Acknowledging the limited space for contribution to the DG NEAR/TACSO consultations on the first regional call of the IPA CSF and Media Programme 2021-2023, both in terms of time available and structure of the survey itself, BCSDN has prepared a statement with more detailed feedback, while expressing serious concerns over the effectiveness and credibility of these consultations. In times of severly declining freedoms, it is surprising that civic space and democracy are not addressed at all in the call’s priorities. Moreover, the EU should put a stronger focus on core and long-term support for CSOs rather than short-term project support, allowing CSOs to more efficiently pursue their core missions, instead of responding to calls for proposals with predetermined priorities. Finally, we want to remind the EU and its implementing partners of the good practices of public consultations, in order to address the worrying lack of opportunities to participate in timely and genuine consultations both on national and regional level. Read the full reaction here.