.
In its conclusions on the Russian Federation, ECRI expresses its concern by the non-implementation by Russia of the priority recommendations to set up a body independent of the police and prosecution authorities to investigate all complaints against the police, as well as to abolish the legal ban on the provision of information about homosexuality to minors, in line with the 2017 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case Bayev and others v. Russia.
The conclusions published by ECRI on 5 October concern only the two specific recommendations for which priority follow-up was requested. They do not aim at providing a comprehensive analysis of all developments in the fight against racism and intolerance in these two Council of Europe member states.
On 6 October, the Advisory Committee on the FCNM held an exchange of views with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Kairat Abdrakhmanov. The High Commissioner presented current priorities in his work to prevent conflicts involving national minorities and thanked for the “fruitful and positive co-operation with the Council of Europe in the field of national minority protection”, noting that both institutions complement each other. The President of the Advisory Committee, Marie B. Hagsgård, noted common approaches in different fields such as participation of national minorities. She underlined that the Advisory Committee focuses on dialogue between those stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Framework Convention. Therefore, country monitoring visits and subsequent follow-up meetings involving representatives of national minorities and authorities are of particular importance.
Publication on 6 October of the 5th opinion of the Advisory Committee on the implementation of the FCNM by the Czech Republic
The Fifth Opinion on the Czech Republic of the Council of Europe Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities was published on 6 October. A summary of the Opinion’s main findings is available in Czech.
At its 4th Plenary meeting (13-15 October 2021), the Steering Committee for the Rights of the Child (CDENF) approved the draft Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2022-2027) before its submission to the Committee of Ministers. The final draft included proposals prepared by 220 children consulted in ten member states with the support from national delegations on the CDENF and their national child consultation partners. Children and national delegations provided individual (video) presentations on some of their key messages, and had a fruitful exchange with CDENF members directly. The Committee also discussed the follow-up of activities led under the current Strategy, and held the usual exchange with internal and external partners.
Reinforcing the fight against the manipulation of sport competitions - KCOOS+ gathers National Platforms from Europe
The unique project ‘Keep Crime Out Of Sports’+ (KCOOS+) which promotes the Macolin Convention and its effective implementation enabled a rich and dynamic exchange of best practices and experiences between 40 representatives of National platforms of European countries, members of the “Group of Copenhagen”.
This online session aimed at allowing in-depth updates on national developments and presentations of best practices, including in the cooperation with betting industry and sport organisations, key stakeholders of the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions.
70th plenary meeting of the Committee of Experts of the ECRML (29 September-1 October)
National Minorities and Minority Languages
The Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages held its 70th plenary meeting from 29 September to 1 October 2021 in a hybrid format (Strasbourg/online). Having resumed its monitoring visits in June, the Committee of Experts adopted its evaluation reports on the application of the Charter by Poland and Cyprus. It also adopted its mid-term report on the implementation of its recommendations for immediate action by Armenia.
The evaluation reports on Poland and Cyprus will be transmitted to the authorities of the respective State Party for possible comments within a deadline of two months. The reports and the states comments will then be made public and submitted to the Committee of Ministers, together with proposals for recommendations that, once adopted by the latter, will be addressed to the State Party.
72nd plenary meeting of the Advisory Committee on the FCNM (4-7 October)
National Minorities and Minority Languages
On 4-7 October 2021, the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities held its 72nd plenary meeting in a hybrid mode with part of its members present in Strasbourg and the others joining remotely via videoconference. The Advisory Committee adopted on 4 October its final opinion on the implementation of the Convention by San Marino, which will become public in the beginning of next year once the government comments, if any, received. On 6 October it approved its draft opinion on the implementation of the Convention by Estonia and on 7 October the draft opinion on Germany, both of which will now undergo a confidential dialogue phase with the State parties concerned before being examined again and adopted at the 2022 February plenary session.
COOPERATION ACTIVITIES - Children's Rights
On 11 October 2021 in the framework of the Project "Combating violence against children in Ukraine" the HELP course on family law and human rights was launched for representatives of the legal community in Ukraine. The course was adapted to the Ukrainian context for the first time and provides a comprehensive overview of international and European family law-related standards, case-law, and good practices. It is the first HELP course to provide a single resource on the topic, covering the extensive Council of Europe standards and EU law, as well as soft-law instruments on the matter. It integrates training materials previously developed by the Council of Europe and is complementary to the HELP courses on child-friendly justice launched in December 2020.
On 5-6 October 2021, the NGO Association for the Empowerment of Children and Families “AVE Copiii” under the grant agreement with the Council of Europe project Combating violence against children in the Republic of Moldova and in cooperation with the National Olympic and Sports Committee organised two workshops on Child protection in sport activities. These activities contributed to raising awareness among 43 participants on the risks of violence against children in sport, in particular sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children in sport, and measures to address these risks.
In the framework of the project “Ensuring child-friendly justice through the effective operation of the Barnahus-units in Finland” bi-lateral consultations with key stakeholders took place during the month of October in order to fine-tune the project workplan and get a better understanding of the needs and gaps. Meetings were held with coordinators of the five Barnahus units, with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and with the Ministry of Interior. The findings of the meetings will be presented in the inception report at the Kick-off meeting of the project on 25 November 2021.
EDQM - THE EUROPEAN DIRECTORATE FOR THE QUALITY OF MEDICINES & HEALTHCARE
Time for transparency: The European Committee on Organ Transplantation of the Council of Europe sheds light on the phenomenon of international travel for transplantation
The number of transplants performed worldwide (almost 147,000 in 2018) continues to be far from meeting present and foreseeable global needs. As a result, thousands of patients die or endure a poor quality of life. Patients with limited accesses to transplantation at their jurisdictions may feel compelled to travel to countries with active programmes of deceased donation.
However, the movement of patients for the purpose of receiving a transplant from the deceased donor waiting list in foreign jurisdictions is a matter of concern for transplant authorities and poses different challenges for the safety of the patient and the transplant systems both of the countries of origin and destination. Transplant authorities and governments are challenged by the need to provide adequate and humanitarian solutions to non-resident patients, while assuring the best possible transplantation services to their resident population.
At the present time, access of non-residents to transplantation with deceased donor organs remains a largely unexplored topic globally. Therefore, the European Committee on Organ Transplantation of the Council of Europe (CD-P-TO) performed a study to understand the dimension of the phenomenon in the Pan-European setting and its impact on national waiting times for transplantation, and to learn the different strategies used by member states of the Council of Europe to address the subject.
The complete results of this work, comprising information on non-resident patient access to transplantation and the different policies and strategies in place in 28 countries, have now been published in the scientific journal Transplant International. This data, available for the first time in the European setting, shed light on the phenomenon of international travel for transplantation and provide valuable information to support the development of suitable and fair policy decisions.
 Pérez-Blanco, A. et al. "Access of non-residents to transplantation of deceased donor organs: practices and strategies in the European setting."; Transpl Int 2021; Sep 23. doi: 10.1111/tri.14113 [online ahead of print].
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