Standard 3.2.3. CSOs’ Representation in Cross-Sector Bodies

The Code of Good Practices for the civil sector’s participation in the policy-makingprocesses stipulates  working groups established by the Government which would, inter alia, serve as an instrument of participation. ). However, there is no standardized mechanism for selection of representatives in cross-sector bodies. There are different legal acts that require establishment of  Councils, committees, etc. which would oblige  CSOs to be included in the mechanism.

The most relevant document is the Decision for Establishment of  Cooperation and Development Council as the main mechanism for cooperation which was prepared with CSOs participation. According to the Decision, the representatives of CSOs are selected within the sector, through a transparent and open procedure,  and are nominated to represent the areas they work on.  

During2019, the Unit for Cooperation with NGOs for the needs of the Council, published several open calls on replacement  of representatives of CSOs.  It abided by the  the entire procedure, publishing the final results with sufficient details. Also, there were numerous examples when  different institutions (MLSP, MJ) invited interested organizations to join an established working group on Laws or other legal acts.

In 2019, a questional decision with no legal grounds in the Decision expanded the mandate of the Council with one of the amendments in the Council’s Rulebook. The amendment stipulated executory task for the Council on Government’s request – meaning, it could start a procedure for selecting CSO representatives wotking in various fields to take part in the working groups/bodies or events.

There are numerous cases when CSO representatives are invited in the decision-making bodies working on  issues and policies which are relevant to the civil society. According to the survey, over a third 35.6% of CSOs took part in the work of a cross-sectoral bodies, including working groups (48), Council (5), commissions (4), coordinative bodies (4), inter-sectoral group (2), committee (1), advisory body (1), other (9), which  were part of institutions such as MLSP, MH, ME, AYS, Agency for the Realization of the Rights of the Communities, MC, the Government, Parliament, Cabinet of Minister without portfolio, MISA, MESP, Ministry of Agriculture.  

0 – 20 Fully disabling environment20 – 40 Disabling environment
40 – 60 Partially enabling environment60 – 80 Enabling environment
80 – 100 Fully enabling environment

Chart 15. Based on the experience of your organization, please evaluate the following statements regarding the participation in the work of the advisory, consultative body, working group or committee (%):

The majority (83%) of CSO representatives agree that they were able to freely express their critical views within the work of the cross-sectoral body, etc. In addition, the majority (69%) of CSO representatives agree they were able to access state bodies even when using alternative ways of advocacy for public promotion of their standpoint that might influence the work of the body.

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