Cenzura Plus, in collaboration with BCSDN and the other partners from the project ”Together for Europe” organized a regional conference on ” The State of Civil Society in the EU Enlargement: Why Don’t We Always Get What We Want?” which took place on the 26th of April in Split, Croatia. The conference focused on the state and role of civil society in the process of the EU accession through the experience of the EU Enlargement through the lessons learned from the EU’s 5th Enlargement and from Croatia. Around 80 representatives of CSOs from Croatia and the Western Balkans region attended the conference, analyzed and presented the influence of the EU Enlargement on the civil society. Experiences of CSOs from the EU countries, candidate countries and potential candidate countries on supporting the civil society and funding were also compared; the democratic reforms related to it; the political processes; the EU and civil society relationships.
The topics were devided in four panels: “EU and Civil Society relationship: Is there a change in the EU Institutions rhetoric towards civil society?”; “Presentation of current state of civil society in the New Member States – Return to Sender? Absorption Capacity and Political Identity”; “The impact of EU in the enlarging countries – Rights, Money and Networks: Necessary but Not Sufficient for Empowering Civil Society” and “Croatian Experience: Institutional mechanisms for supporting civil society – Opportunities and Traps? Structural and Cohesion Funds, Development Policy” inspired by Why you don’t always get what you want: EU enlargement and civil society in Central and Eastern Europe article by Tanja A Börzel. The full report from the conference as well as the conclusions and recommendations will be made available here.