BCSDN Newsletter 56, April - June 2014





BCSDN Newsletter 56

Foreword by the Executive Director

Dear colleagues and partners,

We have taken a short break to re-energize and redesign our regular Newsletter in an effort to better cater it for the needs of sharing information about joint work and plans, as well as those of our members in their countries. While in April, we were focused on organizing our 5th Annual meeting in Prishtina, May was primarily focused on the long expected promotion of the 1st Monitoring Matrix joint regional report vis-à-vis governments in Tirana and EU stakeholders in Brussels, and June was devoted to reflecting on the current and future monitoring under the Matrix experience. The Newsletter features many other initiatives as well as plans for future activities, and we hope you will have time during this summer period to read it through and share it further with your colleagues and partners.

This and every other Newsletter is incredibly important for us. It is a testament  to the little steps we have taken both as a network and individual organizations via activities, actions, initiatives and contributions to realize our joint mission and our goals. It will form only a snapshot of the effort every one of us puts every day to contribute to it. 

Enjoy the read.

Tanja Hafner Ademi




  • Acting Executive Director appointed
The mandate of the current ED has ended on 7 July 2014. With a decision adopted by the Board, Tanja Hafner Ademi is named acting Executive Director for the period of 3 months, during which the evaluation of the current ED and a final decision on the new ED by the Board should be reached.
  • Welcoming New Board Members
In June, the BCSDN Council elected 3 Board members. Two members already serve in the Board and will thus continue their work: Aleksandar Krzalovski (MCIC) and Venera Harjullahu (KCSF), and Slavisa Prorok (CPCD) who will join the Board for the first time.
  • BCSDN EO team has grown 
In May, Anja Bosilkova joined the BCSDN Executive Office team as the new Information and Communication Officer, responsible for regular information-sharing, outreach and social media management.



  • Board Strategy Meeting – 28 -29 August, Montenegro
The Board of BCSDN will meet to discuss the basis for the Mid-term strategy 2015-2017 and beyond. The meeting will be hosted by CRNVO.
  • IPA FPA Closing Conference – 22 September, Brussels
The EC has announced the closing conference for the IPA FPA projects that will serve as an opportunity to present the results and outcomes of the first phase in front of Brussels stakeholders and the other regional projects. BCSDN members are invited to participate.
  • Service Provision Study Visit – 22 -24 October, Slovenia
Service provision (incl. social services) has been identified as one of the key issue areas needing attention in several countries and the study visit aims to expose BCSDN members to best practices found in Slovenia (hosted by CNVOS).
  • Economic Value of CSO Workshop – 3 -4 November, Serbia
Organized by Civic Initiatives, the workshop will aim to train BCSDN members’ staff in WBT countries in collecting and analyzing date related to economic value of CSOs to establish levels of taxes being paid, size of its workforce, income structure, etc.


Contributions to IPA CSF II

With the aim to contribute for further improvement of the programming of IPA assistance to civil society, BCSDN has prepared comments and recommendations on the Multi-Country 2014-2015 IPA Civil Society Facility and Media Action document.

Monitoring Matrix WG Meeting: Monitoring with Full Speed Ahead

On 18 and 19 June, 13 representatives of the MM WG – either initial experts who developed the MM or staff conducting the monitoring –  met in Skopje to reflect on the 1st year monitoring and devise the approach in measuring progress in the current and future years.

MM Regional Report Presented to EU institutions 
“What is the Environment in which CSOs work, and what can the EC and Governments do to Improve it?” was the topic of the policy workshop, taking place on May 27th in Brussels, where BCSDN in partnership with ECNL presented the findings and recommendations stemming from the 1st-ever Regional Report on the civil society environment in the Western Balkan countries and Turkey.

EC, Government and Civil Society Set Joint Targets for 2020

On a regional TACSO conference in Tirana (6-9 May) aimed to promote and set country-specific targets to be reached by 2020, BCSDN and its members presented the key country-specific findings and recommendations under the Monitoring Matrix, which will make up for the basis of EC assessments in its Progress Reports to be launched in October 2014.

19 Policy Papers Presented across the Region with SBPPF Support

BCSDN achieved notable success with the publishing of 19 policy papers on a range of topics related to EU integration processes. The presentations served as an opportunity to raise public awareness about the addressed topics and advocate and lobby for improvement of public policies among the representatives of CSOs, public institutions, donors and other relevant stakeholders.

BCSDN Annual Council Meeting - From Growth to Impact

On April 17th in Pristina, Kosovo, all members of the network gathered to reflect on the past years achievements (as presented with the Annual Report 2014) and discussed future plans and activities. Internal governance acts were also adopted, which further strengthens the network's professionalism and supports its growth.


Partners Albania Follow-Up to the National Conference "Social Partners - Time for Action"

Following the National Conference “Social Partners – Time for Action” Partners Albania organized a meeting with the Albanian Prime Minister and Task Force Group representatives to discuss the progress of the issues raised by CSOs at the Conference, and for which the Albanian Government was committed. Concrete proposals were presented and are now under discussion with the respective state bodies.

CRNVO First Regional Consultative Meeting for Local Self-Governments and CSO Sector in Montenegro 

CRNVO, in partnership with the Union of Municipalities and the Ministry of the Interior of Montenegro, organized a regional consultative meeting on 5 June 2014 in TIvat for representatives from local governments and civil society sector, discussing the implementation of the Strategy for NGOs development 2014-2016 and possibilities to improving the cooperation and the legal framework.

IDM Open Government Programme (OGP) Initiatives

IDM and the OGP Coalition of CSOs in Albania recommended the involvement of local government institutions in undertaking concrete commitments in the framework of OGP during the consultative meetings between the Ministry of Innovation and Public Administration and CSOs, which support the drafting process of the second National Action Plan 2014-2016 by the Albanian Government.

Within CPCD’s two-year project “Be the change”, which aims to encourage and empower citizens and CSOs to become change agents in their local communities in Bosnia & Herzegovina, CPCD launched a public call for small grants for the program area “Initiatives for community development”, giving a priority to initiatives for sanitation of the damage caused by the floods.
CNVOS has published a report covering some of the most important statistical data on more than 26,000 Slovenian CSOs, including information about their income, the forms in which they are organized, the number of employees, the success in obtaining public funds and other.
Civic Initiatives (CI) and Center for Promotion of Civil Society (CPCD) have been actively engaged in helping people from Serbia and BiH affected by the floods across the countries. CI established a crisis unit to provide aid to the endangered Serbian citizens and to develop a plan for activities in the aftermath of the floods. CPCD has sent numerous packages of necessary products to fulfill the urgent needs of people in distress in BIH.


On 26 May in Brussels, BCSDN together with CONCORD EPAN WG and TRIALOG organized a briefing meeting on the flood situation in BiH and Serbia, which discussed both immediate needs, but also potential support for long-term reconstruction, rehabilitation and socio-economic development. Following the meeting, EESC published a statement calling for a rapid deployment of the EU Solidarity Fund in BiH, Serbia and Croatia, which can be found here.

Regional Conference in Croatia on Minimum Standards for Consultation

On 23 April, the Government Office for Cooperation with CSOs from Croatia and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung organized a regional conference “Government-Civil Society Partnership for Open and Transparent Law-making in Countries of SEE”, which gathered both representatives of CSOs and Government institutions to discuss how to measure and induce progress in the area.

EESC Opinion on Enhancing Transparency and Inclusiveness of the EU Accession Process

EESC adopted an own-initiative Opinion, calling for disclosure of all key documents for accession negotiation; adoption and implementation of legislation on public access to information, public consultations of the progress monitoring process, a proactive and supervisory role of national parliaments in the accession process, etc. During the Plenary session where the Opinion was adopted, BCSDN distributed the MM Regional Report to EESC stakeholders.
This Newsletter is publication of the Balkan Civil Society Development Network. It is published on a periodic basis in English. For  more  information  on  the  network  visit: 
Executive Office
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