Addressing the Shrinking Space for Civil Society

Saturday - 1 September 2018
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We are a newly established diverse group of NGOs and activists, initiated by the three partner organizations: CeRe – the Resource Centre for Public Participation, ActiveWatch and the Association for the Defence of Human Rights in Romania – APADOR – CH.

Our group now counts 17 NGOs. All of them were involved in the preparatory phase and participated in shaping this proposal. We will remain an open structure and plan to proactively reach-out to new members to ensure geographic and thematic diversity.

Even though our group is not yet formally established, around 20 NGOs representatives and activists participated in the planning meetings organized in the last couple of months and in collective actions against Anti-Money Loundering legislation organized during the preparatory phase of this project.

Coalition’s objectives:

  1. Communicating the impact of the nongovernmental sector, including Civic NGOs and activists.

Based on data and research a communication campaign will be designed, to:

  • Promote the impact of the NGOs;
  • Explain the role of watch-dog, human rights, advocacy NGOs (Civic NGOs) and of activists;
  • Build solidarity among new supporters.

Outcomes:

Improving the NGO sector image with the general public.

Educate the public about the role of civic NGOs&activism.

New potential of public support and endorsement.

  1. Develop and activate a solidarity mechanism to support NGOs and activists when they are harassed or their civic/political participation is obstructed.

The support will range from legal assistance to public reactions in solidarity with those affected. Access to know-how and resources regarding regulations and compliance requirements will also be offered.

Outcomes:

A mechanism of reaction to harassment.

Support offered to NGOs and activists

Display of solidarity

Resources regarding regulations and compliance

  1. Advocate to prevent the deterioration of the relevant legislation

Our priorities are the laws regarding freedom of assembly and expression, registration and functioning of NGOs, participation in the decision-making process. If occurring, other attempts to deteriorate the legislation relevant for NGOs and activism will be considered.

Even if we focus on safeguarding existing legislation, we also envision proactively pursue our own legislative agenda.

Outcomes:

Preventing deterioration of the legislation in the areas mentioned above.

Contributing to the improvement of the current legislation

  1. Strengthen the Coalition structure and capacity

We plan to continue building our structure and governance mechanisms, our capacity to operate collectively and our membership.

Outcomes:

Internal procedures: a code of ethics; membership principles and procedures; governance structure and separation of board and executive; decision-making and conflict resolution procedures.

Agreement of each member to respect the code of ethics.

Extended membership.

Long-term plans for the Coalition.