Monday, November 21, 2005

THE PROGRAMME OF CONFIDENCE-BUILDING MEASURES

The Programme of Confidence-building Measures (CBM) in civil society was established following the first Council of Europe Summit held in Vienna in 1993. The upsurge of problems concerning majority-minority relations in specific countries has revealed the need to back up legal standard-setting and intergovernmental co-operation by implementing specific initiatives in particular fields in close co-operation with the majority and minority communities concerned.
The CBM Programme is the only assistance and co-operation programme of the Council of Europe that provides subsidies to civil society projects. The Programme’s budget for projects is each year considerably increased by voluntary contributions from member States.
The CBM Programme is designed to improve tolerance and understanding between communities and to defuse possible tensions between different communities in order to break down the barriers that divide them, both within member or applicant States as well as across borders. The aim is to enable those concerned to engage in dialogue, to learn and to work together so as to share experiences and promote mutual knowledge and understanding.

To conclude, the scope of the CBM Programme’s philosophy and pilot projects goes well beyond the improvement of minority-majority relations. It represents a major contribution to the realisation of the Council of Europe’s values and standards and the Organisation’s political role in preventing the emergence of conflicts, fostering democratic stability and promoting European unity.

Secretariat contact:
Mr Max Gilbert
Fax +33 3 88 41 37 81
e-mail: confidence-building@coe.int

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