Lack of Financial Support; Fake Civil Society Organisations, Diminish further the Role of CSOs in Serbia

On 16 December 2019, EU TACSO 3 project conducted in Belgrade the consultation and validation meeting, on the Needs Assessment Report of civil society in Serbia.

During the meeting, several CSOs that took part at the event raised many concerns about the current situation of CSOs in Serbia. Stakeholders expressed the trend of ‘fake’ CSOs; strategic approach is a challenge in the turbulent circumstances; the trend of emerging new CSOs, particularly youth, that are not GONGOs and PONGOs; fluctuations, CSOs are facing particularly those dealing with the most vulnerable groups; the huge risks women’s organisations, media associations and independent media are facing. It was pointed out that there is a need for more regional and national sectoral networking; the need for extra support for middle-level CSOs; and the fact that shrinking space is not discussed enough.

Following recommendations were addressed to EU TACSO 3:

  • CSOs should get more details on why they have been rejected for funding as a form of capacity development;
  • Develop a programme that would connect “big” and “small” CSOs where both are learning, where “big” could share organisational development type of skills, while new young, can help them be innovative;
  • Continue with shadow reporting as it is important;
  • Facilitate the exchange and linking between EU organisations and local organisations;
  • Support human rights defenders, activists, journalists;
  • Address the issue of cybersecurity should be addressed;
  • Develop a platform for horizontal networking of CSOs;
  • Instigate solidarity and youth engagement.