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ECNL strives to strengthen the safeguards on freedom of assembly, association, participation on global level. To this end, we collaborate with ICNL and partners in order to create standards on freedom of assembly and association on global level, to raise awareness about constraints on civic space and to increase knowledge and monitor developments of these freedoms. Specifically, ECNL is supporting the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of association and assembly. We are working with the Civic Space Initiative partners on advocacy for the creation of international standards regarding civic space issues with focus on the freedoms of association and assembly.

In addition, ECNL has developed the Global Freedom of Assembly Monitoring Platform, which will serve a web platform for monitoring and identifying the trends and restrictions of assembly.

We worked closely with ICNL to organize the TEDxLiberdade: The Power of Together, an independent TEDx event held in Sao Paulo, Brazil in April 2014. Through TEDxLiberdade, we demonstrated the power of people working together for the common good and the importance of protecting our right to collective action.

ECNL Executive Director, Katerina Hadzi-Miceva Evans gave talk at the TEDxLiberdade about how persistence, good laws, and citizen empowerment can fight against government injustice and build powerful civil societies around the world. Watch her talk.

ECNL is also member of the core group of the Transnational Civil Society Working Group and the informal coalition of European civil CSOs which monitors, responds to and shares experiences on developments concerning civil society related to the activities of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).  With representatives of CSOs from Africa, Australia, Europe and the United States, the Working Group is a global effort to add the voices of civil society to this important discussion. For more information see the presentation of our programmes.


ECNL collaborates with inter-governmental institutions and various CSO initiatives aiming to address enabling environment issues on regional level.

We have taken part in several discussions led by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in their efforts and work on shaping principles on assembly, associations and participation.

ECNL Executive Director, Mrs. Katerina Hadzi-Miceva Evans was invited to deliver a speech at the 2014 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM), Europe’s largest annual human rights and democracy conference which is organized every year by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

As an introducer of the 3rd working session on freedom of peaceful assembly and association on 23rd September 2014 she was talking about the importance of civil society, trend of increasing restrictions on civil society on national level all over the word and outlined examples how the enjoyment of the freedoms of association and assembly can be enhanced.

“Civil society, in all its forms have come to play crucial roles in shaping democratic systems and values, voicing opinions and in providing services needed by the people. However, increasingly policies and laws are adopted that have an adverse effect on civil society. There have been several of justifications or reasons invoked for this – from economic crisis, security threats, foreign agents, through the smallest of domestic issues or partisan concerns. Even the best intentioned drafted laws can have negative effect, and undesired consequences. But too many of the laws over the recent years appear to be designed with negative consequences for civil society as the planned outcome

ECNL also collaborates with the Expert Council on NGO Law of the Council of Europe – our Executive Director, Katerina Hadzi-Miceva Evans is a member of the Council. Most recently she authored a study on behalf of the Council on the topic regulation of Regulating Political Activities of Non-Governmental Organisations.