human development, social justice and sustainable social systems
Civil Society: key to European Democracy Action Plan
In collaboration with Civil Society Europe (CSE), Caritas Europa contributed to a joint response to the consultation on the European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP), in which we called for greater recognition and support of civil society organisations as a key element for any future action plan on democracy.
This has been further impacted by the global pandemic and related adverse effects on the ability of civil society and Caritas, as a social service provider, to perform its role – whether promoting access to fundamental rights in the social, health, cultural, education, environmental sector or advocating for good governance and better democracy.
We welcome the development of an action plan on democracy and believe this can best be achieved if the EU institutions:
Involve and recognise the importance of Civil Society in shaping EU policies;
Ensure that the proposed recovery measures that will be implemented as part of the Recovery Plan also duly take into account the urgency of supporting the civil society sector, making sure that support to governments is used to maintain and reinforce public funding to NGOs for both service delivery and advocacy work;
Ensure that any recovery is rights-based, focusing on ensuring full access to rights in the long-term, rather than addressing short-term needs;
Ensure that eligibility criteria of the calls for the new instruments should explicitly include not-for-profit civil society organisations as eligible funding recipients; and
Put in place measures to reinforce cross border cooperation among Civil Society.