The Balkan Civil Society Development Network will be holding a Regional Workshop dubbed Joint Action for Promoting Civic Space and a More Resilient Civil Society in Belgrade, Serbia, this 30-31 May 2022.
The event aims to show the existing state of affairs in the Western Balkans, a glimpse into the civic space situation through good and bad examples, as well as discuss wider, global trends, challenges, and
opportunities. It will bring together various stakeholders including CSOs and CSO networks, donors, international organisations, civic activists, journalists, and other actors, to discuss innovative and responsive advocacy approaches for increasing the role of civil society at the national, regional and European Union level. Conversations will especially focus on dealing with the challenges brought about by the recent crises.
“As the pandemic heightened the crisis of democracy in the Balkans, and the effects of the Ukraine war are yet to
be seen in the region, our societies face a turning point for their democratic development. The role of civil society in driving positive change is more important more than ever, but to maintain and strengthen its role, civil society must find new ways of working and responding to the challenges amplified by the economic and social recession,” explained BCSDN Acting Executive Director Anja Bosilkova-Antovska.
BCSDN notes that cracking civic space is a trend, and that populists use the same methods around the
globe. In this context, it adds, civil society’s role is to demonstrate that civic space cannot be closed if we open up to new models, methods, partnerships so that no voice is left behind.
“We must defend the civic space by mobilizing citizens’ support and civic engagement and investing in partnerships and coalitions with stakeholders other than the usual for achieving common goals. While aware of the challenges, we move forward in connecting, testing, and exploring new opportunities,” said Bosilkova-Antovska.