27-28th of June 2022 in Brussels the meeting and the conference on “How do we get to a European Civil Society was organised by Civil Society Development Foundation from Romania and the partners of the project “Reclaim our Civic Space”. Striving to contribute to a coherent and comprehensive civil society strategy, we reached out and invited relevant MEPs, key members of EESC Group III, Commission DGs responsibilities and key Brussels-based CSO umbrella partners.
The event intended to liaise between the networks of civil society organisations, the EU institutions and Donor States to jointly develop, promote and advocate for a detailed set of recommendations for a European civil society strategy and policy. Poland was represented by: Jacek Michałowski and Dominika Zareba – Partnership Academy of the Fundusz Partnerstwa and Filip Pazderski, Head of the Democracy and Civil Society Programme, Institute of Public Affairs.
Civil society organizations (CSOs) play an essential role in upholding democratic values of the EU and contribute to implementing its policies; from decreasing disparities through safeguarding freedoms to protecting the environment.
We believe that in order to efficiently defend democracy and rule of law, civil society should become a protected European value and asset in its own right. A way to achieve this is to adopt a European Civil Society Strategy or policy (e.g. in the form of a Commission Communication) that acknowledges the importance of and the role CSOs play in upholding and promoting European values.
Further reading: https://civilspace.eu/en/the-need-for-a-comprehensive-european-civil-society-strategy
”Reclaim our Civil Space!” builds on broadening the grassroots basis and constituency of civil society through training and mobilising activist groups and movements, facilitating cross-border cooperation and networking, and linking this to the European level by developing together the outlines of a comprehensive European civil society policy.
The project “Reclaim our Civil Space!” is implemented with 9 partners in 7 Central European countries and benefits from a 1,8 million € grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation.