The Civil Society Promotion Centre (CSPC) organized two informative and consultative workshops on January 14 and 15, 2014, related to basic research findings on enabling environment for civil society development in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and recommendations for its improvement. The analysis and results of the research will serve as basis for the Monitoring Report on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development in BiH, which will also be an integral part of regional Monitoring Report for the Region of the Balkans and Turkey.
Alongside of CSPC the following organizations participated in the research: Foundation for Social Inclusion in BiH, Association for Democratic Initiatives, Youth Communication Center from Banja Luka, and Borka Rudic from the Association of BH Journalists. It is important to emphasize that this research was made based on application of the Monitoring Matrix on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development, the original methodological instrument developed by the Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) in collaboration with its members and ECNL. The Monitoring Matrix presents the main principles and standards that have been identified as crucial to exist in order for the legal environment to be considered as supportive and enabling for the operations of civil society organizations (CSOs) and is organized around three areas, each divided by sub-areas: basic legal guarantees of freedoms; framework for CSOs’ financial viability and sustainability; and the relationship between government and CSOs.
At the workshops, participants exchanged information, experiences and opinions on the state of the civil society in BiH. In order to improve the institutional, legal and fiscal environment for civil society development, the findings of the research have been discussed as well as recommendations in terms of prioritization for future advocacy activities. The workshops were attended by representatives of 20 CSO’s from across the BiH, including CSO’s that are implementing regional projects within the European Union ‘Framework Partnership Agreements: Support to Regional Thematic Networks”, as well as the representatives of TASCO BiH and CBGI project.
With these workshops, CSPC opened the process of wider public consultations regarding research findings and recommendations. Following the workshops, CSPC announced an Open call for submission of comments on the findings and recommendations presented and posted on the CSPC website, and therefore, for participation in creation of Monitoring Report on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development in BiH itself.
The research has been conducted within the project ‘Sustainable Development of Civil Society in BiH’, supported by USAID and BCSDN regional project “Balkan Civil Society Acquis – Strengthening the Advocacy and Monitoring Potential and Capacities of CSOs”, supported by the EU and Balkan Trust for Democracy.