Civil Society and Media Organisations Contribute to Progress and Reforms in the Society

11 Feb 2022

The Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of North Macedonia, on 10th February, 2022 held a consultative meeting with civil society organisations (CSOs) on the upcoming Call for Proposals under the 2021-2022 IPA III Civil Society Facility and Media programme.

The consultation was opened by Mr. Steffen Hudolin, the Head of Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union (DEU), emphasizing the importance of working with the civil society sector as a vital partner in decision-making and fostering the transformation of the society. “The EU recognizes the important role of the civil society and media organisations, which through their actions contribute to progress and reforms in key sectors and the democratization of the society. This ensures that the values ​​and policies of the Union are embedded in the country’s institutional and social system.” – stated Mr. Hudolin. He called on civil society and media organisations to be proactive and act as an equal and competent partner of the Government.

Ms. Irena Ivanova, task manager for civil society at DEU, presented the consultation process and the general framework of the upcoming call for proposals. The DEU will give importance to supporting the improvement of an enabling environment for civil society development, youth, gender, environment, social inclusion and other areas important for sectoral reforms in the country. The calls will also focus on introducing innovative measures to improve the visibility of CSOs’ work and their relationship with citizens.

The online event was attended by representatives of around 90 organisations who discussed the priority sectors and other important elements that should be included in the call for proposals. The given recommendations and the specified needs of the sector aimed at improving the implementation practice. The participants welcomed the DEU’s initiative to encourage networking of organisations, which will provide space for strengthening cooperation and action in the sector. Emphasis was placed on regional and local development, i.e. balanced approach to opportunities in order to strengthen local communities. Attention was also placed on economic growth and development, within which a number of current issues can be addressed, such as the informal economy, market competitiveness, labour market, as a sectoral priority noted in the latest EU report on the country.

The Call should reflect the new EU strategic approach for the enlargement region, laid down in the IPA III programming framework and in the 2020 Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans (EIP). This new framework identifies key policy areas in order to advance socio-economic development, secure a long-term recovery of the region and to move forward on the EU path. Within this context, this Call should support an active engagement of civil society organisations in the said policy areas and in strengthening participatory democracy in the country.

All interested organisations that want to contribute to the creation of the Guidelines of this call can do so no later than 24th February, 2022, end of working hours, through an online questionnaire, available at this LINK.

The implementation of this consultative event was supported by the Civil Society Resource Centre implemented by Macedonian Center for International Cooperation.

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