ECNL/BCSDN Webinar: Emergency End Game

COVID-19 in the Balkan Region: Restrictions on Civic Space and Citizens’ Basic Freedoms
April 30, 2020
BCSDN Published the Third Edition of its Thematic Newsletter: Solidarity in Times of Corona Crises!
May 8, 2020

Emergency End Game- Oversight of Covid 19 Measures that impact civic space in the Western Balkans, Croatia and Romania

May 8 2020, 13h CET

Webinar link:

Severe measures have been taken in our countries to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. In some countries, governments have declared a State of Emergency and basic rights and freedoms have been restricted in all countries. Once the health emergency subsides and overall situation improves, most measures will have to be lifted. The danger remains that some negative effects will stay. People’s fear for health could be misused by political actors to try and keep some restrictions permanent. We have already seen country leaders are invoking executive powers and seizing authority with low resistance and less checks and balances. With the role of the parliaments and the opposition (somewhat) marginalised, civil society has become even more crucial in continuous monitoring of the emergency measures. The webinar will provide the overview of current practices and responses in the Western Balkans, Croatia and Romania, with an underlying questions – how can civil society effectively monitor and prepare to request lifting of restrictions?

Agenda outline:
Introduction, welcome and setting the stage – BCSDN, ECNL
Country examples* – challenges of emergency measures adoption and their legality/legitimacy, and responses from national stakeholders
Serbia – Bojana Selakovic, Civic Initiatives
N. Macedonia – Snezana Kamilovska Trpovska, MCIC
Croatia – Ivan Novosel, Human Rights House
Albania – Juliana Hoxha, Partners Albania
Romania – Stefania Andersen, FDSC
Kosovo – Dren Puka, KCSF

Discussion and Q&A
How can civil society effectively monitor and prepare to request lifting of
What are some of the tactics already used that worked well?
How can citizens be more aware and engaged in oversight?
What can different actors do to help these efforts – donors, media, international and regional organizations, business community, etc.
Wrap up and next steps to follow up – ECNL, BCSDN

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