As the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the crisis of democracy in the Balkans, it is evident that our societies face a turning point for their sustainable and democratic development. With the EU less impactful in pushing for change, and the governments in the Balkans more resilient to the pressure, the role of the civil society is now important more than ever. In such situation, CSOs need to come up with innovative and responsive advocacy approaches for reaffirming the role of civil society at national, regional and EU level in the pandemic and post- pandemic reality, by working more together. They should to join forces to defend the civic space by grounding their work on mobilizing citizen support and civic engagement, improving the capacities for evidence-based advocacy. They should also invest in building partnership and coalitions for achieving common goals, especially when it comes to using the international fora as a venue for pressuring for government accountability.
To this end, BCSDN is happy to announce the signing of a new grant agreement with the Balkan Trust for Democracy for implementing the project “Improved CSOs responses to pandemic and post-pandemic challenges in the Western Balkans“, as a way to respond to the needs and challenges of the Balkan region civil societies amplified by the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The year-long project, starting from October 2021, aims to contribute towards enhanced civil society resilience in facing COVID-19 and post-pandemic challenges through regional cooperation. Through joint activities and advocacy on national and regional level, CSOs would contribute towards a more enabling environment for the civil society in the region to effectively respond to the continued challenges posed by the coronavirus. The project aims also to improve CSO capacities for a more effective, transparent and accountable civil society response to the pandemic and post-pandemic challenges.
The project encompasses different activities and products developed, such as monitoring the effects and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the civil society operating environment and gathering information on the changing role and responses of civil society, development of policy documents and regional advocacy actions, as well as organizing a regional workshop for exchange of experiences and best practices, establishing new ways for joint advocacy, and for supporting more resilient and effective civil society, and other.
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