In October 20 representatives of civil society organisations in Macedonia had the chance to participate in a study visit in Brussels. The study visit was part of the long-term project ”CS4EU: Civil Society for European Integration”, supported by the European Commission through the IPA Instrument for Pre-Accession funds.

The visit happened between 9-12 of October and included the following institutions:

  • European Parliament Youth Intergroup
  • European Youth Forum
  • Organising Bureau of European Schools
  • Students Unions – OBESSU
  • VZW Media Actie Kuregem-Stad – Maks
  • European Volunteer Center – CEV
  • European confederation of Relief and
  • Development NGOs – CONCORD
  • European Disability Forum – EDF
  • The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
  • Transgender, Queer and Intersex Youth &
  • Student Organisation – IGLYO
  • Inclusion Europe
  • European Network Against Racism – ENAR
  • Transparency International EU Office
  • Platform for International Cooperation on
  • Undocumented Migrants – PICUM
  • European Citizen Action Service – ECAS
  • European Youth Information and
  • Counselling Agency – ERYICA

During the 3 days of the visit, all the participants were split into groups in order to cover more organisations at a time. Depending on the background of the organisation, they learned about how an organisation functions and works on a European level and what are their efforts in terms of advocacy and lobbying with European institutions.

Based on the experience they gained during the study visit, the participants are developing advocacy campaigns in their local communities that will represent the next phase of the project.

Sanja Mihajlovska, one of the participants from the organisation KRIK/Center for Youth Activism, shared her impressions from the study visit:

The group which I was in it we visit organizations/networks European Youth Forum, Inclusion Europe, ENAR an IGLYO, European disability Forum and also the European Parliament and the Commission. The discussion focused on what they are working on, what are their instruments and mechanisms, approach to the tasks and problems, how they get funding and how to become a member of networks and possible partnerships. I discovered other organizations which are working with people with disability, I learned about their work in the youth centers and how they are using the assistive technology. The part which left the most impression on me was the visit of European Disability Forum, and the conversation with Loredana Dicsi. I am already using in my organisation all the information that I got there. Hopefully we will make a good collaboration with the local organizations and of course with the organization that we met in Brussels, so that we work together on some project and activities.