On 25 September, BCSDN in partnership with ENNA organized a brainstorming workshop at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels on IPA civil society support for the financial period 2014-2020. As a basis for discussion, the analysis of the IPA Civil Society Facility (CSF) support 2007-2011 commitment was presented and a panel discussion on 4 issues: CSO capacity-building, grant-making, support to grass-root and informal citizens’ initiatives, and support to networks were discussed.
The main findings of the analysis show that while the European Commission has evolved its support towards the need of civil society in enlargement countries, further improvements are needed to live up to the basic principles of the IPA CSF, i.e. 2% of IPA to be directed to support for civil society and have grants (sub-grants) as the dominant aid modality of support. Moreover, the need and the value of institutional support (operating grants) for CSOs and especially network-building as well as the need to have CSOs as main actors/implementers of assistance have been highlighted as the two main novelties that should be introduced into the new programming cycle.
Nicola Bertolini, speaking on behalf of the Commission, concluded the workshop with a promising entry to the consultations for IPA 2014-2020: “the real time to make us think about this is now” and “we share the majority of your comments made”. The full Agenda as well as the Background Paper for the workshop can be found by following the links. The full report of the workshop will be available in the coming days.