Activities

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Ahead of the Poznan Summit to take place 3 -5 July 2019, the Western Balkans Civil Society Platform for Democracy and Human Rights (CSP), shared with the key actors in the region, the following Manifesto. The organisation and functioning of the CSP, and the common position built on important issues since the London Summit, including on the Berlin Process and Annual Summits, serve as a model - and a clear demonstration of our commitment - to advancing dialogue, reconciliation and accountability in our region.   

Manifesto for Poznan and Beyond: Dialogue, Reconciliation, and Accountability

The Berlin Process, created to support Western Balkan countries on their path to EU integration, includes the provision to empower civil society to hold our governments accountable for agreements they make at the yearly summits.

Despite these good intentions, our governments have shown little progress towards implementing their Berlin Process commitments. Each year, our governments’ pledge to end corruption and establish the rule of law. But, according to the Chairs’ Conclusions of the Heads Meeting at the London Summit, serious and organized crime, corruption, money laundering, and financial crime remain among our most significant security threats. Clearly, then, all stakeholders involved in the Berlin Process need to develop new strategies to make our governments responsible for actually doing what, at each summit, they promise to do. Civil society must play a primary role as the citizens of the Western Balkans are the ones that most benefit from becoming part of the European Union family and the ones that directly suffer from our governments’ failures.

The Western Balkans Civil Society Platform for Democracy and Human Rights is an independently organized regional consortium that is working across borders to tackle the serious problems we are facing. Our network is united, not by projects or funding, but by the shared desire for peace and stability in our region and a common interest in taking our place in the EU family. As a citizens’ movement, we have already extended our networks beyond simply NGOs to include individuals with important skills, expertise, and knowledge necessary to our mission. With members from every country in the Western Balkans, we are proof that the citizens of the Western Balkans have already reconciled from past conflicts.  Unfortunately, this is not reflected in the increasingly nationalistic rhetoric of our governments.  

When our governments have failed to realize the dream of democracy, it falls to us, the people of the Western Balkans, to lead the way helping our governments develop functional, stable states where accountability and rule of law prevail. Despite our many differences and past conflicts, we all share a common history that has as much potential to unite us as it does to divide us. 

To realize our dream of democracy, we request that the 2019 Poznan Summit Agenda include:

  • A Presentation on Dialogue and Reconciliation as a starting point for defining our common interests and developing regional relationships that allow us to coordinate our joint initiatives;
  • The commitment to define new and creative structures and mechanisms that can more effectively support cross-sector collaborations that promote democracy, rule of law, transparent and accountable governments, and human rights; 
  • The commitment to support a civil society progress report on governments’ compliance with Berlin Process Summit Recommendations.

The European Union Project needs the Western Balkans, and we want to enter the EU family.  At a critical geopolitical moment, thinking beyond the Berlin Process, we need to collaboratively evolve our concrete actions and joint commitment that can unite Europe into an extended family that brings stability and security for all of us.  We are here to take up this work: to turn words into action and to help our governments fulfill their commitments, not just to the Berlin Process Pledges, but to evolving a shared world of peace and prosperity for all. 

Place:
Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia)
Date:
Thu, 6 Jun 2019
Venue:
Western Balkans
Facilitator:
The Balkan Forum
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Civil Society Platform for Democracy and Human Rights - Poll 

Dear all,

We are conducting an online Poll with a broad spectrum of civil society actors in the Western Balkans with the aim to get input from as a diverse audience as possible, so please disseminate this and ask input from your colleagues/other civil society, experts and other actors in your countries/WB region.

Why the Poll now?
At the Regional Conference “Civil Society Contribution in Berlin Process and EU Integration: A Positive Agenda Focused on Action”, (https://thebalkanforum.org/en/civil-society-contribution-in-berlin-process-and-eu-integration-a-positive-agenda-focused-on-action) held in Tirana on 21 – 22 March 2019, the participants agreed a number of key action points. An online poll has been among them which aims to solicit input from a broad spectrum of civil society actors in the Western Balkans on the following: 1) progress, or lack thereof, by six countries of the Western Balkans since the Western Balkans Summit in London held in July 2018, against the pledges that governments have made, and, 2) priority issues that civil society actors in the Western Balkans would want to put on the Western Balkans Summit agenda scheduled to take place in Poznan, Poland in early July 2019.

In preparation for the summit, we are asking all civil society organizations and independent activists, irrespective of whether or not you are a signatory to the Civil Society Platform for Democracy and Human Rights (https://www.civilsocietyplatform.org/), to complete this short poll asking for your input on priority issues to put on the Summit Agenda.

The Poll is anonymous, hence all responses will be kept strictly confidential. Your input will only be used in combination with the responses of others participating in the Poll.

Your input is valuable to us and we thank you for your participation!

Civil Society Platform for Democracy and Human Rights

The poll is open from 22 April and ends on 5 May 2019. To complete the poll, please click the following link: https://forms.gle/jk7Dc7yhfVwvuDHX9 

Place:
Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia)
Date:
Mon, 22 Apr 2019
Venue:
Western Balkans - Online Poll
Facilitator:
The Balkan Forum
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The first regional CSP conference took place in Tirana, Albania, on 21 - 22 March 2019, entitled “Civil Society Contribution in Berlin Process and EU Integration: A Positive Agenda Focused on Action”. This has been a very productive conference where around 60 participants representing CSOs in WB6, as well as diplomatic presence and media in Albania, including Ambassadors, Attaches, and representatives of diplomatic presence (reps. of Embassy of Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, State of Palestine, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland), Western Balkans Fund (WBF), and Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), engaged in a lively discussion, on civil society contribution in the Berlin Process and EU integration. Participants agreed a number of action points including undertaking research on the progress since the London Summit and drafting a Manifesto that will represent a common civil society position in the Western Balkans Summit scheduled to take place in Poznan, Poland in early July 2019. Ambassador of Poland in Tirana, who attended the entire event on 22 March 2019, provided valuable contribution/advice in the conference.

Place:
Albania
Date:
Fri, 22 Mar 2019
Venue:
Hotel Opera, Tirana
Facilitator:
The Balkan Forum and Albanian Center for Good Governance
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Members of the Civil Society Platform for Democracy and Human Rights will come together in Tirana, Albania, on 21 to 22 March for the first Regional Meeting of the CSP to follow-up on country meetings, advance the platform's structure and prepare for the Western Balkan Summit in Poznan.

Place:
Albania
Date:
Thu, 21 Mar 2019
Venue:
Hotel Opera
Facilitator:
The Balkan Forum; Albanian Center for Good Governance
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The BF & OTTOnomy meeting in Tirana with German Embassy representative

Place:
Albania
Date:
Wed, 12 Dec 2018
Venue:
German Embassy - Tirana
Facilitator:
The BF & OTTOnomy
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APROPO & FRD meeting in Sarajevo with UK Embassy representatives

Place:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Date:
Tue, 11 Dec 2018
Venue:
UK Embassy - Sarajevo
Facilitator:
APROPO & FRD
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APROPO & FRD meeting in Sarajevo with EU Delegation representatives

Place:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Date:
Tue, 11 Dec 2018
Venue:
EU Delegation - Sarajevo
Facilitator:
APROPO & FRD
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The Balkan Forum & EMinS meeting in Belgrade with US Embassy representative

Place:
Serbia
Date:
Mon, 10 Dec 2018
Venue:
Belgrade
Facilitator:
The BF & EMinS
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On November 11-12, 2018 members of the CSP participated in the conference held in Arad, Romania, entitled “Western Balkans and Romania’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union” organized by Center for Balkan Strategies (CBS) and Aurel Vlaicu University. The aim of this conference was to discuss expectations, opportunities and challenges particularly to the EU integration of the WB, enhancing mutual understanding and collaborative efforts to advance reforms, cooperation and good neighborly relations.

Place:
Romania
Date:
Sun, 11 Nov 2018
Venue:
Aurel Vlaicu University
Facilitator:
CBS & Aurel Vlaicu University
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The NGO Subversive Front welcomed other NGOs in their office in Skopje, Macedonia, for a country meeting of the Civil Society Platform on the 17th of October.

Place:
Macedonia
Date:
Wed, 17 Oct 2018
Venue:
Subversive Front's office
Facilitator:
Subversive Front
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Representatives of NGO's in Kosovo came together on Monday, 15th of October, in the rooms of the ICK in Prishtina, for a country meeting of the Civil Society Platform.

Place:
Kosovo
Date:
Mon, 15 Oct 2018
Venue:
Innovation Centre Kosovo
Facilitator:
The Balkan Forum
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On Monday, 15th of October, Albanian signatories to the Civil Society Platform gathered for a country meeting at the Albanian Center for Good Governance in Tirana.

Place:
Albania
Date:
Mon, 15 Oct 2018
Venue:
Albanian Center for Good Governance
Facilitator:
Albanian Center for Good Governance
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The first country meeting of the Civil Society Platform was held at the premises of the Association for Democratic Prosperity in Podgorica, Montenegro. 

Place:
Montenegro
Date:
Wed, 10 Oct 2018
Venue:
ZID
Facilitator:
ALFA Centar