Non-Paper on the IPA III CSF and Media Programme 2021-2023

Closely following the development of the IPA III Civil Society Facility 2021-2023 Multi-Beneficiary (Regional), the Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN), in consultation with several CSOs and networks from the region (see list of contributors/endorsing organizations below), prepared joint comments on the Action Document, presenting the views and positions of these organizations regarding the support to civil society in the IPA beneficiary countries.

DPNSEE is one of the regional networks which endorsed the non-paper.

Along with the lack of consultations on a national and regional level and limited access to information on the process, the document contains worrying and dissatisfying proposals that undermine instead of support CSOs in IPA beneficiaries. There is a lack of support for the enabling environment for CSOs, as the focus is greatly on freedom of expression and media, and the document does not address the importance of operational grants and the allocation of core and long-term support to CSOs. The EU plans to provide only 25 out of the 93 million EUR for grants to CSOs in the region, while the rest is to be implemented through direct contracts with UN Bodies, Member states, and international agencies, which jeopardizes the capacities and local ownership of CSOs’ of the processes.

The main points of the document are the following:

  • Consultations with and inclusion of CSOs are key for the success of the IPA III CSF and Media Programme, and should be structured, timely, and transparent;
  • The EU should continue to firmly support a more enabling environment for civil society development, as a precondition for the existence of a strong and accountable civil society;
  • The implementation modalities of the IPA III CSF should support the development of capacities of CSOs and local ownership of the processes in the region. Predominantly assigning the management of the facility to international agencies undermines WBT civil society and would be a great obstacle to the overall vision of enhanced regional cooperation;
  • The EU should put a stronger focus on core and long-term support for CSOs rather than short-term project support;
  • Regular assessment against the targets set in the Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in Enlargement Countries is important for ensuring the effectiveness and impact of the EU support for civil society.

The full document is available following this link>>> and is open for endorsement. Please contact executiveoffice@balkancsd.net if you are interested to endorse the document and join the advocacy efforts.

 

BCSDN Call for Ad-Hoc Grants

The Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) announced the revised version of the Call for Proposals for Ad-Hoc Support Grants under the Regional Civil Society Development Hub.

To further support CSO efforts in promoting the civic space in the Western Balkan region, BCSDN have broadened the scope and the target groups for the funding opportunities under the Call.

In addition to non-governmental and not-for-profit CSOs, CSOs’ networks, platforms, associations and foundations registered in one of the WB6 countries, informal organizations are also welcome to apply for the ad-hoc support.

With the updated Call, the Hub will continue to provide rapid funding for CSO’s immediate needs or innovations, in the form of direct expert support or funding for various regional actions, contributing to strengthening regional cooperation in promoting civic space.

The immediate need mechanism aims to provide support for civil society actors who prompted by unpredicted events must immediately respond to the current challenges or recognize a window of opportunity for influencing public opinion and policy processes.

The innovation stream refers to actions for the promotion or development of new approaches and methods of working and/or engaging with constituencies and stakeholders, or other innovative solutions to address the challenges CSOs are facing.

The deadline of this Call is extended by the end of 2021 until all available funds are disbursed, offering continuous support and a simplified and accelerated review procedure to ensure timely response to your needs.

The funding for this call is made available with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), provided for the Project “Protecting Civic Space – Regional Civil Society Development Hub”. The Call will remain open until the end of the year and until all available funds are disbursed.

Please check the details here>>>.

Find the application form following this link>>>.