The CIVICUS Civic Space Monitor (CSM) was launched on Monday 24 October 2016. CSM is a tool tracking violations 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.
The idea of the CSM was born after CIVICUS concluded in 2014 that violations of civic space took place in 96 countries around the world. They figured out that in a globalised world driven by an unprecedented ability to share information, a robust and timely tool to collect, curate and communicate on violations of civic space can be achieved. The aim of the tool is not necessarily to prevent civic space violations from happening, but it can provide civil society, media and politicians a reliable portrayal of the reality of shrinking civil society space.
SOLIDAR 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 achieve social justice in Europe and worldwide.