With regards to structures and mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation between civil society and public institutions, two are the main collegial consultative bodies: The National Council for Civil Society and The National Council for European Integration.
The National Council for Civil Society (NCCS) is a collegial consultative body aiming to guarantee institutional collaboration between the State and CSOs, in support of good governance, participatory democracy, and increase of transparency through meaningful participation and involvement of civil society in this process. In line with the Law “For the Establishment and Functioning of the National Council for Civil Society” the Council consists of 27 members, 13 representatives from the Government institutions, 13 representatives from CSOs and 1 representative from the National Economic Council. In September 2019, the NCCS selected four new members from civil society replacing the ones whose mandate ended.
The selection process is done accordingly with the Regulation on organization and functioning of the National Council for Civil Society, through online voting. The ASCS that acts as a secretariat issues the call for nominations, inviting CSOs to submit their proposals on the members of the NCCS. The results are published at the ASCS website.
During 2019, the NCCS hardly has conducted any productive discussion in voicing CSOs priorities in policy-making processes. According to the information on ACSC website that serves as the secretariat of the Council, during 2019 the Council conducted only one meeting, while the decisions of the meeting are not publicly available yet.
Similar with the previous MM Report 2018, the Law for the Establishment and Functioning of the National Council for Civil Society needs to be amended in order to address the proper representation from ministry lines (i.e. changes in the ministerial portfolios) and number of representatives from each ministry (i.e. reduction in number of ministerial portfolios) in order to meet the required balance of representation.
0 – 20 Fully disabling environment20 – 40 Disabling environment
40 – 60 Partially enabling environment60 – 80 Enabling environment
80 – 100 Fully enabling environment
Another important structure, in the frame of accession of Albania in the European Union, is the National Council for European Integration (NCEI). It is an advisory body for the European integration process, established by the Parliament, aiming to promote and guarantee a comprehensive cooperation between political forces, public institutions and civil society, and increase transparency in decision-making on integration issues. According to its internal regulation, civil society is represented by three members, a number that was increased into 8 in 2018. The change in the number was not supported by respective changes in the regulation. According to the 2019 Annual Report of the National Council for Integration, the Council has announced two calls for membership applications from CSOs on 16 April 2018 and on 24 April 2019. The elections and renovation for members from CSOs were finalized in September 2019. Based on the annual report of NCEI the number of CSOs representatives was increased to 18 members. On the other side, there is a need to increase the visibility of the Council since its work is not promoted and well-known in the sector.
From the surveyed CSOs, about half of them (58%) declared that they are informed about the work of the National Council for Civil Society, as shown in Graph 10.
Asked on the level of agreement with the following claim: “The decisions of the NCCS are based on CSOs recommendations and input”, 45% of the surveyed CSOs answered that they do not know, while 30% of them disagreed or strongly disagreed.
One recommendation from the surveyed CSOs for the members of the Council elected from and representing civil society is to increase their interactions with other CSOs that they represent for a better representation of CSOs voice within the Council.