Together for Civil Society Development – The EU is Listening, but is it Practicing?

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BCSDN is proud to present its Annual narrative and financial Report for 2010 accompanied by and independent Audit of its accounts. The 2010 was the first full year of operation for BCSDN since its formalization. Thus, the focus on external activities was limited with the need to develop rules and procedures for full functioning of the network organs and external fundraising for networks’ basic activities. Subsequently, focus of activities in 2010 was on strategic Goal 1 (“Civil society a partner in policy- and decision-making on national and EU level”) and Goal 2 (“Strong and active civil society actors informed and able to create cross-border and multi-stakeholder cross-sectoral partnership”).

Through the Commission’s CSF/TACSO Programming Committee, the network launched an initiative for review of the EC’s civil society funding through an external evaluation of this programme. Moreover, BCSDN proposed a Blueprint centred around principles of coherence, ownership, sustainability and (cost-) effectiveness to guide a new approach. Finally, the network published an analysis of the Progress Reports in November, highlighting that the translation of the benchmarks into funding priorities begs attention to the process rather than to actors-strengthening, i.e. focus should not be on strengthening of civil society actors as such, but as on actors in the policy-development and decision-making process. The Commission has continued its recognition of the network as an important local stakeholder. However, continues policy dialogue based on partnership and trust with local CSOs needs to result not only in project-level, but in policy approach shift in supporting civil society development.

The E-mail alerts followed the focus on civil dialogue, whereby a special category devoted thematically to civil dialogue was introduced in order to promote sharing of information better CSOs and Governmental Offices for CSOs and other governmental structures. Moreover, a new look and methodology were introduced for easier access and processing of information. The website re-design was finalized and the new website became functional in June. It now includes a more user-friendly access to both members and the general public. The 1st on-line database on civil dialogue was introduced with an overview, links (where available) to original documents for more information and up-date on the situation in the individual countries have also been provided in the list of state framework documents. Moreover, it also includes a list of Governmental offices for cooperation with CSOs or similar contact structures as further source of information and up-date.

The BCSDN has been increasingly recognized as a good practice in networking by CSOs and for this purpose, the work of the network was presented at several high-level EU and regional events. In terms of partnership, several joint project proposals were prepared by the network and its members, including IPA CSF Partnership Action and national IPA calls, IPA Cross Border Cooperation Programme, Europe for Citizens Programme, OSI East-East Partnership Beyond Borders Programme, TACSO, EIDHR call. Finally, BCSDN became a strategic partner of the Council of Europe for the promotion of its Code of Good Practice for civil participation in the decision-making process.

2010 Annual Report

Independent Audit report

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