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ECNL launches new project to monitor CSO enabling environment in the Eastern partnership region

The countries of the Eastern Partnership face numerous challenges in expanding civic space for citizens’ initiatives and civil society, as such. Increasingly, civil society organisations (CSOs) have become more aware about the need to apply a common approach in monitoring the environment in which they operate – both in terms of law and practice.

To support their efforts, the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL) and its partners: Transparency International Armenia; MG Consulting LLC in Azerbaijan; Assembly of Pro-Democratic NGOs in collaboration with Legal Transformation Center in Belarus; Civil Society Institute in Georgia; Promo-LEX Association in Moldova; and the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR) in Ukraine launched the process of developing a Monitoring Framework on Enabling Environment for Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership region.

The “Monitoring Progress, Empowering Action” project will be implemented between 2017-2020 with the support of the European Union. The project aims to contribute to the improvement of the environment in which CSOs operate. It also aims to strengthen CSOs’ capacities to promote evidence-based reform initiatives and increase public accountability across the region. On the country level, the project will enable local CSOs, donors or other interested parties to monitor and assess the state of the legal environment for civil society, as well as its implementation in practice. On the regional level, it will allow for cross-country exchanges, formulation of regional priorities and better communication in order to improve civil society conditions.

The core group of legal experts will develop a Monitoring Framework with substantive and comparative expert assistance from ECNL and through consultations and piloting of the tool with the CSOs in their respective countries. The Monitoring Framework will rely on key international, European standards on fundamental rights and civil society space. Based on the applied methodology and findings of the developed Monitoring Framework, the core group will summarise country and regional reports, which will guide local initiatives to bring about positive reform in laws and policies affecting CSOs.

The project “Monitoring Progress, Empowering Action” is implemented with the financial support of the European Union.