Food For Thoughts

The European Civic Forum is aware that policies and legislative measures are only one tool that state and non-state actors have at their disposal to hinder the actions of civil society. The first obstacle they face is isolation and delegitimation, which allows governments to openly attack activists without facing citizens’ opposition

According to a research requested by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights,

“The burden of argumentation has now switched around to fall on civil society’s shoulders. Civic groups are faced with the need to explain why they should have the right to exist unhindered and receive support from the outside. This is a major inversion of the whole civic climate that goes well beyond the individual NGO laws that have been introduced – and the significance of this inversion has still not been fully seized. It means inter alia that effective responses will need to rework a whole narrative about the merits and rights of civil society.”

This section of the European Civic Space Watch aims at collecting positive stories and new, constructive narratives on the role of civil society in ensuring the well-functioning of democracy and defending citizens’ interests in national and supranational policymaking. It also includes analysis of the crisis of values that is at the core of shrinking civic space in Europe.

Read Latest Updatest:

(Translated from German - Rechtssicherheit für politische Willensbildung)The judgment in the ATTAC case by the [German] Federal Fiscal Court (BFH = Bundes­finanz­hof) affects thousands of foundations (trusts) and associations. This judgment is not very helpful. It does not reflect the social developments of recent decades. In some points, the BFH's arguments ...
Read More
/ Food for thoughts, Germany
(ECNL) How do you have to plan and prepare to monitor an assembly? What do you need to observe when you are there? What do you do with the information you gather through first-hand observation? How do you deal with the media? Our Briefer on Monitoring Public Assemblies gives a quick rundown of ...
Read More
(Maecenata Institute) The global phenomenon of “closing” or “shrinking” space for civil society has been identified and increasingly analyzed since at least the beginning of the 2000s. In Europe, the focus has been on what has been happening in countries of Central and Eastern Europe or of the Balkans; by contrast, ...
Read More
/ Food for thoughts
(Maecenata Foundation) Civil society is one of the main arenas of the democratization. However, in recent years the political space of civil society has become narrower and does not contribute to effective operation of civil society organisations (CSOs). Due to repression by governments, civil society organisations are encountering a series of ...
Read More
/ Food for thoughts
(European Center for Non-for-profit Law) ECNL and its local partners are now piloting our new tool, the CSO Meter to support regular and consistent monitoring of civil society environment in the Eastern Partnership countries. Consisting of a set of standards and indicators, the CSO Meter will help evaluate CSOs’ legal framework as well as the situation ...
Read More
/ Food for thoughts
(European Environmental Bureau) Restrictions placed on civil society are dangerous for both our democracies and our environment. A new report by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) reveals examples of EU governments failing to deliver on laws that should ensure public participation in environmental decision-making. The ‘Power for the people’ report compiles ...
Read More
(European Centre for Not-for-profit Law) In December 2018, the Dutch Ministry for Legal Protection published a draft Act on Transparency of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and opened it for consultations. The draft Act requires all CSOs to publish overviews of donations that amount to or exceed 15,000 EUR a year, which ...
Read More
/ Food for thoughts, Netherlands
(Novara Media) On 6 February, the Stansted 15 – a group of activists who locked themselves around a plane to stop a deportation flight in 2017 – were sentenced after being found guilty of terror-related offences. For 23 months they confronted the full wrath of the Home Office and the threat of ...
Read More
/ Food for thoughts, United Kingdom
(Human Rights Watch) – The Polish government is targeting women’s rights activists and organizations, putting women’s rights and safety at risk, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. More than two years after the first mass protests against efforts to further restrict abortion access, the ruling Law and Justice (Prawo ...
Read More
(The Guardian) From air quality to sex education and corruption, citizens across the country are taking on the authorities – and winning. By Christian Davies in Warsaw and Lubartów Back when Anna Gryta and Elżbieta Wąs started a local campaign to preserve a town square in south-east Poland, they had no idea it would ...
Read More
/ Food for thoughts, Poland
Close Menu