IFC returns for first outing since 2019June 23, 2022
Advice issued to French nonprofits seeking GDPR compliant analysis toolsJuly 13, 2022
More than 300 civil society organisations from across Europe have written to the president of the European Commission, calling for the development of a European Civil Society Strategy to be included in its 2023 work programme.
The letter to president Ursula von der Leyen states that a civil society strategy has been a long-term demand of CSOs at both a European and national level, and is now supported both by a European Parliament resolution on the shrinking space for civil society in Europe. This resolution was reached on 8 March 2022 with a large majority. The strategy is also a recommendation in the final report of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which ran from April 2021 to May 2022, and was established jointly by the European Commission, European Parliament and the Council of the EU.
The letter’s cosignatories urge the European Commission to take action, asking it to “safeguard civil society space by developing, in cooperation with CSOs and human rights defenders, a comprehensive European civil society strategy before the end of the current five-years term.”
It was initiated by Civil Society Europe and European Civic Forum, and is signed by nonprofits, sector organisations and networks from a wide range of EU countries, as well as some from outside of the EU.
In a recent report that makes the case for a European Civil Society Strategy, the European Civic Forum states that “the EU cannot foster and protect rule of law, democracy, fundamental rights and equality without a vibrant civil society.”
In its executive summary, it says:
“Better participation of civil society in the policy-making and agenda setting would allow EU policies to respond in a more meaningful way to the needs, concerns, aspirations and rights of people living in Europe, resulting in greater popular ownership and trust in institutions. This is even more essential in the context of the multifaceted crises the EU faces internally and globally.”
As such, it argues a strategy is needed that defines civil society at the European level, sets political priorities to develop its capacities and supports it when facing attacks.
It quotes the European Parliament report, which states that the EU Civil Society Strategy should give “genuine political recognition to the crucial role played by CSOs in the realisation of democratic values and policies” and calls on the Strategy to do this by integrating all existing tools, filling monitoring, support and protection gaps, and clearly linking monitoring and reporting tools to EU enforcement mechanisms to ensure timely and effective follow-up action.
Picture by Pixabay on Pexels