What are the authorities doing to help civil society? Are government policies working in this direction?
During the forum “Dialogues on Reforms: Towards Vilnius” within #URC2020, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Agency for Legislative Initiatives Uliana Poltavets moderated an expert discussion on how civil society should develop further. Despite the illusion that Ukraine has a strong civil society, the facts show that only 18.6% of citizens (according to a poll by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation) participate in NGOs’ activities, which is much lower than in European countries.
For the development of civil society, there is a National Strategy for the Promotion of Civil Society in Ukraine for 2016-2020. However, we in the Agency for Legislative Initiatives together with the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine last year analyzed its implementation. We concluded that the strategy is far from perfect. In particular:
- there are no clear definitions of the term “civil society”,
- tasks are vaguely worded,
- there are no criteria for evaluating the implementation of these tasks,
- there is no allocated funding,
- regional plans are not in line with the strategy.
The results of the study are fully available here.
The briefing on the development of civil society prepared for the Vilnius Conference also addresses the problems of the legal framework of CSOs and their financial stability, harassment of public activists and improper investigation of crimes against them, lack of dialogue with the authorities, coordination of the process.
What to do with all this – read in the brief.