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:

(Budapest Beacon) “We need to speak about how today Hungary once again has a one-party system. Parliamentary democracy has been completely hollowed out. There is no point to formal opposition politics... What can (opposition members of parliament) do against this? Hold up signs in Parliament?” – Márton Gulyás, founder, Country for ...
Read More
(Equal Times) Waves of protests unheard of since the fall of Communism and the formation of new resistance movements are challenging Poland’s increasingly authoritarian government. There’s a lot to protest about with regards to the policies and positions of Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the right-wing populist Law and Justice party : public ...
Read More
(International Center for Non-For-Profit Law  & World Movement for Democracy/ BCSDN) This Toolkit, co-authored by NED’s World Movement for Democracy and ICNL, compiles the experiences of those who have engaged in legal reform initiatives in over dozens countries worldwide and provides tips, tools, and strategies that organizations and activists around ...
Read More
(Transparency and Accountability Initiative / BCSDN) This briefing and discussion paper analyzes how governments refer to transparency and accountability to argue for tighter regulation of CSOs. Invoking transparency and accountability, governments around the world typically propose regulation in three areas: transparency of funding, and especially of foreign funding; income and asset ...
Read More
(CIVICUS) The special theme of the 2018 State of Civil Society Report will be ‘reimagining democracy’. The report will explore how citizens and civil society organisations are working to build more participatory forms of democracy, and how civil society is responding to the citizen anger and sense of disconnection that is ...
Read More
(Civil Society Europe) The members of the European Parliament will discuss tomorrow at the presence of the European Commission and the Council about shrinking space in Europe. Civil  Society Europe has disseminated a statement to the EU institutions proposing some concrete actions to redress this situation. This debate comes at a ...
Read More
(Open Global Rights) The challenges facing civil society now aren’t about reviving our weakening democracies—they are about re-imagining democracy for a radically changed world. As world leaders prepare to attend the World Economic Forum at Davos, civil society must focus on re-imagining democracy for 2018. In a forum where President Trump is ...
Read More
/ Food for thoughts, Latest Updates
(Westminster Foundation for Democracy) On 26 September 2017, the research collaboration between the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the University of Birmingham launched a new policy paper at the European Endowment for Democracy in Brussels.  WFD Research Fellow, Susan Dodsworth reflects on the discussion at the event. In the last few ...
Read More
/ Food for thoughts, Latest Updates
(Open Society Foundation) “Imagine what a world would look like without civil society.” This was the challenge posed in the final report of Maina Kiai, the former UN special rapporteur on freedom of association and assembly, in June 2017. He argued that although silencing critics might seem to bring short-term ...
Read More
/ Food for thoughts, Latest Updates
(Euractiv) Arguing for an alternative vision of European cooperation, political scientist Richard Youngs told EURACTIV that an EU rethink must include new voices and involve a fully participative process of consultation, in line with what French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed in recent months. In his new book, Youngs describes ...
Read More
/ Food for thoughts, Latest Updates
Close Menu