Being part of the accession process, the legislation and the practices in the field of CSO’s financing is included in the Acquis. The process of decentralized management of EC assistance, enables the national institutions to assume the obligations of managing financial procedures and rules under PRAG. Except in Croatia, the current approach adopted by the authorities has hindered the work of the CSOs: VAT exemption rules are not implemented or the system presents a considerable administrative burden, the co-financing of EU projects as a systematic measure exists only in Croatia while pre-financing rules exist but are mainly not respected. The Accountability and the transparency of procedures is in most cases regulated by non-obligatory bylaws, i.e. codes, which are rarely implemented. This situation prevents CSO to be treated equally and fair in receiving state funding as well as their ability to extract EU funds effectively. Setting the right framework, being based on European best regulatory practices is crucial for ensuring CSO’s access to enabling financial environment. Moreover, the potential of the sector as employer of substantial number of people, the return in taxes and dues and the innovative and added-value to the overall reform and the development efforts of institutions are not recognized by the state and the institutions in terms of developing policies such as taxation and employment, in order to enable its growth and development.
The Strategic choice/approach for influence at European level, EU Financial Regulation and PRAG changes, include different types of involvement within the existing European networks’ advocacy efforts and promotion of support model synergies used by different foreign and local donors and the EC. The transparency in allocation of state funding to civil society and tax treatment are, or are becoming an increasing concern to the EC in the context of EU accession in the pre and accession countries of WBT, especially as the accession progresses with decentralized management system is even more determined by EU financing rules. This policy framework provides a unique momentum which BCSDN will use to consolidate the work of the Network and of its members in a cost-effective manner. This will be done by developing an advocacy methodology which will use the existing global and EU-based experience and force national institutions to adopt and implement enabling policies for civil society, such as state co-financing for EU projects, pre-financing, VAT as eligible cost and global funds. This priority will include monitoring of the implementation of the EU financial rules, adopted under the new financial perspective 2014-2020, and its effects on civil society’s sustainability. Moreover, it will provide support to the advocacy and capacity-building measures of CSOs/network towards the institutions, aiming to improve both national standards and practice. The identified issues will be closely linked to the monitoring matrix (Priority area 1) as it will enable continuous monitoring/pressure and feed-into advocacy formulation on this particular area.
The Expected results are:
• Funding policies and (by) laws at EU and national level are drafted/ revised and applied.
• Government institutions recognize the economic value of CSOs and design key strategies for economic and human resource sustainability.