In December 2018, European Policy Centre (CEP) started implementing a two-year project Strengthening Capacities of Civil Society Organisations for Active Participation in EU Negotiations through Selected National Convention for EU Working Group (‘’Prepare to Participate – P2P’’) together with National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED), New Network of Serbia (NMS) and Centre of Contemporary Policies (CSP) as co-applicants.
The general objective of the project is to enable diverse segments of the civil society to actively take part in the EU accession process so as to fully open the process to citizens. In addition to increasing the civil society organisations (CSOs) involvement in the EU negotiation process, the project goal is to strengthen their capacities to protect citizens’ interests in their own projects and initiatives. Therefore, the project activities will facilitate the effective involvement of civil society, in the EU negotiations on selected economic acquis chapters through the National Convention for EU (NCEU) Working Groups (WGs). With enhancing knowledge and skills in this area, civil society in Serbia will be able to continually protect and advocate the interests of citizens to policy makers.
Being active coordinators and members of NCEU WGs, the two applicants (CEP, NALED) had an opportunity to consult with other CSOs at national and local level about the need for civil society’s more active and substantiated role in the EU accession process, particularly economic acquis chapters, and, in relation to these, their involvement in activities related to the accession process, such as Economic Reform Programme (ERP) preparation. The consensus is that civil society does not possess sufficient capacities to take active engagement and contribute to the EU negotiations on economic topics with the acknowledgement that it is of high importance to have them included in the process through NCEU WGs.
In this regard, the main results of the implementation of this project will be related to:
- Facilitation of effective involvement of civil society in the EU negotiations on selected economic acquis chapters through NCEU.
- Raising awareness and improve understanding of the CSOs and policy makers about the needs and ways of involving the civil society in the EU negotiations on the selected economic acquis
- Strengthening the capacities of the civil society to actively partake in the EU negotiations on selected economic acquis chapters and to engage in evidence-based advocacy towards policymakers.
- Empowerment the local CSOs to actively participate in and contribute to the EU negotiations on selected economic chapters.
The project is financed by Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia as a part of Civil Society Facility and Media Programme which aim is to strengthen participatory democracies and the EU integration process by empowering civil society to actively take part in decision making.