CONCORD Europe and BCSDN Promoting Civil Society Space in Brussels

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Within the CONCORD HUB3 Spring Meeting in Brussels, which took place this week, the 13th of March was devoted to Promoting civil society space. The event, jointly organized by CONCORD Europe, BCSDN and Fond Romania/Black Sea NGO Forum, was an effort of European civil society development organizations to build a platform for discussions, exchanges and solutions of shared problems around the issues of enabling environment for CSOs, shrinking space by illiberal democracy, CSO accountability, the engagement of civil society in EU policy, civic participation and community engagement. The event gathered more than 100 participants, representatives of national and EU organizations, platforms and networks, and representatives of the European Commission and the donor community.

The event was opened with a discussion on civil society space in Europe: what is happening now, why, what can we do together to promote an enabling environment for civil society where BCSDN’s policy and advocacy officer, Ms. Biljana Spasovska, spoke on the issue together with FOND’s President, Mr. Stefan Cibian, and CPDE European Representatives Justin Kilcullen and Izabella Toth.

BCSDN led two other sessions – one on the enabling environment for civil society in the EU Enlargement countries and the Eastern Neighborhood aimed to raise awareness, initiate a debate and identify potential joint actions in regards the civil society space in this region. The other one, Transforming Accountability, was devoted to opening a discussion how our accountability practices can contribute to improving the civil society enabling environment, where BCSDN representatives also presented the Global Standard for CSO Accountability and discussed #dynamicaccountability as an innovative approach to accountability captured and promoted by the Global Standard.

The second day of the HUB3 Meeting, to which BCSDN also participated, was devoted for the CSO partnership for development effectiveness (CPDE), for familiarizing the participants with the work of CPDE, how European CSOs can be more involved, and how they can contribute towards greater development effectiveness. Interactive session was devoted for determining the priorities and future action work plan for the European Region.

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