Hybrid Conference: “Opening Civic Spacesin the EaP region”

24.10.2023

The Civil Society Institute (CSI) and the European Center for Non-Profit Law (ECNL) jointly organized a public hybrid conference in Tbilisi on October 10th. The event was inaugurated by Mr. Nicholas Cendrowicz, the head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Georgia.

Mr. Cendrowicz emphasized the vital importance of an active civil society in the nation’s efforts to align itself with European values and standards. He underlined the pivotal role of civic space in Georgia’s journey towards the European Union. The attendees were also addressed by the director of the Civil Society Institute and CSO Meter Project Director at the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law.

The conference featured insightful panel discussions, with the first session highlighting experiences and challenges faced by representatives from Eastern Partnership countries. These discussions shed light on the diverse situations in these nations and the ongoing regional challenges. Subsequently, second panel in the Georgian language convened, featuring contributors from GYLA, Democracy Defenders, ECNL, and OGP Program Lead – Eastern Partnership /EU for Integrity.

A central focus of the conference was the analysis of Georgia’s civil society landscape. Participants engaged in fruitful deliberations about the prevalent constraints on civic space in the region and shared lessons learned and experiences. Moreover, the attendees discussed the prioritized areas for improvement in Georgia’s civil society environment, exploring pathways for progress.

This event is organised within the framework of the Action “CSO Meter: A Compass to Conducive Environment and CSO Empowerment“ which is an instrument evaluating civic space in the country based on 11 legal standards. The project, which critically assesses the functioning of these organizations, is being implemented by various Eastern European countries under the auspices of ECNL and with substantial financial backing from the European Union.