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Policy and law reform


Image by Rob Wilson via flickr

For over 10 years ECNL has been supporting the creation of enabling environment for CSOs. Our expertise covers policies and laws that affect freedom of association and assembly, financial sustainability of CSOs, mechanisms that promote dialogue, cross- sector collaboration and CSO delivery of services, and emerging issues which affect CSOs, such as counter-terrorism policies or fundraising laws. Our approach is tailored depending on the context and local needs; we believe that CSOs, experts and other stakeholders are best positioned to lead and advocate for reforms in their countries.

Moldova Partnerships for Sustainable Civil Society Program (MPSCS)

Moldova Partnership for Sustainable Civil Society Program is implemented by FHI 360 and ECNL with financial support of USAID. The Program’s timeline is 2014-2018. The activities are a natural follow up on the emerging needs and recent engagement in Moldova, under the USAID supported Moldova Civil Society Strengthening Program (MCSSP) in 2009-2013.

Under MPSCS ECNL’s core activities support the drafting and implementation of civil society legislation, empower local partners to carry on legal reform and advocacy activities, make available resources, information, and cutting-edge research, and promote the sharing of comparative expertise.

ECNL provides ongoing and comprehensive support in key areas:

  • technical assistance and support in developing monitoring and reporting methodology for oversight of CSO Strategy implementation and help with setting up the mechanism;
  • enhancing State Chancellery’s coordination function in implementing the CSO Strategy through sharing comparative materials and good practices on cooperation mechanisms and CSO legislation in Europe and providing expertise;
  • support to establishing mechanisms for longer term sustainability of CSOs through, for example, providing comparative expertise in reviewing possible modalities of state financing, convening and facilitating discussion fora and sharing European experience on state financing to CSOs (state grants, contracting of services, setting up the financing mechanism for social contracting);
  • support to local experts on the issue of fiscal benefits for CSOs, e.g. VAT and benefits to enhance philanthropic giving;
  • support to strengthening mechanisms of cooperation with CSOs (e.g. revisions to Parliament’s Concept on Cooperation with CSOs, improving coordination on government’s implementation of CSO Strategy) and transparency in decision-making processes.

To read more about ECNL’s current activities in Moldova click here .

Civic Space Initiative

Around the world, efforts by various governments to restrict the space in which civil society operates have grown at an alarming rate. Increasingly, governments are using laws, policies, and practices to limit the ability of people to come together to improve everyday lives.  The Civic Space Initiative is a three year program (2012-2015) that addresses this troubling trend, aiming to:
(1)    Advance a legal environment that enables all people to exercise the freedoms of peaceful assembly, association, and expression; and
(2)    Create spaces for citizens, communities, and civil society organizations to meaningfully engage with government and other power holders on freedoms of assembly, association, and expression.

The CSI brings together four global partners, the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), ARTICLE 19, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, and the World Movement for Democracy. ECNL works with ICNL on global initiative targeting the UN Human Rights Council, directly manages the monitoring of freedom of assembly and implements programs in Ukraine, Mongolia and Turkey.  Examples of activities include:

  • Turkey: ECNL organized training and is supporting local partner TUSEV do develop analysis of freedom of association and assembly. ECNL supported TUSEV in providing comments to restrictive draft Law on Aid Collection, affecting also right to associate; the draft law is not adopted.
  • Ukraine: ECNL provided comparative analysis expertise and facilitation of discussions on draft assembly law to support two CSO coalitions and government. It continues to provide technical expertise and comparative knowledge as the draft is discussed.

For more information visit the Civic Space Initiative web site.