Author: anja

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has welcomed representatives from nine EU candidate countries to participate in the Enlargement Candidate Members’ (ECM) Initiative, marking their first involvement in EESC Plenary debates. BCSDN is delighted to announce that among those joining are four BCSDN representatives, including Ms. Biljana Spasovska, BCSDN’s Executive Director, Ms. Juliana Hoxha, the Executive Director of Partners Albania, Ms. Aida Daguda, the Executive Director of CPCD (BiH), and Ms. Güneş Engin Karamanci, Project Coordinator from TUSEV (Türkiye). This recognition highlights BCSDN’s crucial role in civil society development and advancing civil society’s voice and overall democracy, both within…

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The Civil Society Week 2024, organized by EESC, will convene diverse voices from various sectors, including youth, journalists, and EU institutions, to discuss pressing topics on Europe’s future and democracy. Held in Brussels, #CivSocWeek will feature workshops, debates, and networking opportunities, aiming to empower citizens and influence European leaders’ agendas. As part of this event, the workshop Civil Dialogue for Inclusive Democracy aims to explore the crucial role of institutionalized civil dialogue in enhancing democracy, focusing on marginalized groups. It aims to assess the impact of CSOs on policy-making. National case studies from South Africa and Slovenia will be presented,…

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The Democracy Perception Index (DPI) surveys people across 53 countries, representing over 75% of the world’s population, to gauge global perspectives on democracy. Although 84% express the importance of democracy, only 57% are satisfied with the state in their country. Economic inequality (69%), corruption (68%), and corporate influence (60%) are perceived as major threats. Concerns about unfair elections in the US have risen (49% to 61%). Social media’s impact on democracy divides opinions. Globally, war, poverty, and climate change are prioritized, but regional variations exist in preferred government focus areas. Read more here. Source: Latana, Alliance of Democracies

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The Fundamental Rights Forum 2024, organized by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), aims to shape Europe’s rights-based future. Focusing on themes like climate change, technological advances, and threats to democracy, the Forum provides space for dialogue and action. Participants will engage in the Marketplace of Connection, Forum Stage with global leaders, and the Human Rights Lab for immersive experiences. The event emphasizes the interconnectedness of challenges and encourages interdisciplinary responses. Featuring artistic performances and active youth involvement, the Forum seeks solutions with contributions from diverse sectors to drive positive rights-based change. Interested in the agenda and joining the forum?…

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The Freedom House Report 2024, highlights global freedom decline for the 18th year, impacting one-fifth of the world’s population due to armed conflicts, attacks on pluralism, and harming elections. The Western Balkans and Turkey countries’ reports reveal that Serbia experiences deteriorating political rights and civil liberties, marked by irregularities and media bias in recent local and parliamentary elections. Concerns arise over electoral abuses, hindering freedom. The country faces challenges in transparency, judicial independence, and protection of vulnerable groups, reflecting a complex rights landscape. Montenegro witnessed political shifts with a new government after competitive 2023 elections. Challenges include corruption and weaknesses…

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The paper presents CONCORD’s recommendations to the EU and Member States to continue their support of civic space and an enabling environment for civil society worldwide through a structured and systemic strategy. It ties each section to the EU’s commitments to the OECD DAC recommendations on enabling civil society in development cooperation and humanitarian assistance and emphasizes the critical role of civil society in democracy and sustainable development and acknowledges global challenges to civic space, particularly within the EU, and commends the EU’s initiatives. Recommendations include safeguarding civic space online and offline, supporting diverse civil society actors, and addressing early…

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BCSDN welcomes the EU Parliament’s adoption of the Anti-SLAPP Directive, known as Daphne’s Law. The Directive sets a standard protecting media and public watchdogs from strategic lawsuits, requiring member states’ implementation by 2026. BCSDN has intensified its efforts to tackle this pressing issue due to the alarming prevalence of SLAPPs across the Western Balkans and Turkey. BCSDN has mobilized regional stakeholders and facilitated mutual learning and exchange. Additionally, the network has allocated financial resources to support initiatives aimed at preventing the proliferation of SLAPPs, and started the process of developing in-depth research on SLAPPs in the Western Balkans. BCSDN is…

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The Bosnian Parliament’s upper chamber unanimously passed the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorist Activities. Prior to the vote and adoption at the House of Peoples, the House of Representatives adopted the legislation in December last year. This Law is one of the crucial conditions on the country’s path to the European Union. Despite this achievement, key reforms, including the Law on Conflict of Interest and the Law on Courts, are pending. The lack of this legislation also threatened Bosnia and Herzegovina to end up on MONEYVAL’s list of the countries with strategic shortcomings in…

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The SafeJournalists Network expresses concern over the Albanian Supreme Court’s decision on journalist Elton Qyno’s case, where his equipment was confiscated. Qyno challenged the seizure, arguing it violates journalistic source confidentiality. The action sets a worrisome precedent. While legal adherence is acknowledged, it should align with international principles safeguarding journalistic sources, crucial for democratic societies. Attorney Dorian Matlija plans to appeal to the Constitutional Court, asserting the Supreme Court breached its own decision on prosecution procedures for journalist sources. The SafeJournalists Network calls for safeguarding journalists’ source confidentiality, emphasizing its importance for both journalistic rights and the public’s right to…

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The Civic Space Report 2023 prepared by the European Civic Forum highlights the pressing challenges to democracy in the EU, and the need to safeguard democracy. With the impending Defence of Democracy package, the report emphasizes the need to address both external threats and internal challenges to strengthen democratic resilience. Examining the decline in trust in democracy, it attributes the trend to four decades of policies influenced by financial capitalism. The report underscores civil society’s role, facing restrictions and attacks, urging EU institutions to invest in democratic resilience. Recommendations stress the interconnectedness of democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental…

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