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Fellowship at ECNL

Vanja Skoric
Vanja Skoric is a Legal Advisor with GONG (, a Croatian election monitoring organization. Her responsibilities range from drafting contracts and providing legal advice to citizens election legislation reform proposals and communication with the media. As a member of the working group established by the Croatian Government Office for NGOs, she led the drafting of the law on volunteerism and participated in drafting of other legal documents affecting NGOs. Vanja received her Law Degree from the Faculty of Law in Zagreb. She was an intern with ICNL-Budapest in 2002.

“During my internship I worked with the team on building the database of non-profit legislation in Central and Eastern Europe. I researched different aspects of citizens’ participation in the decision-making process, both directly and through civil society organizations. The atmosphere in the office was excellent, relaxed but goal-oriented and all activities were very useful for my future work in terms of acquired knowledge, ideas and contacts with experts. I just wish the internship lasted longer!”

Czeslaw Walek
Czeslaw is currently Director of the office of the Czech Governmental Council for Roma Community Affairs ( He is responsible for policy development on issues of Roma for the Czech government. He initiates governmental policy on Roma issues, fosters the participation of local Roma organisations in regional and national decision-making processes, oversees Czech participation in EU and other international Roma initiatives, and grant-making in support of Roma integration throughout the government of the Czech Republic. He also oversees a staff of five and an annual budget of 40 million Czech crowns. His professional goal is to mobilise local NGOs to become partners in negotiations with local authorities. Czeslaw received his Law degree from Faculty of Law of Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland and MA in Human Rights from Legal Department of Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. He was an intern with ICNL-Washington DC office in summer 2000.

“During my internship I concentrated on Aarhus Convention and its impact on NGOs in CEE region. This internship opportunity gave me experience of working with professional and committed team of real experts; experience of working in the field of my interest and developing my in depth knowledge on NGO sector and its governance. I must admit I learned a lot during this one month and I am still benefiting from this experience when interacting with local NGOs. I was very lucky to be chosen for this internship. Thank you.”

Eszter Hartay
Eszter Hartay (25) has been working as a lawyer trainee in a law office since October 2005, when she was registered by the Budapest Bar of Attorneys. She received her law diploma at the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE). During her studies at ELTE she attended the course of Nonprofit Legal Clinic organized by dr. Ágnes Kövér, dr. László Aradszky and dr. Nilda Bullain. Within the framework of this course, law students were surveying the legal background of the nonprofit sector and performing legal aid for not-for-profit organizations. In addition, Eszter Hartay took part in the internship program offered by ECNL during February-May 2004.

“During my internship at ECNL, I conducted several research assignments, however the most interesting and comprehensive was the research on the legal background of the donation concerning the not-for-profit organizations. This researched served as a basis for developing my master thesis under the title: “The legal background of the donation and the culture of donation in Hungary and in Europe”. During my research I had the opportunity to contact and cooperate with specialists of the nonprofit sector from Poland, to UK, Italy and Germany. I am happy that my research work was not only for my benefit, but was also a contribution to ECNL’s programs!”

Ariana Vela
Ariana Vela is currently working as a legal adviser in GONG. Her responsibilities range from advocacy issues, local and regional self-government reform in Croatia to providing legal aid to citizens and organizations in Croatia. Furthermore, she took over the work in GONG’s advocacy programe in relation to civil society development, persuing the adoption of Law on Volunarism, Law on Foundations and other related pieces of legislation. One of the fields she is specialized in is the implementation of Act on Freedom of Information in Croatia as well as comparative reglation in the EU, where she has conducted two researches on the same topic. She has a degree in economics and is a graduate at the Faculty of law in Zagreb. She was an intern with ECNL in August 2006.

“My internship with ECNL was both an interesting and pragmatic experience, as I was exploring pro bono legal aid provided by NGOs in Croatia as well as created a comparative analysis on social enterprises legal framework throughout the world.
Furthermore, the research done will most certainly be of great help in my future work.
This experience with ECNL was very precious in terms of professional development and it was also an opportunity to create new friendships. Thank you, guys.”

Aleksandar Cicakovski – Citizens’ Association MOST, Macedonia
“The time I spent during my internship program at ECNL offices in Budapest was an excellent study experience. It is for sure that this experience was very precious in terms of developing my professional skills and it will most certainly be of a great help in my future work. During the internship I provided assistance on a comparative research to support in the process of revising a corpus of laws affecting civic organizations in Macedonia. In the same time I was learning about international standards and best practices of laws and regulatory systems affecting civic organizations. The research I was doing on different aspects of civil society participation in the decision-making process facilitated me to develop a draft concept Strategy for Cooperation between the Macedonian Parliament and Civil Society. I must admit that I will leave the office with a desire and obligation to share and use the gained experience and knowledge with my counterparts and with everyone who believe in good legislation. I very much hope that we would stay in touch in the future for the benefits of everyone.”

Slaviša Prorok
Slaviša Prorok is Project Manager at the Civil Society Promotion Center (CSPC) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). He works on issues pertaining to the sustainable development of the nonprofit sector through partnership with government and business sector. His responsibilities include signing and implementing the Compact between the Council of Ministers of BiH and non-governmental sector as well as creating partnership between local authorities and NGO sector. Slaviša received his Law Degree from the Faculty of Law in Banja Luka. He was an intern with ECNL in July 2009.

“I was glad that I had the opportunity to visit the office of ECNL in Budapest. With really friendly staff and expertise in an area that I am interested in and work on, I successfully mixed business with pleasure. It was very useful for me to receive an overview of ECNL’s activities on government-NGO sector partnership in other countries and work on similar solutions for BiH during my internship. After the exchange of knowledge and ideas, I returned home feeIing certain that we will be able to apply some of the mechanisms that I have learnt about. I sincerely hope that similar opportunities will arise in the future.”

Matilda Mansson
Matilda Mansson is a Master student of law currently working as a trainee for the Embassy of Sweden in Budapest, where she inter alia works with Roma issues in Hungary. She has studied in Sweden, Lund University and Hungary, Eötvös Lorand University (ELTE) and earned her first law degree from Lund University with specialization on international public law and indigenous rights. During her internship at ECNL, Matilda conducted comparative research on various aspects of fundraising laws within Europe. She participated in the internship program offered by ECNL during July-August 2012.

“The internship was an important opportunity to gain insight in the legal work of non-profit organizations. I have developed my research skills and learnt about useful methods relating to collecting and evaluating material. It was a challenge to conduct research work on fundraising law and review laws of countries I have never before worked with in terms of legal aspects. I am very happy to have been given this chance to both learn and practice my knowledge as well as giving something in return!”