BCSDN for the 6th time has analyzed how the European Commission has treated the issue of civil society development and assessed the progress made in the Enlargement countries within the Enlargement Strategy 2014-2015 and the country Progress Reports recently being published.
In brief, the analysis shows the Commission has unified itsapproach towards the issue of civil society and for the first time has structured it as separate section within the political criteria of the progress report for each country. It has furthermore mainstreamed civil society in Acquis chapters to some extent. Most importantly, the EC has used clear, strong and focused language in delivering the key messages to the governments and in highlighting the need for fostering enabling environment for civil society. The biggest focus again this year is on Government – CSOs relationship, especially on the framework and mechanisms for cooperation and the involvement of civil society in policy and decision-making. It can be noted though that the EC has been broadening the focus of interest to include more issues influencing the enabling environment for CSDev.
Similarly to last year, BCSDN analysis of how the EC is assessing CSDev in the individual country reports is presented through the framework of the Monitoring Matrix on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development (CSDev). The Monitoring Matrix, developed by BCSDN and its partners in 2012, provides a set of principles and standards accompanied by 151 indicators for legislation and practice that needs to be in place in a country to have an optimum enabling environment for CSDev.