The first panel addressed the issue of participation of CSOs in policy-development. The panel featured presentations of Zoran Milkov, General Secretariat, Government of the RM; Liljana Popovska, MP; Galina Rizova, Senior Adviser, TACSO project; Emina Nuredinovska, Civic Platform for Macedonia and Darko Aleksov, Citizens’ Association MOST. The second panel discussed challenges to sustainability to CSOs. The panel feature presentation of Saso Klekovski, MCIC; Irena Ivanova, Delegation of the EU and Tanja Hafner Ademi, BCSDN.
Tanja Hafner Ademi delivered a presentation under the title “Between Expectations and Reality: Comments and Thought from a Regional Perspective”. Her presentation focused on Croatian and Bulgarian experience in addressing sustainability of CSOs in the context EU integration process. While in Croatia, the Government has secured a comprehensive legal, institutional and financial framework for support to CSOs, external funding (esp. European Commission’s) still remains pivotal for CSOs in diversifying their portfolio (in absence of other non-state funding) and in providing independence and autonomy in its watchdog function. In Bulgaria, lack of a state framework, weak institutional capacity and monopoly by the state in allocation of (EU and state) funding to CSOs has in the years after EU accession lead to “capturing” of civil society in terms of management and activities of existing CSOs.
The event was attended by representatives of local CSOs, Government, Delegation of the EU and international organizations. Similar events are taking place in other countries in the region in the course of February and March. More information on the project and kick-off events are available on the TACSO project website.