Formal agreement between states, which defines and modifies their mutual duties and obligations; used synonymously with Convention. The 1969 Vienna Convention defines a treaty as "an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments, and whatever its particular designation". Treaties create legally-binding international obligations for the States that have signed the treaty. When a national government ratifies a treaty, it becomes part of its domestic law or domestic legal order.
There is no commonly accepted or legal definition of the term 'civil society organisation'. According to European Commission’s standards for consultation, it can nevertheless be used as shorthand to refer to a range of organisations which include:
- the labour-market players (i.e. trade unions and employers federations – the “social partners”);
- organisations representing social and economic players, which are not social partners in the strict sense of the term (for instance, consumer organisations);
- NGOs (non-governmental organisations), which bring people together in a common cause, such as environmental organisations, human rights organisations, charitable organisations, educational and training organisations, etc.;
- Community-based organisations, i.e. organisations set up within society at grassroots level which pursue member-oriented objectives, e.g. youth organisations, family associations and all organisations through which citizens participate in local and municipal life; and
- religious communities.
The term "convention" can have a generic and a specific meaning. The generic use of the term "convention" embraces all international agreements, in the same way as the generic term "treaty". Convention can also be used as a specific term: whereas in the last century the term "convention" was regularly employed for bilateral agreements, it now is generally used for formal multilateral treaties with a broad number of parties. Conventions are normally open for participation by the international community as a whole, or by a large number of states (e.g. The European Convention on Human Rights).
Cross-sector coordination means that different departments and agencies (usually within one member state) coordinate their planning, implementation and monitoring of fundamental rights. This coordination cuts across departments whose competences and tasks are often more specifically and narrowly defined (horizontal coordination). The responsibility to respect, protect and fulfil fundamental rights is shared between different sectors. However, without inter-departmental coordination, there is a clear risk that fundamental rights issues, which commonly require such coordination, are neglected.
Dignity is a term used in moral, ethical, and political discussions to signify that a human being has an innate right to respectful and ethical treatment. The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights includes a section dealing with dignity. Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected. Citizens can refer to it to challenge decisions taken by EU institutions and Member States, in cases where EU law is implemented. (European Commission)
The Charter of Fundamental Rights prohibits discrimination on any ground, such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation as well as on the grounds of nationality in the area of EU law. (European Commission)
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU brings together the fundamental rights protected in the EU in a single document. The Charter contains rights and freedoms under six titles: Dignity, Freedoms, Equality, Solidarity, Citizens' Rights, and Justice. Proclaimed in 2000, the Charter has become legally binding on the EU when the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force in December 2009.
Formally known as the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, this an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe. Signed in Rome in 1950 under the aegis of the Council of Europe, the Convention established a system of international protection for human rights and set up a European Court of Human Rights.
The European Social Charter is a Council of Europe treaty, which guarantees social and economic human rights. It was adopted in 1961 and revised in 1996. The European Committee of Social Rights rules on the conformity of the situation in States with the European Social Charter, the 1988 Additional Protocol and the Revised European Social Charter.
Evaluation is a rigorous and independent assessment of either completed or ongoing activities to determine the extent to which they are achieving stated objectives and contributing to decision making. Evaluations, like monitoring, can apply to many things, including an activity, project, programme, strategy, policy, topic, theme, sector or organization. The key distinction between the two is that evaluations are done independently to provide managers and staff with an objective assessment of whether or not they are on track. They are also more rigorous in their procedures, design and methodology, and generally involve more extensive analysis. However, the aims of both monitoring and evaluation are very similar: to provide information that can help inform decisions, improve performance and achieve planned results.