CIVILSCAPE is an international network by its member organisations from more than 25 European countries. On behalf of our members we put much effort in advocacy regarding landscape issues on international level.
As CIVILSCAPE especially endorses the European Landscape Convention it is of course of special interest to strengthen our status with the Council of Europe (CoE). So we applied for a status as a participatory international NGO (iNGO) in 2009. Of course we had informal talks with members of the department responsible for the landscape convention (CC-PATEP) and with other representatives of the CoE, who had to decide on our proposal. The process is much more formal than with the EU, but iNGOs have also more possibilities to influence the CoE than the EU.
Saying that the possibilities for influence are greater with the CoE than the EU does not mean, that the situation is all roses and honey for NGOs in Strasbourg. We could learn that as well during the Conference for the European Landscape Convention in Strasbourg in 2009 and 2011. CIVILSCAPE was represented by Dr. Gerhard Ermischer as Secretary General and from 2011 as Vice-president. We closely co-operated with UNISCAPE and RECEP-ENELC in the advance of and during the conference. We will continue to lobby on stage as well as back stage for a stronger impact of the landscape convention as well as a stronger stand of the NGOs in its implementation. This is a difficult work but we could make an impact in Strasbourg and will enforce our activities.
CIVILSCAPE has registered as a lobby organization with the European Union (EU). The EU Commission and the European Parliament have set up a register for lobby organizations for transparency reasons. Registered organizations get a registration number which they can use on all comments and statements sent to the EU. The interventions of registered organizations are put in a specific category and weigh more than interventions by non registered organizations. At the registration process an organization can indicate its field of interest. It will be automatically informed about all consultation processes opened in any field of interest stated.