MCIC: CSOs in Macedonia Operate in a Relatively Enabling Environment

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April 15, 2015

On 31st March, the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC) presented the new Monitoring Matrx report on the enabling environment for civil society development (CSDev) in Macedonia, covering the period from January to November 2014. The report covers three areas relevant for CSDev: 1) Basic legal guarantees of freedoms, 2) Financial viability and sustainability of CSOs and 3) The relationship between CSOs and the Government.

In the first area, it is noted that the legal framework is solid and that the right and the freedom of public assembly is significantly practiced. However, there were some political abuses and isolated cases of limiting the space for gathering, as well as disproportionate use of police force during peaceful assemblies.

Within the second area, the financial sustainability of civil society organizations, research findings show that the state funding, including funds generated from games of chance and lotteries, is not reformed. There is lack of institutional support from the state to CSOs, as well as co-financing of EU and international projects. In addition, CSOs are equal with other entities in regards to tax laws, i.e. there are no tax incentives.

The third area, the relationship between the government and CSOs, refers to the lack of political will for substantial cooperation, even despite the initial steps for establishing a Council for development of civil society. Additionally, the report emphasizes the importance of fully involving civil society in the preparation of laws and policy-creation.

This is the second Monitoring Matrix report for Macedonia, prepared by MCIC, based on monitoring of the situation in the national legislation and policies relevant to the development of civil society in Macedonia and their application in practice. The report is part of the activities carried out in the framework of the “Balkan Civil SOciety Acquis – Strengthening the Advocacy and Monitoring Potential and Capacities of CSOs” funded by the EU and implemented by BCSDN and its members, in partnership the European Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL) and the European Network of National Civil Society Associations (ENNA).

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