European Western Balkans
European Integration

Norms over forms: Empowering civil society in the Western Balkans and Turkey

In organisation of the Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) hosted by Ulrike Lunacek, Vice-President of the European Parliament an EP rapporteur on Kosovo, on 4. June at the European Parliament in Brussels, the debate “Norms over Forms: Empowering civil society in the Western Balkans and Turkey” will take place.

The event will bring CSO representatives from Western Balkans and Turkey to present the key challenges for development of the civil society in these countries. The aim is to raise discussion how the EU accession process can promote more empowered civil society that holds governments accountable and fosters deeper understanding of accession related reforms.

The issues to be presented are findings from the extensive monitoring conducted by BCSDN’s member organizations during 2014 through the jointly developed tool –Monitoring Matrix on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development.

The following are the 3 top recommendations of the 2014 Monitoring Matrix Regional Report how EU institutions can promote more enabling environment for empowered civil society in accession countries:

  1. The enabling framework for civil society needs to be a priority in the negotiating process;
  2. EU needs to support capacity building of public institutions, but with partnership involvement of CSOs in all stages of the process;
  3. EU funds for civil society must be distributed transparently and in depoliticized manner.

The full Monitoring Matrix Regional Report, as well as the country reports can be accessed here.

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