For the 5th consecutive year, the MAXCAP Partner Institution Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) analyzed how the European Commission has treated the issue of civil society development (CSDev) in the Enlargement Strategy and Progress Reports 2013 and assessed the progress made form the past year in the Enlargement countries.
The analysis shows that similarly to last year, the Commission has maintained its focus on the issues pertinent to Government-CSO relationship. However, while last year BCSDN’s paper has criticized the insufficient focus on crucial areas for consolidating the enabling environment in which civil society functions and operates, this year’s ESP Reports focuses an increased attention on issues such as financial viability and sustainability of the sector such as tax regime and state funding and support (e.g. Albania, BiH, Kosovo, Macedonia, Turkey).
A shift in the methodology in assessing political criteria for accession, including development and involvement of civil society can also be observed.
Novelty is also the Commission’s intention to “increase focus on civil society” as a way to meet the key challenges in bringing about functioning democratic institutions. The analysis is set in the framework of the BCSDN Monitoring Matrix on enabling environment for civil society development (CSDev) developed in 2012, which provides a set of principles, standards and indicators for an optimum enabling environment for CSDev.
The full analysis can be found here. The integral working documents that served as basis for the analysis are also available: Excel table with extracts from Progress Reports related to CSDev since 2006, and an integral text of extracts from Progress Reports for 2013.