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Strategy for Civil Society Development adopted in Moldova

Moldovan Parliament adopted the Strategy and Action Plan for Development of the Civil Society in the Republic of Moldova for 2012‐2015 on September 28, 2012. The document was presented by Ms. Liliana Palihovici, Deputy Speaker of the Moldovan Parliament. ECNL’s assessment of the draft document was shared with the MPs.

It is a second policy document of this kind adopted in Moldova that is based on the results of the first Strategy of 2008-2011 and its learning points. The purpose of the Strategy is to create a favorable framework for developing active civil society, capable to progressively contribute to the democratic development of Moldova, to stimulate social cohesion, and to develop social capital. The Strategy is a significant and comprehensive policy document that outlines Government’s objectives for the next four years in terms of legal and fiscal regulation of the civil society sector. It ensures that there is a proper follow up for the ongoing legal reforms, e.g. regulations on social contracting, as well as sets new objectives for policy consideration, e.g. establishing new mechanisms for public financing of CSOs. The document includes a detailed and concrete Action Plan for implementation of the Strategy with the timeframe, responsible bodies for implementation, sources of funding and progress indicators.

Most notably, the Strategy was prepared through an inclusive and participatory process with involvement of CSOs and representatives of several Ministries, State Chancellery and members of Parliament in line with democratic policy making process. Three working groups were formed that focused on the following areas of the Strategy:

  • Strengthening participation framework in developing and monitoring implementation of public policies, coordinated by the National Participation Council;
  • Promotion and strengthening of the financial sustainability of civil society organizations, coordinated by the National NGO Council of Moldova;
  • Development of active civic spirit and volunteering, coordinated by the Coalition for promoting volunteering law and activities.

One of significant novelties included in the Strategy is establishing a government Unit Responsible for cooperation with Civil Society. The unit will assist with ensuring strategic and long-term Government’s approach towards civil society, as well as monitor and ensure implementation of the Strategy and respective government’s decisions. The Unit will also be responsible for monitoring of the Strategy’s implementation, each year by March 31 they will prepare a report on implementation of the Strategy and present it to the Parliament.

Involvement of ECNL, FHI360, NGO Council and other local partners in working on the Strategy was possible with generous USAID support. ECNL held in person consultations with the drafter of the Strategy, provided three sets of written comments to the drafts based on good European and regional practices. We also participated in three meetings of the working groups, where the draft Strategy was discussed. Our recommendations were considered by the drafters and most of them found appropriate reflection in the Strategy. We would like to thank USAID for making these contributions possible.

Preparing a Strategy document for the civil society sector can be a challenging and time consuming exercise that, however, shows Government’s and the CSO commitment, support and strong partnership in establishing and achieving common goals. ECNL stays ready to provide further support in ensuring that the objectives of the Strategy are successfully achieved.