In the context of the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy in May, the EU recognized the importance of developing policies to support civil society in Eastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus, by promoting the creation of a Civil Society Facility and a new European Endowment for Democracy. This preliminary idea for ENPI Civil Society Initiative, with the main components inspired from the IPA civil society facility instrument has the ambitious goal of strengthening civil society and making it an actor in promoting the democratic transformation in these countries. BCSDN has been sharing the experience with EaP CSOs recently in order to raise awareness and inspire local CSOs to get involved in the process as early as possible.
In line with these developments APRODEV organized a workshop for sharing experiences of the Balkan countries and the work the CSOs have done in monitoring, advocacy and lobbing with the EC. The workshop took place in Batumi, Georgia on the 18th of September as an addition to a workshop organized by EED on Working with Communities and Community Development.
A couple of successful initiatives were shared, EaP monitoring and the case of Georgia presented by Shorena Lortkipanidze, International Center on Conflict and Negotiation and Participatory Budget Monitoring – Experiences shared by the Macedonian Centre for International Cooperation, member of BCSDN. Ilina Nesik form BCSDN, shared the experience that the network had with the EC and the Civil Society Facility, the main message was that EU needs to know the situation on the ground in these countries, and support the development of sustainable organizations capable of taking on the many challenges they face in this region.