The Council of Europe’s Democratic Governance Department has been working for some time to put into practice the recent Committee of Ministers Guidelines for civil participation in political decision-making. As befits an effort aimed at raising the standing of civil society and at promoting wide public participation in democratic decision-making, the Department has worked in cooperation with an informal group of mostly non-governmental partners and with the Council of Europe Conference of International Non-governmental Organisations. So far, this work has largely relied upon the enthusiastic, non-remunerated involvement of the partners and other passionate NGOs.
To shape and mark a visible space for this important work, the assistance of NGO enthusiasts is sought to help with ideas for a distinguished visual identity of the campaign for implementing the Guidelines for civil participation in political decision making. Supporters of participatory democracy are invited as well as anyone with fresh, original ideas to submit proposals for simple but effective graphic designs for a logo/emblem/infographic to accompany the on-going efforts for implementing the Guidelines for civil participation in political decision making.
The logo/emblem/infographic should highlight, in a symbolic way, the importance of public/civil participation in decision-making at all levels of government (national and local) in a democracy. It should be very simple and expressive, while ideally addressing both sides in the decision-making process – the public authorities and civil society. The logo/emblem would appear, with or without text, on all that will be done in connection with the implementation – conference agendas, video clips etc. and will eventually be associated by everyone with the work on civil participation. As a rough indication of the type of symbol we are looking for, we could point to the logo used in the No Hate campaign of the Council of Europe
Three winning entries will be selected by the group of partners (mentioned above) involved in promoting civil participation. Modest prizes will be awarded to the winners. Please send your entries before 1 August 2018 by e-mail to the following Council of Europe address: NGOfirstname.lastname@example.org
Background information: definitions according to the Guidelines
- “civil participation”: the engagement of individuals, NGOs and civil society at large in decision-making processes by public authorities. Civil participation in political decision-making is distinct from political activities in terms of direct engagement with political parties and from lobbying in relation to business interests;
- “decision-making process”: the development, adoption, implementation, evaluation and reformulation of a policy document, a strategy, a law or a regulation at national, regional or local level, or any process where a decision is made that affects the public, or a segment thereof, by a public authority invested with the power to do so;
- “non-governmental organisations” (NGOs): voluntary self-governing bodies or organisations established to pursue the essentially non-profit-making objectives of their founders or members as set out in Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the legal status of non-governmental organisations in Europe. They may include, for example, voluntary groups, non-profit organisations, associations, foundations, charities or geographic or interest-based community and advocacy groups;
- “civil society at large”: the ensemble of individuals and organised, less organised and informal groups through which they contribute to society or express their views and opinions, including when raising issues regarding human rights violations, corruption and other misconduct or expressing critical comments. Such organised or less organised groups may include professional and grass-roots organisations, universities and research centres, religious and non-denominational organisations and human rights defenders;
- “public authority”: any executive, legislative or administrative body at national, regional or local level, including individuals, exercising executive power or administrative functions.