Important Development on CSO Accountability in the Western Balkans: The relevance and value of the Global Standard recognized in the new EU Guidelines
The reference of the Global Standard for CSO Accountability in the new #EUGuidelines is a confirmation of how the lessons learned from global civil society initiatives could lead and strengthen our capacities and accountability actions on regional level.
The new DG NEAR Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in the Enlargement Region 2021- 2027 are a vital document for promoting an enabling environment and supporting CSOs’ capacities and role in the development of the Western Balkans and Turkey and in the EU enlargement process. For Enlargement countries, the Guidelines have put forward a clear and coherent roadmap of objectives and indicators showing us where countries stand and where they need to improve to fulfill the political criteria for EU accession. Regarding the Guidelines as the key document for ensuring an enabling environment, BCSDN participated in the consultations on the new document and reacted to the need to formalize and strengthen their political weight, incorporating them in existing EU policy frameworks.
The revised Guidelines, published in May 2022, have solid roots in international standards, international law, and European standards. They aim to ensure a shared perspective regarding the expected results of EU civil society support concerning enabling environment, cooperation between civil society and public authorities, and the CSOs performance and the standards they should meet. The new EU Guidelines also address the concept of CSO self-regulation and resilience, a part of the EU’s efforts to build the capacities and support CSO accountability in the Western Balkans and Turkey. Essentially, in this area, the Guidelines take inspiration primarily from the Global Standard for CSO Accountability developed by civil society at the global level. BCSDN has been part of the Global Standard since 2017, as one of the eight founding partners.
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