The Kosovar Civil Society Foundation (KCSF) and the Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) are pleased to present the fifth report of the Monitoring Matrix on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development, regarding the developments in Kosovo throughout 2019.
The report is part of a series of country reports covering seven countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.
Some of the report’s findings for 2019 are: The amendment of the Law on Freedom of Association in CSOs has introduced institutes as the third legal form to register an organization. The protection against the state’s interference in internal matters of CSOs, has been expanded, and has reduced organizations’ registration period; In Kosovo, the legislation on the prevention of money laundering and combating terrorist financing is still not in line with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations and the EU Directive 2015/849; Kosovo’s Prosecutorial Council adopted a regulation according to which its officials may communicate with media and journalists only under prior notification of the chief prosecutor. The Independent Media Commission also initiated drafting a policy that forbids reporting from public officials’ court rulings until the final ruling. There is an increase in public calls for proposals; The report on public funds distributed to CSOs is annually published, although other entities are incorrectly listed, as well; The new Strategy Governmental Strategy for Cooperation with Civil Society 2019 – 2023 has entered into force; and Entry into force of the Regulation no.05/2016 on Minimum Standards for Public Consultation, has established a set of standards and a systemic procedure for public consultation process, etc.
Some of the main report’s recommendations are: The Department for NGOs should draft by-laws of the NGO Law with the involvement of NGOs. Moreover, DNGO should increase its capacities in order to implement its mandate properly; The Financial Intelligence Unit, the Ministry of Finance, and the Central bank should draft and adopt the specific regulatory, based on FATF recommendations; The Ministry of Finance and the Tax Administration should address the specificities of CSOs in primary legislation, as well as reporting forms. These should be harmonized with the NGO Law to provide specific benefits to CSOs; The Ministry of Finance, together with the other budgetary organizations at the central and local level should work on increasing transparency regarding public funds distributed to NGOs, with a focus on monitoring and evaluation; The Office for Good Governance in the Office of Prime Minister (OGG OPM) should allocate a specific budget and increase its human capacities for proper implementation of the Strategy for cooperation with civil society; Central level institutions should ensure that public consultation processes are organized in accordance with the standards specified by the Regulation on public consultation; For the local level, the Ministry of Local Government Administration (MLGA) and the municipalities should work on fully operationalizing the implementation of minimum standards for public consultation at the local level, while also undertaking a public information campaign promoting available opportunities for citizens and CSOs, etc.
The report is part of the activities of the Project “Protecting Civic Space – Regional Civil Society Development Hub”, financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and implemented by the Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) in cooperation with its member organizations in the countries of the Western Balkans.