On 31 August 2021, the EU TACSO 3 organized a consultation and validation meeting on the Assessment of the EU Civil Society Guidelines implementation for the period of 2020. In the introduction, Irena Ivanova, Programme Manager in the EU Delegation in North Macedonia emphasized that now is the right moment for considering the findings of this Assessment. Currently, the Strategy for Cooperation with the CSOs is in the process of preparation, the Law on Associations and Foundations is also opened for amendments, which makes this moment especially important and the findings from the EU CS Guidelines for 2020 serve as very important information about the needs and position of CSOs. She talked about the importance of participation of CSOs in sector consultations in addition to the dialogue that is maintained between the Council for Cooperation with and Development of the Civil Society and public institutions. Tanja Hafner Ademi, EU TACSO 3 Team Leader and Snezana Kamilovska-Trpovska, BCSDN Researcher, presented regional context and national assessment findings for North Macedonia reflecting on the conducive environment for civil society, the mechanisms for cooperation between CSOs and public institutions and CSOs capacities. In general, the situation in North Macedonia did not changed significantly compared with the 2019 assessment. The public funding remains unregulated and non-stable, the cooperation mechanisms are functional with detected need for wider participation of CSOs in the consultative processes, the dialogue between the CSOs and the public institutions is in constant improvement, while the CSOs capacities need to be further strengthened especially in relation to M&E systems on organizational level.
During the debate moderated by EU TACSO 3 Country Coordinator, Elizabeta Markovska Spasenovska, participants agreed that the financial sustainability is very important, but differentiation is needed between the developed CSO who have significant fund diversification and the small grass-roots who do need different approach and capacities to access available funding. The role of grass –roots organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic was also discussed. During COVID-19 pandemic institutional support to communities and greater solidary among CSOs and the people in general was initiated. Participants discussed the leading role of the country in conducting an non-profit organizations’ risk assessment related with the money laundering and counter-terrorism rules, which revealed that majority of the CSOs belong to the low risk group whereas only 13% of the CSOs are qualified in the group with medium to low risk due to the nature and characteristics of their work. 26 participants representing CSOs, public institutions and international organizations participated in the event and provided their perceptions and opinions that will be compiled and further integrated in the final EU CS Guidelines Assessment Report for 2020 for North Macedonia.
In the next days, EU TACSO 3 continues with the consultation caravan. The details of the other meetings are available here.