The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the Western Balkans Findings and recommendations 20 th ...
The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Building ...
The Missing Link?   Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>Policy-applied & partnership research ...
The Missing Link?   Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>Framework documents </li></ul><ul><li>...
The Missing Link?   Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>Framework documents: Good practices </...
The Missing Link?   Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>Acts on Public Access to Information, ...
The Missing Link?   Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>Acts/Bylaws: Good practices </li></ul>...
The Missing Link?   Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>Coordinating Mechanisms & Joint Struct...
The Missing Link?   Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>Coordinating Mechanisms & Joint Struct...
The Missing Link?   Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>EU Enlargement Policy & Civil Dialogue...
The Missing Link?   Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>EU Enlargement Policy & Civil Dialogue...
The Missing Link?   Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>From general regional to  individual c...
The Missing Link?   Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>EU Funding Support to Civil Dialogue (...
The Missing Link?   Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>10 Recommendations for Effective Civil...
The Missing Link?   Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>4.  IPA support  should be  coherent  ...
The Missing Link?   Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>6.  Local CSOs  should strengthen  reg...
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Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the Western Balkans

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The Missing Link? Findings and recommendations 20th May, 2010 Brussels, Belgium

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Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the Western Balkans

  1. 1. The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the Western Balkans Findings and recommendations 20 th May, 2010 Brussels, Belgium
  2. 2. The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Building on “ The Successes and Failures of EU Pre accession Policy in the Balkans: Support to Civil Society” policy paper (Sept 2009) & Balkan Civil Practice #5: Guide to Civil Dialogue in the Western Balkans (December 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Not a one-off activity, but part of targeted activities (BCSDN Mid-term Programme 2009-2011) to improve influence of CSOs on the development and functioning of civil dialogue mechanisms in the Balkan countries. </li></ul><ul><li>Activities incl. database, monitoring, information-sharing, dissemination and policy workshops with stakeholders </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>Policy-applied & partnership research </li></ul><ul><li>1. Unified Qs for 7 WB + 3 EU NMS </li></ul><ul><li>2 sections: general context (legislative framework, funding) & civil dialogue (legislation, practice, stakeholders/institutions) </li></ul><ul><li>Date also from CIVICUS CSI Reports (2005-2006) , TACSO Need Assessment Reports (2009) and ECAS Country Reports (2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Field in by BCSDN members or partners - civil society development organization working on civil dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>2. Regional (secondary) comparative analysis (focus on WB, comparison to EU NMS) on the commonalities, differences & challenges </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>Framework documents </li></ul><ul><li>Include bilateral agreements and strategy documents for cooperation, adopted by public authorities </li></ul><ul><li>Lay out a clear basis for the relationship, facilitate ongoing dialogue and mutual understanding between CSOs and public authorities </li></ul><ul><li>Development of framework documents </li></ul><ul><li>First and most comprehensive and systematic civil dialogue framework in the region: Croatia (2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Recent development of a systematic framework: Macedonia (2007), Bosnia and Herzegovina (2007), Montenegro (2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Elements/attempts , but no one systematic civil dialogue framework exists yet: Albania, Kosovo, Serbia </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>Framework documents: Good practices </li></ul><ul><li>strategies accompanied by action plans for their implementation (e.g. Montenegro, Macedonia and Croatia) </li></ul><ul><li>significant local civil society ownership, i.e. documents developed in close cooperation with CSOs or co-drafted by CSOs and government representatives (e.g. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro) </li></ul><ul><li>more comprehensive and inclusive processes supported by donors on more continuous basis </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>need for further legal and practical measures </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>Acts on Public Access to Information, Policy-making and Consultations </li></ul><ul><li>set out the minimum standards for either access to public information as well as participation of CSOs in policy-making </li></ul><ul><li>specific documents/bylaws setting out minimum standards: Croatia (2009-10), Bosnia and Herzegovina (2006) </li></ul><ul><li>wider legal basis ensuring participation Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>Acts/Bylaws: Good practices </li></ul><ul><li>mandatory participation in the policy- and decision-making process (e.g. Slovenia) </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>rules are often insufficient or are implemented poorly </li></ul><ul><li>are ambiguous or may undermine the essence of participation to policy- and decision-making (Macedonian Law on Lobbying) </li></ul><ul><li>lack of comprehensive mechanisms for implementation of legal provisions </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>Coordinating Mechanisms & Joint Structures </li></ul><ul><li>government offices for cooperation with CSOs in charge of strengthening cooperation with CSOs and other public authorities (e.g. Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro) </li></ul><ul><li>liaison officers in ministries and other central government institutions (e.g. Macedonia, Montenegro) </li></ul><ul><li>other joint structures with(in) the Government, Ministries, the Parliament (e.g. councils, multi-stakeholder committees, work groups, expert councils and other advisory bodies ) for the purpose of inclusion of CSOs in the development, implementation and monitoring of policies and programmes (e.g. Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro) </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>Coordinating Mechanisms & Joint Structures: </li></ul><ul><li>General challenges </li></ul><ul><li>CSOs: </li></ul><ul><li>limited capacities of the CSOs in terms of professional staff or lobbying skills to engage with the Government and respond, organize and monitor the specific legal measures for consultation in the policy-making process </li></ul><ul><li>Public authorities : </li></ul><ul><li>inadequate administrative capacity to engage with civil society </li></ul><ul><li>lack of strong prioritization of civil society participation at the top level </li></ul><ul><li>lack of political will </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>EU Enlargement Policy & Civil Dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Since Enlargement Strategy 2007-2008 , civil dialogue one of the key reform (Political) priorities for accession of Western Balkans countries </li></ul><ul><li>Objective: to support better communication of enlargement processes and mutual understanding between EU MS and candidate countries’ societies, but also to strengthen the role of civil society in the democratization and reconciliation process. </li></ul><ul><li>No clear definition of what is civil (society) dialogue </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>EU Enlargement Policy & Civil Dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>The benchmarks and Progress Report on civil dialogue incl. assessments of: </li></ul><ul><li>existence of mechanisms of dialogue with focus on the Government; </li></ul><ul><li>information and financing transparency </li></ul><ul><li>while in civil society development : </li></ul><ul><li>environment (legal and financial) in which CSOs operate in a country; </li></ul><ul><li>capacities of CSOs, esp. advocacy; </li></ul><ul><li>networking (e.g. Albania). </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>From general regional to individual countries’ benchmarks and assessments: Serbia, Kosovo & Macedonia (2007), Albania (2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Some positive effect, but no strategic or coherent benchmarking across countries </li></ul><ul><li>Assessments are neither longer, tougher language is not used , although in some countries no significant progress is being made </li></ul><ul><li>Latest Enlargement Strategy 2009-2010 focus on “new legislation being consulted and properly implemented ”, focus on “tough” reform areas, e.g. rule of law, anticorruption  civil dialogue as horizontal policy measure </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>EU Funding Support to Civil Dialogue (IPA) </li></ul><ul><li>EC is a new-comer , not the only player (USAID, OSCE etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Regional level : CARDS grants 2006-1,95 mil EUR, TACSO-but not focus) </li></ul><ul><li>National level : TA to Government (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia), CB to CSOs (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia) </li></ul><ul><li>Too early for impact, but lessons-learned: incoherent & scattered , sometimes not linked directly to benchmark fulfillment/situation on the ground </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>10 Recommendations for Effective Civil Dialogue in the Western Balkans </li></ul><ul><li>Guiding principles: coherence, effectiveness, ownership and sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Civil dialogue understood as a horizontal policy measure directly linked to EU Acquis implementation and reforms in key Acquis areas – prioritization or becoming Acquis itself </li></ul><ul><li>The EC monitoring focus on implementation/ development of state frameworks and development/full implementation of specific legal acts (bylaws) for access to information and minimum standards for consultation </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>4. IPA support should be coherent and strategically directed to benchmarks fulfillment, esp.: </li></ul><ul><li>implementing existing state framework documents and mechanism with local ownership ; </li></ul><ul><li>capacity-building and awareness-raising of the coordination mechanisms and administration for implementation of state frameworks and specific acts (bylaws); </li></ul><ul><li>capacity-building of CSOs and their ability to initiate advocacy in policy- and decision-making; </li></ul><ul><li>synergy initiatives for exchange of good practices and information between (pre-)accession as well as EU countries . </li></ul><ul><li>5. National Governments & local CSOs (esp. platforms/networks) should have the main ownership of the interventions </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Missing Link? Development and Functioning of Civil Dialogue in the WB <ul><li>6. Local CSOs should strengthen regional and national cross-sector cooperation </li></ul><ul><li>7. Regional synergies of national Goverments should be identified and linked to regional inter-governmental cooperation forums </li></ul><ul><li>8. Development of financial sustainability important indirect measure </li></ul><ul><li>9. Understanding/measuring of civil dialogue in a much broader sense , esp. including here the functioning of the Parliament   </li></ul><ul><li>10. The value of citizens and CSOs contribution is not in representativity to the policy- and decision-making process in the quality of arguments and solutions it brings to the policy- and decision-making process ( correcting , value-adding, expertise) </li></ul>

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