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IPA CSF and TACSO 2 LAG conference

Regional conference of reflections and elaborations of IPA CSF future perspectives and of TACSO2 planning
24th 26th October, 2011 Prishtina, Kosovo

Where does civil society in the Balkans stand and what can the Commission do to support it
Tanja Hafner Ademi, BCSDN

Civicus Civil Society Index research: Global report

30 countries in the period 2008-2011; Assessing 5 dimensions: civic engagement, level
of organization, values, impact & environment

8 Balkan countries covered of which 5 implemented by BCSDN members or staff (IDM, KCSF, MCIC, TUSEV, CNVOS*); BiH, Montenegro and Romania not covered, while Serbia only quantitative results available; Global report published beginning of September

Global findings
Changing definition of civil society incl. non-formal movements, new forms of participation and online activism; Statecivil society relations are limited and mostly unsatisfactory; The sector is at a historical moment facing either decline or renewal; Financial and human resource challenges continuing and in some cases worsening due to the global economic crisis and as a result of sector projectization;

Global findings (contd)

A gap between CSOs articulation and internal practicing of values (ie. application of labor. gender rights and internal d-m); Networking is a strength but still insufficient, with significant gaps in international connections and civil societyprivate sector partnerships; Greater impact in the social sphere than in influencing policy; Public trust in civil society as an idea but low levels of involvement in formal civil society activities compared to higher levels of nonformal participation.

Balkan findings
Average development compared to the global civil society, except in perception of lower impact; Civil society is in a developed/matured phase - transition from focus led by donors to that led by citizens; Situation of creating a balance between imported and indigenous; Only difference noticed between Slovenia & Croatia vs. rest of the Balkans (esp. in terms
legal framework development or lack thereof)

Balkans findings (contd)

Unevenly developed sector (ie. urbanrural, big-small, professional-grass-root); Internally, transparency and accountability mechanism should be built, but different ways of doing it (ie. legal framework improvement, donor coordination incl. CSOs, platform building and selfregulation, long-term vs. short-term support (projectization of civil society), introduction of QAS);

Yet, it is not necessarily a matter of the extent to which these aspects are regulated by the existing legislation. Accountability and transparency in the third sector must be perceived and applied by civil society as values and principles that form integral part of the relationship with their members, citizens, social or interest groups, donors, and the state. (Albanian CSI)

Balkans findings (contd)

Underestimated potential by both the state (incl. in strategic development processes) and donors (say in funding priorities and approach); EU integration incentive for enlarging civil society space (mechanisms, funding etc.) but this has a down side in some cases (ie. experience in abuse of EU funds); Government-civil society relations at the top of the agenda:

Balkans findings (contd)

Two avenues of engagement needed: Policy Participation in policy-development & decision-making; civic education; volunteer-related policies. Financing Co-financing, employment (schemes) subsidies, tax & financial legislation

Balkans findings (contd)

Civil society has the potential of a glue for successful overcoming of societal, social and economic problems (through human capital, expertise, values of tolerance and peaceful co-existence).

Key civil society & EU challenges

Establishing a structured dialogue between civil society in the Balkans and EU institutions; Improved funding policies/procedures for civil society at EU and national level; Promote alternative sources and models for supporting civil society; Increase opportunities for influencing EU and national policies and programmes for civil society; Common/regional framework on monitoring the EU and national policies on civil society.

IPA CSF & TACSO- general

The Enlargement package (incl. PR) and IPA PF 20112013 to a great extent reflects the needs of civil society development and civil dialogue; In the next period, close cooperation in all segments (not just info-sharing and coordination as so far) with local CS stakeholders on regional and national level will be essential for IPA CSF objectives to be met, on one hand, and if the IPA CSF is going to essentially contribute to the long-term sustainability of civil society in the regional (but also Turkey), on the other; The Commission needs to use the knowledge, experience and capacity in an equal partnership relationship (not just advisor or implementer) of local CSOs;

IPA CSF & TACSO 3 steps

Needs to be localized in 2013 if long-term sustainability of TACSO functions is to be achieved; For the pre-accession period, the EC needs to support the functions with the perspective that the State is expected to provide the min. environment (and funding) for after accession. (CS) market is only a long-term goal; TACSOs natural role is to connect, relate and support both Governments and CSOs activities related to the development of civil society and its role in a democratic society, incl. EU-reform process;

IPA CSF & TACSO 3 steps

1) TACSO (contd)
Further implementation should be achieved through a call for proposal; The particular modalities for transition of TACSO functions in 2013 should be approved by local stakeholders; It should be implemented through clearly defined criteria for selection of appropriate organizations.

IPA CSF & TACSO 3 steps

2) Structured dialogue EC-civil society
Establishing consultation process framework and structure between civil society in the Balkans and EU institutions at both regional and national level; Feeding into both EC monitoring and programming; Such EU structures and practices can then translate and reflect upon national civil dialogue structures; A capacity-building for CSOs component should be an essential part of such an effort.

IPA CSF & TACSO 3 steps

Realistic and focused approach to achieve given objectives under all 3 IPA CSF components; Current EU regulation does not allow for reaching out to grass-root organizations and grant institutional support, the two most pressing civil society needs; Asides from the importance of the legal environment and the capacities of CSOs, the key determinants of positive donor impact are:

IPA CSF & TACSO 3 steps

3) IPA CSF (contd)
Key determinants of positive donor impact: (i) the proportion of funding directed towards certain activities; (ii) the mechanisms employed by donors for dispersing and monitoring their assistance (longterm grants vs. short-term ones vs. tenders); (iii) effective co-ordination between the large multilateral donors; (iv) the exchange of best practice and local knowledge, and the conceptualization and understanding of civil society and the third sector held by key donors.

IPA CSF & TACSO 3 steps

3) IPA CSF (contd)
The EC should work closer with other donors to: encourage long-term and institutional support, provide for coordination of assistance through compiling lessons-learned and develop a commonly shared definition of civil society underlying its intervention in the region.