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Let’s discuss the priorities

2 November 2022

 

On October 28th, 2022, in Sofia, representatives of members of the Equal BG Civic Association together with the Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law discussed the results of the survey to determine the priorities for supporting the civil sector in Bulgaria as part of the campaign “CSDC is not just another abbreviation”.

We also talked about the role of the Civil Society Development Council (CSDC), how it can become a stable platform for civic representation and structured civic participation at the highest level of the government, as well as about opportunities for organisations to actively participate in the work of the Council.

The participants in the meeting shared concrete measures related to the three main priorities for the development of the civil society sector according to the survey:

 

  1. Several measures were proposed under the priority “Development of civic participation”:
  • CSDC shall become a platform for consulting and polling civil society organizations. The need of launch CSDC`s own website was also highlighted.
  • A study on the opportunities and mechanisms for civic participation and their effectiveness in the municipalities throughout the country shall be conducted
  • The results of studies related to the possibilities and effectiveness of civic participation should be analysed and recommendations made on the basis of these.

 

  1. Five specific measures were indicated under the priority “Ensuring sustainable funding for CSOs”:
  • Conducting a campaign for promoting the opportunities of tax benefits related to donations.
  • Creation of municipal funds with clear rules and transparent procedures for funding CSOs and their initiatives.
  • Setting up special and preferential conditions for the use of state or municipal property by CSOs.
  • Provision of funding mechanisms for the core activities of CSOs (not just for projects or specific initiatives).
  • Securing funding for CSOs related to the implementation of the Recovery and Sustainability Plan.

 

  1. In priority “Combating disinformation and smear campaigns against NGOs” the following measures were proposed:
  • Organization of trainings for CSO representatives and volunteers on effective communication, PR, response and reaction to cases of hate speech, as well as effective use of popular online platforms and social media.
  • Setting up a mechanism for legal support in court cases aimed at silencing critical voices and civic participation (SLAPP - Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation)
  • Guarantees for media coverage of CSO activities by researching best practices and securing airtime.
  • Ensuring a quota for a CSO in the composition of the Union for Electronic Media (UEM)

 

 

The results of the meeting and the proposed measures will be presented to the members of the CSDC and representatives of the Council of Ministers.

After the meeting of the members of Equal BG Civic Association in Sofia and the meeting with local organizations in Smolyan, the campaign “CSDC is not just another abbreviation” continues with more meetings with local civil activists to discuss the priorities and measures for the development of civil society on:

14.11.2022 in Plovdiv - in cooperation with Big Brother, Big Sister Association

16.11.2022 in Ruse - in cooperation with Equilibrium Association

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