Civil Society for European Integration is a project developed in partnership with MGC and EPA that will last for 14 months and will engage civil society organisations in order to increase their sustainability, autonomy and overall capacity to harmonize with the European standards of the acquis communitaire.
Based on the need to enhance the focus on EU integration among the CSOs work, the project works towards strengthening the capacities of CSOs for networking and building partnerships with the government in policy-creation and decision-making processes, especially those related to EU reforms and following the recommendations of EC Progress Report.
The specific objectives of the project are:
- to build capacity of the CSOs to engage in advocacy for EU related reforms or to use the EU acquis as a base for their advocacy work;
- to innovate approaches and partnerships among CSOs towards public institutions with the focus on speeding up EU integration and EU-related reforms;
- to strengthen the cooperation of Macedonian civil society with the relevant European umbrellas as a step to motivate more intensive cooperation and European level representation of the ideas and visions of Macedonian citizens.
The project´s main activities divided over the 14 months include the creation of Joint Coordination Project Team, a Multipliers Training containing three modules, five Idea Labs, a study visit to Brussels, Advocacy Initiatives, the development of a CSO Platform, and a final conference with the publication of the final project report.
The target groups of the project are civil society organizations from Macedonia. The project starts with 20 CSOs from Macedonia working with disadvantaged and marginalised groups, or operating in rural areas and small towns. Once they follow these programme, the element of peer-learning will be introduced so that in the next phase an additional 20 other CSOs will be involved in IdeaLabs. Once this phase is over, in the next one the group of beneficiaries will again double with over 40 new CSOs that will be involved in the actions. In this way the capacity building of the civil society will be done not only through external expertise but as well through peer-based learning and working together.
The major impact expected from the project is its focus on enhancing civil society involvement in creating public opinion and policy related to the EU integration and EU reforms. In addition, through active advocacy in this field, the CSOs are expected to increase the opportunities for direct involvement in decision-making at national and local level. CSOs advocating for marginalized group of citizens, youth, LGBT, Roma, people with disability will have more opportunity to also share their opinion and get involved in the national level coordination.
The partners involved in the project are the Macedonian Green Centre (MGC) and the European Projects Association Asbl (EPA).