On April 12th, 2016 in Skopje, Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC) held an event so as to introduce to the interested public the 2015 Monitoring Matrix Report on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development in Macedonia, analyzing the basic legally guaranteed freedoms, the framework for financial sustainability and the relationship between CSOs and the Government. The event gathered circa 40 representatives both of civil society sector and state institutions.
Simona Ognenovska of MCIC provided a retrospective of the environment in which CSOs operated during 2015, briefly covering the main findings from all the three areas that the Monitoring Matrix is covering. With regards to basic legal guarantees of freedoms, she pointed out that, during 2015, state authorities exercised indirect pressure on CSOs through inspections and other methods, but also that there have been several deviations from the law regarding limitations to the place for holding assemblies. As for CSO financial sustainability and viability, Ognenovska highlighted that on top of state funding not corresponding to CSOs needs, 42% of the funds for CSOs have been utilized for political parties. When it comes to the Government–CSO cooperation, the gap between the existing legislation and its implementation widened due to the enormous amount of laws being adopted in shortened procedure without consultations. During the event Irena Ivanova, Head of Civil Society Program at the Delegation of the EU to Macedonia, gave a short review of EU policies on civil society development, whereas Tanja Hafner Ademi, BCSDN Executive Director, presented the regional practices from the monitoring of the enabling environment for civil society development.