Health charities are Belgium’s top destinations for legaciesOctober 4, 2023
Spanish support for charities continues to growOctober 4, 2023
The EU should adopt a European Civil Society Strategy to formally recognise the role and value of civil society, says a new report.
It argues that this strategy and other measures to support civil society, which faces “growing obstacles and attacks” would help to strengthen democracy.
Civil Society Europe’s new Civil Society State of the Union report includes a large number of recommendations for EU institutions, member states and other stakeholders, including some specific to funding or fundraising.
The report’s first recommendation is the creation of a strategy to “defend a safe and enabling environment for civil society”. This would include measures to protect and support civil society organisations (CSOs) and human rights groups, as well as individuals working or volunteering for them. The EU should also change the methodology of its Rule of Law Reports in order to focus more clearly on threats to civil society, it says.
The report calls too for the creation of “permanent civil dialogue structures at the appropriate level in each relevant Member State and EU institution, including the European Council”. It says that CSOs taking part in such structures should “receive adequate support in terms of funding and resources to ensure their operational capacity to meaningfully participate in such dialogues”.
Recommendations in the report specifically relating to fundraising include:
- The importance of “involving civil society from the beginning in the design of funding policies and programmes”, through structured mechanisms for regular dialogue between civil society and donors
- The need to increase “the overall accessibility to funding, especially for small-size, grassroots and volunteer-run organisations, by simplifying administrative procedures and reducing the overall bureaucratic burden”. There is also a need to ensure more funding for core activities, alongside project funding
- A specific need for funding for CSOs to support citizens experiencing digital inclusion
The report also argues that the EU as a whole needs to change significantly, saying:
“The European project is at a point in its development where thorough reforms to the EU’s structures are necessary and urgent… We need an EU that is willing to evolve into a more comprehensible, transparent, accountable, and democratic community of people.”