Introducing Civic Space Watch

Introducing Civic Space Watch

SOLIDAR and SOLIDAR Foundation together with its members and partners is active both in Europe and in the MENA region to urge EU institutions to move beyond mere diplomatic dialogues, to act on fundamental freedoms and ensure that development, trade and investment relations between the EU and partner countries cannot be shaped without the engagement of civil society and the protection of their fundamental rights and freedoms. Hence, civil society space and Freedom of Association are crucial to achieving social justice in Europe and worldwide.

Civic Space Watch is a collaborative, knowledge-sharing online tool contributing to better observing and understanding the state of civic space across Europe. They are mapping threats to civil liberties that are not just restrictive legislation but often are the result of several overlapping measures increasing the burden on civil society or not understanding its specific role. Smear campaigns, defamation, tense political environment, and intimidation are also aspects of this wider trend.

There are three main goals:

  1. Gathering together alerts from civil society, existing analyses and institutional resources;
  2. Improving the sharing of information among civil society actors and with institutions;
  3. Allowing an early reaction and encouraging demonstration of solidarity to grassroots activists in need.

Some great way to help it grow are:

  • getting in touch (gnegri@civic-forum.eu) to discuss on ways to coordinate and raise the debate on the issue;
  • sending us elrts, also in native language if there is not an English version;
  • giving visibility on social media, media, and other communication tools (ex: newsletter);
  • liaising us with national actors that might need solidarity or that are working on civic space;

The CIVICUS Civic Space Monitor (CSM) was launched on Monday 24 October 2016. CSM is a tool tracking violation of civic space all around the world in real time. The tool has been developed in collaboration with more than 20 experts representing civil society organisations all around the world, including SOLIDAR, and provides a rating of the openness of civic space and updated information about the latest developments regarding freedom of association, freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly.

SOLIDAR Foundation is concerned by the shrinking Civic Space in Europe and we continue monitoring the situation through our members and partners in different European Countries. In September 2018 we will organize a fact-finding mission to Hungary, to visit Civil Society Organizations and activist on order to offer targeted support from the EU level and to promote the positive role and empowerment through education.   For more information about the study, visit contact Lucie Susova from the SOLIDAR Foundation secretariat.

Related content