On the second day of the 11th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum, which was held between the 12th and 14th of November 2018, in Brussels, two interactive sessions were facilitated by Ms. Cristina Rigman, Secretary-General, ChildPact – The Regional Coalition for Child Protection, aiming at identifying ways of increasing CSO resilience in the Black Sea Region.
These sessions were part of the Black Sea NGO Forum’s continuous efforts to raise awareness on the importance of creating an enabling environment for civil society in the Black Sea Region, one of the main directions of the Forum according to the Strategic Framework endorsed by participants in 2015, and an essential condition for creating formal and informal thematic networks on specific thematic cooperation areas.
According to the 2016 EU Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy, civil society’s contribution is essential for state and societal resilience by promoting democratic values and the rule of law, holding governments accountable, ensuring public participation and working with communities. However, civil society space is shrinking more and more worldwide, leaving CSOs unable to contribute to their full potential at making communities and societies more resilient.
Starting from this, at the Forum, CSO representatives were organised into multiple groups and asked to discuss and find answers to the following questions: What is/ can be the role of CSOs in fostering society resilience at national and local community level?; How to keep CSOs resilient in a shrinking civic space context?; What should be the role of the Black Sea NGO Forum (through regional cooperation) and other stakeholders in facilitating the CSO resilience in the region?.
Based on the input received, the Black Sea NGO Forum team has elaborated as a follow-up activity a Reflection Paper which brings into discussion the concept of resilience from the perspective of civil society within the Black Sea Region, exploring what CSO resilience stands for and how CSOs, the Black Sea NGO Forum, as well as other stakeholders can contribute to strengthening it.
The Black Sea NGO Forum Reflection Paper on CSO Resilience: What Does It Mean And How Can We Strengthen It? is available for consultation here.