24 Jun Civic Space in the EU and Serbia

Belgrade, October 23, 2018 – Civic space is a fundamental feature of European societies, with a long and rich history of communal and collective action, instrumental for today’s democratic profile of Europe. As defined by CIVICUS and Civic Space Monitor, the term refers to the political, legislative, social and economic environment which enables citizens to come together, exercise their civic rights and freedoms, share their interests and concerns, engage in pluralist public debate and act individually and collectively to influence and shape policy-making. An open, plural and dynamic civic space is a central feature of democratic societies because it allows citizens to be an active part of the political sphere beyond elections. It also encourages governments to be transparent and accountable. The freedoms of expression, media and media pluralism, association and assembly – the key pillars of the civic space – lie at the heart of European civic rights and are enshrined in the European Charter of Human Rights, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the EU Treaties.

The report was presented at the 7th meeting of the EU-Serbia Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee in Belgrade.

The report was prepared by Bojana Selakovic, Civic Initiatives’ Program director and  Marina Skrabalo, EESC member from Solidarna, Croatia. Sonja Stojanovic Gajic, a JCC member edited the report.

Download the report here.