Enlargement Package and EC Progress Reports 2011: Civil Society – Indicator of Progress and Positive Change

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stefan-fuleBCSDN presents an analysis based on the country Progress Reports published on 12th October against the set policy benchmarks in the European or Accession partnerships for each country as well as against network’s recommendations to the Commission on how monitoring and progress in civil society development and civil dialogue can be achieved in a coherent, effective, ownership and sustainable way. At first glance, it seems that the region has made an amazing progress on the path to EU membership in 2011. Croatia has closed the last negotiating chapter and received the green light for membership. The Commission has recommended start of the negotiation for Montenegro and granted a long awaited candidate status to Serbia.

On regional level, the role played by civil society initiatives in promoting reconciliation among citizens and society is mostly noted this year.  As expected, assessments and recommendations on country level are given greater scrutiny and are more detailed and concrete. Overall, they are focused on the role and function of civil society in assessing functioning democratic institutions and their administrative capacity of state institutions to develop and adopt quality legislation and have the ability for its implementation. This year, more than in any Enlargement Package so far, we can see common elements of the monitoring framework of the Commission (or an Acquis?). The main elements of the framework are: respect for freedom of assembly and legal framework regulating it; participation of civil society to policy-making and decision-making (national and local level) – both existing legislation and institutional mechanisms and practice; allocation of state funding for civil society; and access to public information. Here you can download the full analysis.

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