Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash
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, we work 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 our partners and other passionate NGOs.
Now we are again turning to supporters of participatory democracy and to anyone with fresh ideas to help us find a unifying visual symbol for this important cooperative work. We invite you to send us original designs for a logo (or emblem, if you prefer calling it this way) to accompany our efforts for implementing the Guidelines for civil participation.
The logo should highlight, in a symbolic way, the importance of public/civil participation in decision-making at all levels of government. It should be very simple and expressive, while appealing to both sides in the democratic decision-making process – the public authorities and civil society. The logo is meant to appear on all that will be done by the partners – news items, video clips, reports, meeting programmes, etc. Ideally, people will gradually start associating it with our joint work on civil participation.
We are looking for a small graphic symbol, preferably without text. The logo of the No Hate campaign of the Council of Europe could serve – very approximately – for orientation.
Three winning entries will be selected by the group of partners (mentioned above) involved in promoting civil participation. Modest prizes (but eternal glory) will be awarded to the winners.
Please send your entries in a free format (a scanned drawing would also do) before 1 August 2018, together with your personal details including a mobile phone number, to the following e-mail: email@example.com
Background information: definitions according to the Guidelines for civil participation in political decision making
“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.