Recommendation 1487 (2000)[1]

Development of a new social system


  1. The Assembly notes, in the light of the conclusions of the Conference on ?Market-oriented Society, Democracy, Citizenship and Solidarity: an Area of Confrontation?? (Strasbourg, 31 May to 1 June 1999) that the development and expansion of the market economy on a widespread basis over the past twenty years has had only a very limited effect in generating broader prosperity and growth in employment.

  2. Indeed, many countries have seen increasing poverty and social exclusion, accompanied by a weakening of democracy, as a result of a kind of erosion of state power and of civil society?s ability to express its views. In some countries, the effects in the long term could threaten social cohesion and fundamental rights, which are central concerns of the Council of Europe.

  3. The Assembly believes that it is necessary to place some restrictions on the free market and to preserve the essential function of democratic institutions, as the market-oriented society does not constitute a sufficiently broad political environment and can involve unwelcome trends that often go against values such as democracy, solidarity and citizenship.

  4. The Assembly therefore calls for greater regulation of the market in order to guarantee the economic security of the population.

  5. It also underlines the crucial role played by associations, co-operatives and non-governmental organisations in acting as social mediators between the public and representative and decision-making bodies, and as fora for learning and exercising citizenship.

  6. The Assembly believes that Europe may be the most suitable ?arena? for the development of a new social model based on solidarity and involving the co-existence of public authorities, the market and civil society.

  7. The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers:

  1. organise a ?round table? aimed at launching detailed discussions on the requirements for establishing a civic, economic and social forum for European democracy;

  2. begin giving thought to ways of strengthening participatory democracy and consider the means for facilitating access to information, transparency and communication;

  3. take all the necessary measures in education, law and taxation to help non-governmental organisations fulfil their task.

[1] Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 9 November 2000.
See Doc. 8872, report of the Committee on Parliamentary and Public Relations, rapporteur: Mrs Pozza Tasca.