In the Preparation of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA III), BCSDN has contributed to the Consultation of Civil Society Organisations, Feedback Report, prepared by EU TACSO 3.
According to BCSDN, the Strategic Response prepared by the IPA III beneficiaries, should be produced in consultation with the civil society and the relevant stakeholders in the process to address the needs of the societies better and ensure broader societal consensus on the priorities for funding. It should also be in line with the needs of the civil society in the Enlargement countries, corresponding to findings from the monitoring of civil society environment (ex. Guidelines for EU support to civil society in Enlargement countries).
Considering the ongoing trend of shrinking civic space and restricted democracy in most Enlargement countries, IPA should be equipped to adequately respond to the civil society needs that should receive effective support from the EU. This is also essential for the CSOs role, ensuring sustainable democratic reforms and improved government accountability.
The IPA implementing mechanisms should provide a clear basis for defending the civic space and responding to its immediate threats. Investment in civic education, a more enabling environment, civil society infrastructure, and joint action would be crucial to accomplishing this. An effective response to the shrinking of civic space could be provided by applying the newly introduced principle of performance to support civil society action. To contribute to the stronger financial viability of the civil society in the enlargement countries, the EU, through the new IPA III needs to support the improvement of public funding management and a more favorable tax framework for CSOs.
In the end, BCSDN appreciates the mainstreaming of civil society in all areas as a cross-cutting issue. We believe the systematic involvement of civil society is the key to the sustainability of all reforms.
Read the full BCSDN feedback here.