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Directorate General of Democracy
DG II DEMOCRACY NEWSLETTER
Issue 18 – 15 February 2021
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IN FOCUS
Teleworking in public administrations
GOOD GOVERNANCE

During the COVID-19 global pandemic many administrations have, for the first time, experimented with teleworking in order to ensure the continuity of public services. The Centre of Expertise for Good Governance has published a toolkit to facilitate the introduction and successful management of this working method. The toolkit is addressed to local, regional and central authorities and can be used beyond the emergency situation created by COVID-19.

The development and promotion of new innovative capacity-building tools is among the Centre’s priorities. These tools take inspiration from the best of European practice and enable the reinforcement and evaluation of local authorities’ capacities in a variety of areas. The tools are regularly revised and updated.All interested bodies are encouraged to use the tools, provided that the copyright is respected, qualified and certified by the Centre experts are used, and the Centre is informed. The Centre can provide assistance in the tools’ adaptation, implementation and training of national experts.
World Forum for Democracy
DEMOCRATIC INNOVATION

 12M/1Q: 12 Months to answer 1 Question: Can Democracy Save the Environment?Follow the links for all of the events past and planned:
January: Deliberative Democracy for the Environment 
February:  Disasters, Displacements and Climate Change
Living with controversy
EDUCATION

The new “Living with controversy” toolkit was launched.  The toolkit is a pack of instruments for education professionals developed within the joint EU/CoE programme Democratic and Inclusive School in Operation (DISCO) to develop the capacity to teach controversial issues and deal with them in schools. A complementary 2-hour course “The Key to Dealing with Controversial Issues” is available on the LEMON (Learning Modules Online) platform.
Under 30' podcast series
YOUTH - EU-Council of Europe youth partnership

Shrinking youth civic space is a worrying trend in Europe. How is this space actually changing, especially for youth organisations or youth movements nowadays in Europe?  Listen to the new episode of the Under 30' podcast series from the EU-Council of Europe youth partnership exploring this topic and read the new publication, Shrinking democratic civic space for youth by Tomaž Deželan and Laden Yurttaguler.
DIRECTORATE OF HUMAN DIGNITY, EQUALITY AND GOVERNANCE
EVENTS
European Label of Governance Excellence: Award Ceremony in Slovakia
GOOD GOVERNANCE

Ever since the Centre of Expertise for Good Governance first piloted the European Label of Governance Excellence (ELoGE) over 10 years ago, this innovative tool has been steadily gaining interest throughout Europe. In parallel to citizens' opinion polls, the participating municipalities conduct self-evaluations on their performance against a national benchmark based on the 12 Principles of Good Democratic Governance.. On 28 January 2021, five municipalities became the first recipients of the Label in Slovakia: Bratislava, Bratislava - Staré Mesto, Dubnica nad Váhom, Hlohovec and Topoľčany. The Minister of Interior addressed and congratulated the municipalities through a video message. This activity is being implemented as a part of the CoE – EU joint project Delivering Good Governance in Slovakia.
International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
HUMAN DIGNITY AND GENDER EQUALITY

 The 6th of February (UN International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation) was an opportunity to recall that the Istanbul Convention offers legally binding standards for governments to guarantee a zero tolerance approach to FGM which remains a violation of the human rights of women and girls and a threat to girls and women around the globe, including in Europe. A short video was released on Twitter. See also the guide The Istanbul Convention as a Tool to end FGM, produced jointly by the Council of Europe and Amnesty International
COMMITTEES, MONITORING, WORKING GROUPS,


GRETA evaluation visit to France
GRETA’s third evaluation visit of France took place on 8-12 February 2021. In addition to holding meetings with relevant ministries and agencies in Paris, GRETA visited Lyon and Rennes where it met with local stakeholders. Separate meetings were held with civil society representatives, lawyers and victims of human trafficking.

Israel invited to join the anti-trafficking Convention
On 10 February 2021, the Committee of Ministers invited Israel to join the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. In addition, it adopted a Resolution on the financial arrangements for the participation of non-member States in the anti-trafficking Convention, on the basis of which non-member states joining the Convention will be requested to contribute to finance the monitoring mechanism, thereby assuring the necessary sustainability of the expected ratification of the convention by more non-member states. In addition to Israel, to date Belarus is already a party to the Convention, and Tunisia has been invited to accede to it.
FIELD COOPERATION

Inter-Municipal Cooperation: New Handbook for Greece
GOOD GOVERNANCE

Inter-municipal cooperation (IMC) enabled municipalities to work together in order to gain mutual benefits. It is not an easy process but it offers significant advantages to all municipalities, large and small. In the framework of the Joint CoE – EU “Technical Assistance Project on Delivering Good Governance in Greece”, the Centre of Expertise for Good Governance has worked closely with the Greek municipalities, supporting the creation of two pilot IMC agreements. Building on this effort, a specific Handbook has been published. It provides a detailed description of the current legal framework for IMC in Greece, as well as guidance on how to develop an Action Plan to create an IMC agreement.
Peer Review on Territorial Consolidation in Slovakia
GOOD GOVERNANCE

On 25-27 January 2021, at the request of the Slovak Government, the Centre of Expertise for Good Governance organised a Peer Review on territorial consolidation and municipal amalgamation, in the framework of the Joint CoE-EU Project "Delivering Good Governance in Slovakia". Peers from Finland, Latvia, Republic of Moldova, the Netherlands, Ukraine and the United Kingdom shared their experiences of amalgamation reforms and discussed the options for Slovakia with the relevant stakeholders.
Training Marathon on Good Governance in Ukraine
GOOD GOVERNANCE

On 28 January 2021, in co-operation with the Ministry for Community and Territories Development of Ukraine (MinRegion) and the National Agency of Ukraine on Civil Service (NAUCS).  the Centre of Expertise for Good Governance launched the Training Marathon on Good Governance in Ukraine, in the context of the  Project “Enhancing Decentralisation and Public Administration Reform in Ukraine”. The first training in the series was devoted to Human Resource Management for local authorities.
Post-election conference in Ukraine
ELECTIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY

On 27 – 29 January 2021 more than 300 participants took part in a 3-day online conference aimed at discussing and analysing organisation, conduct, and main challenges faced during local elections in Ukraine (25 October 2020). The participants developed propositions regarding possible solutions, both at legislative level and in practice. This post-electoral conference, for the first time held online, gathered representatives of all relevant stakeholders.
Republic of Moldova:Alternative voting mechanisms
ELECTIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY

Best international practices concerning alternative voting mechanisms were presented by Council of Europe experts to representatives of the Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Moldova, the Centre for Continuous Electoral Training, the Public Service Agency and other interested stakeholders, during a webinar held on 03 February 2021.
How to report on violence against women in the media? Guidelines for Armenian journalists and media professionals
HUMAN DIGNITY AND GENDER EQUALITY

New Council of Europe guidelines provide recommendations and guidance on gender-based reporting, equal representation of women and men in media to Armenian journalists and media workers. The guidelines can help journalists, editors and advertisers to approach reporting on violence against women, including domestic violence, in a non-sensational, non-stereotyped and non-discriminatory manner. The guidelines were developed within the framework of the Council of Europe project “Path towards Armenia's Ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence”.
Cards of Rights of Victims of Trafficking in Tunisia
HUMAN DIGNITY AND GENDER EQUALITY

To mark the celebration of the National Day for the Abolition of Slavery which took place on January 23, the Tunisian national anti-trafficking body,has launched "The Cards of Rights of Victims of Trafficking in Persons". Developed in the framework the joint Council of Europe-European Union project, “Support Independent Bodies in Tunisia” (PAII-T), and accompanying the “Passport of victims’ Rights” realised in July 2020, the Cards, available in French and Arabic,  aim to provide concise information in clear format to victims about their rights guaranteed by Tunisian law.
Protection of children in the digital environment in Morocco
An online portal enabling citizens, in an anonymous and secure manner, to report images and videos of sexual abuse against children posted on the Internet has been officially launched on February 9 to mark the Safer Internet Day in Morocco. This is the result of the partnership between the Council of Europe, Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the Moroccan Centre for Polytechnic Research and Innovation (CMRPI). Problematic content will be reported to relevant local authorities, in order to remove it and avoid its republication, and made available to them to initiate legal proceedings.  On 3 February, an online workshop was organised with the Ministry of Justice of Morocco to address national challenges in the protection of children in the digital environment. The workshop was an opportunity to examine the situation of the Moroccan legislation and to share national and international good practices, in particular in the framework of the process of ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention) by Morocco.
CEB approves new loans for social infrastructure, employment and the environment
COUNCIL OF EUROPE DEVELOPMENT BANK

The Council of Europe Development Bank approved ten new loans in seven member countries, totalling more than €667 million. The financing will support social infrastructure projects (education facilities in Estonia, Finland and France; social housing in France; amateur sports facilities in Italy), environmental projects (water supply and wastewater services in Finland and Lithuania) and job creation (through improved access to funding for micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises in Albania and Italy).
DIRECTORATE OF DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION
EVENTS
Debate on “Rural Youth in Europe: Challenges and Opportunities”
YOUTH

More and more young people are deserting rural areas and moving to bigger cities in the hope of finding a better future. The lack of perspectives for personal and professional growth, employment, political participation, and also of access to essential services, are major causes of this desertification. Increased decentralisation can enhance young people’s opportunities for socio-economic and political participation.  The Advisory Council on Youth addressed these concerns in an online live discussion on 8 February, bringing together representatives of key actors in this debate:Thomas Andersson, Spokesperson on youth of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Zdeňka Mašková, Czech Republic representative in the CDEJ, Anja Fortuna, Vice-President of the European Youth Forum and member of Rural Youth Europe, and Karen Ayvzyan, Advisory Council on Youth lead on the Young people in rural communities portfolio.
Watch the video on “Artificial Intelligence - How can youth take part?”
YOUTH

 The seminar ‘’How can youth take part?” (23-27 November 2020, online) was positioned within a wider framework of different steps already taken by the Council of Europe for making the link between AI and democratic citizenship. Its role was to further transform the conclusions of the 2019 seminar on AI and its impact on young people by exploring issues, challengers, and roles that potential stakeholders can have to secure the participation of young people in AI decision making processes at all levels. The seminar provided space for learning and knowledge sharing around two key questions:
  • What do young people need to know to feel part of the social, technological and political processes around AI?
  • What should public and private actors in AI take into account to allow for participation spaces for and by young people, the digital natives?
 
EURIMAGES
The first analysis of the exceptionally high number of film co-production projects submitted at the first call for projects on 14 January was completed and external readers are now working to further assess the scripts.  In view of the large number of projects the working groups composed of national representatives have been reorganised to rationalise and streamline examination of the applications at a hybrid meeting to be held in March. 

The Fund continues to reflect on its future with the revision of the distribution programme and part of the promotion programme. Two studies are being carried out by external consultants and will be presented at the next meeting of the Board. 

Canada, currently an associate member state of the Fund, submitted a request to become a full member. 

On 8 February, the very first Eurimages Co-production Development Award of the year presented in the framework of CineMart at the International Film Festival Rotterdam went to the project CORA to be directed by Evi Kalogiropoulou and produced by the company Neda Film (GR). 

Also at the Rotterdam Festival, the Executive Director of Eurimages took part in a panel on diversity in the audiovisual sector. He highlighted the ongoing work of Eurimages in the field of gender equality in film and mentioned how discussion alone might not be sufficient but was “a good start”.  The Fund’s Gender Equality Working Group, whose mandate has recently been enlarged to embrace diversity, will work over the next months with external experts to prepare a new policy in this regard.
COMMITTEES, BOARDS, WORKING GROUPS


The Steering Committee for Education Policy and Practice (CDPPE) Bureau met on 1 and 2 February. It considered the priorities of the 2022-25 Education programme, in particular relating to the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (RFCDC); reviewed preparations for the plenary session to be held on 24-26 March; and gave its opinion on the PACE recommendation on academic freedom and institutional autonomy. 

The Platform on Ethics, Transparency and Integrity in Education (ETINED) met for its 4th Plenary meeting on 5 February. Delegations considered  a draft recommendation on countering education fraud and promoting ethics, transparency and integrity in education, and held a panel debate on the ethical implications of the COVID-19 pandemic with the participation of five invited panellists representing public authorities, higher education institutions, students, the CoE INGO Conference and recognition authorities. 

On 28 January, the Steering group of the Democratic mission of higher education met to discuss upcoming activities, including the next Global Forum, to be held in May/June 2022 rather than in June 2021, due to the ongoing pandemic. The Forum will be prepared through a series of webinars and podcasts, including a webinar hosted by the International Association of Universities on 16 March to launch the book on the higher education response to COVID-19, to be published in the CoE Higher Education Series at the end of February.

he Progress Report for the year 2020 was approved by the Steering Committee of the SIDA-funded project Strengthening Democratic Citizenship Education in Albania. Members of the Committee, which met on 27 January, include representatives of the Ministry of Education, Sports, and Youth, the funding Agency, civil society organisations, students’, parents’, and teachers’ associations. 

In cooperation with its Professional Network Forum, the ECML has launched a Europe-wide survey to gather views on the impact of COVID-19 on language education. Issues identified by the survey will become the focus of two think tanks to be held in late spring and early autumn 2021, culminating in a colloquium in December.

This year’s first online meeting of The Faro Network held on 28 January brought together around 20 Network members. Following an overview of the actions undertaken in 2020 by the diverse initiatives and the Council of Europe, the participants exchanged information of their planned activities for 2021 and discussed further synergies and joint actions with the Council of Europe to be carried out this year to develop the Network and increase its external visibility and pertinence. Some of these activities include joint publication of the Council of Europe and the University Extension Programme – PEU of the Jaume I University (Spain) – People, places and stories; publication for the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Faro Convention; FARO and the Sustainable Development Goals project; a series of online workshops focusing on Faro and social participation, as well as the continuation of the “Faro in a Suitcase” initiative
CO-OPERATION ACTIVITIES
Youth Information and Counselling in Europe in 2020
YOUTH

In the framework of the Partnership Agreement between the Council of Europe and ERYICA, the two organisations published the Youth Information and Counselling in Europe in 2020 booklet. The publication gives a thorough overview of organisations that coordinate youth information services in Europe. The booklet provides a snapshot as complete as possible about the state of the art of youth information and counselling in Europe in 2020. As well as a country overview and key data, for each organisation, the publication also showcases the implementation of the principles of the European Youth Information Charter and shares good practice examples. The publication includes survey results about the current situation of youth information and counselling. During one year, the 33 organisations included in the booklet provided youth information to over 5 million young people in face-to-face meetings and to over 68 million online visitors! Among the topics covered by the various info services are education and training, employment, media and information literacy, international mobility, active citizenship and participation, and health and well-being.
The Faro Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society
CULTURAL HERITAGE

The Culture and Cultural Heritage Division participated in the HERIWELL Deliberative event, held online on 26 January, as the final event of a 3-day participatory initiative, targeting different audiences on research related to cultural heritage and societal well-being. Other organisations (such as the European Commission DG EAC and various culture and heritage institutions) also took part in the event and enriched it with their proposals, projects and initiatives. The discussions on the role of heritage in societal well-being and their outcomes feed into the HERIWELL project’s final report.
PUBLICATIONS
New Study on COVID-19 and Learning Mobility
YOUTH - EU-Council of Europe youth partnership

What impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on young people's international mobility within formal and non-formal education? What are the main implications of the pandemic for the present and future of youth work and learning mobility? What effect does it have on young people’s development, identity, intercultural learning, inclusion, mental health and wellbeing, and economic stability within the context of mobility programmes? Is it time to re-evaluate and rethink intensive youth mobility?  To find out more, read our publication by Ewa Krzaklewska, PhD and Özgehan Şenyuva, PhD.
Youth Policy Evaluation
YOUTH - EU-Council of Europe youth partnership

The Youth Policy Evaluation Review supports those involved at diverse levels in evaluating youth policy design and implementation, in order to enhance its relevance, effectiveness and impact. The publication presents several good practices from all over Europe and gives a practical checklist for youth policy evaluation.  Link to the publication: https://bit.ly/3rnXwN7
New Publications and a New Multimedia Section on the COVID-19 Knowledge Hub
YOUTH - EU-Council of Europe youth partnership

 A multimedia section has been opened on the EU-Council of Europe youth partnership’s COVID-19 Knowledge HUB, with a podcast episode, along with different visuals showing the impact of COVID-19 on the youth sector. The report on the impact of the pandemic on national, regional and local levels, and the meta analysis of research on the topic are also available now on the platform.
Essentials Series
New Translations of the Essentials Series Now Online
EU-Council of Europe youth partnership Two publications from the Essentials series: Youth research essentials is now available in French and German, whilst Youth policy essentials has also been translated into German.
DIRECTORATE OF ANTI DISCRIMINATION
EVENTS
Lanzarote Convention
Now that the Lanzarote Convention has been ratified by all CoE member States, time has come to consider how strategically promote the Convention more globally and to offer support to those states wishing to consider accession. With this in mind, the Lanzarote Committee Secretariat met on 2 February 2021 with the WeProtect Global Alliance and the NGO It’s a Penalty to explore opportunities to promote the Lanzarote Convention benchmarks in a number of Commonwealth countries.  

On 4 February 2021, a focused questionnaire was addressed to the 48 Parties to the Lanzarote Convention to gather information on the legal age for sexual activities and the statute of limitations for sexual offences against children. The responses will allow the Lanzarote Committee to assess whether these are themes that could be the subject of an exchange of experiences and good practices to enhance the Committees’ members capacity to address these issues at national level.
Child Safeguarding in Sport
EPAS

The CSiS (Child Safeguarding in Sport) joint project of the EU and the Council of Europe organised a series of five short webinars, each one presenting the safeguarding system already successfully put in place by a particular country. The first webinar showcased the structures put in place by Sport Ireland, from national to grass roots level; the second webinar looked at a day in the life of a Safeguarding Lead Officer for the National Governing body of sport in the United Kingdom; the third webinar focused on Finland’s model for safeguarding children from inappropriate behaviour and abuse; the fourth webinar allowed the Netherlands and its olympic committee (NOC*NSF) to show the measures it has taken following in-depth research, and the fifth webinar saw German Sports Youth (DSJ) in the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) present its prevention measures. Each webinar was attended by approximately 200 participants, representing all aspects of the sports community across Europe.
Two new ICC members
The Intercultural Cities programme has welcomed two new members: Kraków (Poland) and Sherbrooke (Canada) which joined respectively on 21 and 29 January 2021. Kraków is the artistic and intellectual centre of southern Poland, home to around 160.000 students and 200 international corporations that contribute to make the city a dynamic and vibrant place. It has a rich cultural heritage that testifies of its multicultural nature. Sherbrooke is the sixth largest city in Quebec and represents 50% of the Estrie region's demographic weight, counting with more than 130 communities that make its atmosphere unique. Sherbrooke is also the first of the “merged” cities in Quebec to have adopted a welcoming and integration policy for immigrants. 
COMMITTEES, MONITORING, WORKING GROUPS


During the 2nd meeting of the Steering Committee on Anti-discrimination, Diversity and Inclusion (CDADI), the Steering Committee adopted its firsts CM instrument, the “Draft guidelines of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on upholding equality and protecting against discrimination and hate during the COVID-19 and similar crises in the future”.The CDADI furthermore adopted an implementation report on CM/Rec(2015)1 on intercultural integration, agreed on the further implementation review of CM/Rec(2010)5 on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, published a compilation of good and promising practices on Covid-19 responses, exchanged views on possible tasks and deliverables for the years 2022-2025, elected its Chair, Vice-Chair and Bureau, appointed its Gender Equality Rapporteur.

On 26 January 2021, the ECRI Task Force on LGBTI issues met to review key recommendations made by ECRI in its country reports under the fifth and sixth monitoring cycles. The Task Force on LGBTI issues was set up by ECRI to prepare the ground for the future drawing-up of a General Policy Recommendation on LGBTI issues.

On 5 February 2021, the ECRI working group tasked with revising ECRI’s General Policy Recommendation No. 9 on the fight against antisemitism held its first meeting of the year. On 5 February 2021, the Chair of ECRI, Maria Daniella Marouda, held an online meeting with the Special Representative of the Secretary General on antisemitic, anti-Muslim and other forms of religious intolerance and hate crimes, Daniel Höltgen.

On 3 February 2021, the Committee of Ministers (CM) adopted three resolutions onthe implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Azerbaijan, Hungary and Spain. This considerably increases the number of resolutions that the CM has adopted since one year in light of opinions by the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities - ACFC (resolutions on Denmark and Poland adopted in October 2020, on the Russian Federation and Ukraine in December 2020, on Albania, Bulgaria and Cyprus in January 2021).

The ACFC that held its 70th meeting via Videoconference from 1-4th February 2021, unanimously adopted two new final opinions (on Croatia and Liechtenstein) and approved one draft opinion (on the Czech Republic). On the same occasion, the ACFC elected its new Bureau (https://www.coe.int/en/web/minorities/-/advisory-committee-election-of-the-new-bure-2) and appointed its representative to the Steering Committee on Antidiscrimination, Diversity, and Inclusion (CDADI) for the current year. Lastly, the ACFC Gender Equality Rapporteurs were mandated to further work on improving gender mainstreaming in its monitoring work.

On 2 February 2021, the Bureau of the Steering Committee for the Rights of the Child (CDENF) met online to discuss: i) the state of implementation of CDENF activities, including the preparations made towards the new Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2022-2027); ii) preparation of future activities, relating, in particular, to the organisation of a regional discussion as a contribution to the 2021 UNCRC Day of General Discussion on children’s rights and alternative care; iii) drafting of an opinion on PACE Recommendation 2190 (2020) – “Effective guardianship for unaccompanied and separated migrant children”; and iv) new priorities for the next CDENF Terms of Reference (2022-2025), under the new intergovernmental framework

T-RV Standing Committee grants Chile extension of observer status


Late January 2021, the Standing Committee of the Spectator Violence Convention (T-RV) unanimously granted Chile a new extension of the observer status for a period of three years. Chile is among the seven non-Member States which have currently the observer status at the Standing Committee of the Spectator Violence Convention, together with Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Qatar and Tunisia. It is also considering joining the Saint-Denis Convention on safety and security at sports event

Lithuania ratifies the Convention on safety, security and service in sport (Saint-Denis Convention)

On 2 February 2021, the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the Council of Europe deposited with the Secretary General, the instrument of ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on an Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and Other Sports Events (CETS Nº 218), also known as the Saint-Denis Convention. Lithuania is the 19th State Party to ratify this Convention, which entered into force on 1 November 2017. The Saint-Denis Convention shall enter into force in Lithuania on 1 April 2021.
COOPERATION ACTIVITIES
[email protected]
CHILDRENS' RIGHTS

On 5 February 2020, the [email protected] project held its 4th Steering Committee meeting to take stock of project’s recent achievements and discuss current developments in the area of online child sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (OCSEA) at national level. The four project grantees from Civil Society Organisations in Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro and the Republic of Moldova were also invited to present the results of their capacity-building and awareness-raising work which involved approximately 10,000 children and 300 professionals and stakeholders working in the field of OCSEA. The Steering Committee agreed on measures to ensure the sustainable and meaningful use of project deliverables in the future and identifying areas for follow-up action at country and regional levels.
Republic of Moldova
CHILDRENS' RIGHTS

On 11 February 2021, the Council of Europe project Combating violence against children in the Republic of Moldova held an online webinar to present the training modules on OCSEA in cooperation with the National Institute of Judges. Around 200 participants, including judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers from all over the Republic of Moldova, had the opportunity to get to know the main and most relevant components of the modules. In addition, an educational video spot for medical workers on detecting and reporting CSEA was officially launched and disseminated. Moreover, two new projects were confirmed for funding in 2021-2023 by DG Reform where Children’s Rights Division will be the implementing partner in Finland and Slovenia.
UKRAINE
NO HATE SPEECH

From January to May 2021, 19 participants, future trainers of the Free Legal Aid Ukraine are getting trained by the Council of Europe on assisting victims of discrimination and hate crimes. The training course includes the online HELP course module on antidiscrimination combined with interactive online sessions, group workshops and individual practical assignments. This activity is part of the regional anti-discrimination project for the Eastern Partnership. Victims of discrimination and hate crimes need supportive professionals in order to take their cases forward and obtain justice. The role of the free legal aid system in assisting victims in obtaining redress is a crucial step in strengthening access to justice.
GEORGIA
NO HATE SPEECH

To mark International Holocaust Remembrance day in Georgia on 27 January, an online meeting was organised by the Council of Europe Office in Georgia, the Public Defender’s Office, the Center for Tolerance at the Public Defender’s Office and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to discuss the historical path of the Holocaust and its consequences, the possibilities of condemning each manifestation of antisemitism and to present interesting and important facts from the history of coexistence in Georgia.
UKRAINE: To be equal – untold stories - Documentary about Roma women
ROMA AND TRAVELLERS

The Roma and Travellers Team has just launched the documentary film To be equal – untold stories depicting the lives and battles of four Ukrainian Roma women combating discrimination based on ethnicity and gender and fighting for equality. All women featured in the film have attended training courses of the Council of Europe’s Roma Political Schools.[1] https://vimeo.com/508831277
ALBANIA : Roma-responsive budgeting
ROMA AND TRAVELLERS

The Albanian team of the EU/CoE Joint Programme ROMACTED has developed Guidelines on Roma Responsive Budgeting at Local Level  in co-operation with the Albanian Ministry of Health and Social Protection and Ministry of Finances and Economy, based on the work of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). The Guidelines are available in English and Albanian.
EDQM - THE EUROPEAN DIRECTORATE FOR THE QUALITY OF MEDICINES & HEALTHCARE
Control of N-nitrosamines – aligning the European Pharmacopoeia with European regulatory decisions
EDQM

The European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) Commission continued to roll out its strategy to address the potential risk of N-nitrosamines being present in active substances and medicinal products, once again ensuring that Ph. Eur. requirements are closely aligned with regulatory decisions at a European level.As a result, and in keeping with the assessment report issued by the Committee for Human Medicinal Products (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency in June 2020 which provides guidance to marketing authorisation holders on how to avoid the presence of N-nitrosamines in medicinal products for human use, and its subsequent decision to extend these recommendations to “sartans medicinal products”, five Ph. Eur. monographs (Valsartan, Irbesartan, Olmesartan medoxomil, Losartan potassium and Candesartan cilexetil) were revised under the rapid revision procedure which allows the Commission to respond swiftly to Public Health issues.The revised monographs will therefore be published very quickly, outside the normal publication cycle of the Ph. Eur., so that they can be implemented without delay (1 April 2021). Their publication will allow the CHMP’s recommendations to become, via the Ph. Eur., legally binding for all the 39 Ph. Eur. member states on the same date. Not only is the rapid revision procedure a very powerful tool, but it also provides an opportunity to increase the synergy between regulatory decisions taken at a European level and the Ph. Eur. (for more information on the EDQM’s response to nitrosamine contamination see https://www.edqm.eu/en/edqms-response-nitrosamine-contamination#1)
EDQM continues to promote its activities around blood and vaccines through the organisation of virtual conferences/webinars


The next two events will cover “Data Protection in the Blood Sector” and “Novel in vitro model as alternative to in vivo toxoid vaccines testing”.

From 27th to 29th October 2020, the EDQM, in collaboration with the European Commission, organised a virtual conference to mark 10 years of their co-operation in the field of blood transfusion. The conference, entitled “Keeping up with reality and quality: A challenge for European Blood Establishments”, shed light on the challenges faced by blood establishments in securing sustainable blood supplies and a resilient blood transfusion sector in Europe. Following on from this conference, a live, interactive webinar will focus on data protection in the blood sector, the impact and challenges faced by European blood establishments.

The rapid expansion of information technology has called for the establishment of robust personal data protection, a key human right safeguarded by both the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data and its amending protocol (Convention 108+) and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The webinar will take place on the 17th February (https://www.edqm.eu/en/events/new-webinar-data-protection-blood-sector-impact-and-challenges-blood-establishments).

Since the European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals Used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes opened for signature in 1986, the European Pharmacopoeia Commission and its experts have made significant progress in Replacing, Reducing and Refining (3Rs) the use of animals in tests for the development and control of medicinal products.

The EDQM, in collaboration with the EPAA (European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing) and the EU JRC (Joint Research Centre), is organising a virtual workshop (webinar sessions) entitled “Novel in vitro model as alternative to in vivo toxoid vaccines testing: Clostridium septicum vaccine as a proof of concept”. The webinars aim to facilitate the implementation of the new in vitro cell-based assays for in-process quality control, validated through collaborative study BSP130 - a joint EDQM-EPAA project successfully completed in 2018. The webinars will provide a forum to discuss study results and share practical experience and knowledge of these new methods with BSP130 study participants, control laboratories, regulators and other relevant stakeholders. The webinars will take place on the 9th-10th March (https://www.edqm.eu/en/events/new-dates-workshop-webinars-quality-control-veterinary-vaccines).
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