7 September Sep 2016 1000 4 years ago 7 September Sep 2016 1300 4 years ago POLICY DEBATE

Raising Standards, Declining Trends? Operating Environment for Civil Society in Enlargement Countries

belgium bruxelles - Rue de la Loi 155

The Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) invites you to attend our annual debate on the state of the enabling environment in which civil society in Enlargement countries operates. The debate taking place under the working title: “Raising Standards, Declining Trends? Operating Environment for Civil Society in Enlargement Countries” is organized on the occasion of the presentation of the 2015 Monitoring Matrix Regional Report on 7th September 10:00 to 13:00 hrs at the Residence Palace (Maelbeek conference room), Brussels.

The event will bring CSO representatives from Western Balkans and Turkey to present the key challenges for the civil society operating environment in their countries. The aim is to raise a discussion with the Commission, other EU institutions and stakeholders as well as representatives of national governments on how the EU Accession Process can promote a stronger and more empowered civil society that enhances political accountability and fosters deeper understanding of accession related reforms ahead of the publication of the Enlargement Package and Country Progress Reports form 2015-2016. The event will also include update on the country situation in 2016.

The findings to be presented are based on an extensive monitoring conducted by BCSDN’s members and organizations through the jointly developed tool – Monitoring Matrix on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development supported by the European Commission and the Balkan Trust for Democracy.



Arrival, welcome coffee (incl. BCSDN documentary screening)

Welcome address, introductions

Ana Novakovic, Interim Board Chair , BCSDN/ CRNVO

Tanja Hafner Ademi, BCSDN

Presentation: 2015 Regional Report on the Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development in Enlargement Countries

Ivana Rosenzweigová, ECNL

Tanja Hafner Ademi, BCSDN

11.20–12.40 12.40-13:00

Discussion: Key Challenges and How to Address Them with the EU Accession Process

Can the EU press the civil society development agenda more effectively? Are the threats and trends in shrinking civic space already present in Enlargement countries and what can be done to counter these? Have there been any structural developments in advancing civil society environment in the past year and what can we learn from them?


Sonja Nita, DG NEAR (TBC)

,Klotilda Kosta, Partners Albania, Albania,

Taulant Hoxha, KCSF, Kosovo, Bojana Selakovic, Civic Initiatives, Serbia

Buffet lunch & project closing ceremony