The mail goal of the report created within the framework of the EU-funded project called Technical Assistance to Civil Society Organizations (EU TACSO 3) in the Western Balkans and Turkey (www.tacso.eu) is to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) to actively take part in the democratic processes and to stimulate an enabling environment for civil society and pluralistic media development. The project targets the IPA Beneficiaries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey. In its third phase, the EU TACSO 3 project particularly focuses on activities in which a regional approach enables a stronger impact on the civil society development in each of the IPA Beneficiary. Researchers from the Centar za promociju civilnog društva conducted a survey and created a report on the assessment of the state of the enabling environment for 2020 for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
An integral part of the EU TACSO 3 project is the process of development and monitoring of the EU Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in Enlargement Countries 2014-2020 (the Guidelines). The Guidelines encompass three major Areas: 1) conducive environment for civil society development; 2) changing relations between CSOs and government and 3) capacities of CSOs. For this purpose, EU TACSO 3 conducts annual assessments of the state of civil society in the three major Areas of the Guidelines. A specific focus is the COVID-19 pandemic effects on the enabling environment (civic space), capacities and resilience to changing conditions in which CSOs had to work.
In order to carry out extensive data-gathering consisting of desktop research, survey with CSOs, focus groups and interviews with stakeholders and analysis of both IPA Beneficiary specific developments and depict regional trends, EU TACSO 3 worked with Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) research team which consisted of representatives of the Centar za promociju civilnog društva for BiH, as well as representatives of other organizations in the Western Balkans and Turkey.
The main focus of the Report is the regional overview of the state of civil society in the seven IPA Beneficiaries assessed against the Guidelines objectives and indicators. Moreover, the Report provides latest available basic data on CSOs in the region. The Report also includes short brief overviews for each individual IPA Beneficiary which gives a detailed overview to the previous assessment conducted for 2018-2019 period. Not less important are the annexes, which include details of the research methodology and dataset of information gathered and used for the analysis, which we hope can be of use to anyone interested in concrete data and information in specific Area of the Guidelines. The final report is available in English and can be downloaded here.