Handling everyday changes in a society, and especially those concerning the EU integration process, requires civil society organisations (CSOs) to learn and acquire new skills, knowledge and experience on a daily basis and to build their capacities to provide expertise in these processes. Currently, there are around 33,000 associations of citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
“The European Union’s support to civil society is constant throughout the EU integration process. This and similar projects are proof that we can use the benefits of the EU financial assistance before accession takes place. The Civil Society Facility and Media Programme carries the bulk of funding for the civil society – on average 3 million euro per year, and it is constantly growing. One of the goals of the program is to sustain the independence of civil society. There is also a regional component of the support to civil society i.e., local communities in the Western Balkan countries, including BiH. In addition, the EU financial assistance comes through the EIDHR mechanism that treats special thematic areas within democracy and human rights“, said Vladimir Pandurević, Program Manager at the EU Delegation in BiH.
“Business community is an unavoidable part of the EU integrations. Employers must engage in all segments of negotiations and in all phases of the accession process, which will enable us to adapt to digitalization trends and face serious challenges of global markets. The integration process can secure that, locally, we have high-quality relations among the institutions, civil and business sectors”, said the director of RS Union of Employer Associations Saša Aćić.
A comprehensive and interactive platform – www.EUresurs.ba was established with assistance of the EU. The platform will promote European values; it will inform BiH citizens about the EU integration process and it will monitor progress and the harmonization of the local legislation with the EU acquis in several different sectors (anti-corruption, social policy, employment, health care, youth, human rights and democracy, media, etc.).
“The particularity of this platform is that it shows in one place all EU-funded programmes and projects that are currently implemented in BiH in the mentioned sectors. This is a way to consolidate CSOs’ capacities in the sectors to be strong partners to citizens as well as the driving force behind the positive changes in the EU integration process. Furthermore, the Resource Centre’s activities will contribute to CSOs becoming competent, independent and recognised players in the EU integration process and to strengthening their capacities and their long-term sustainability”, said Denis Telić, Program Manager of the Resource Centre for the BIH Civil Society in the EU Integrations“.
Another platform presented at today’s conference was www.ravnopravnorazliciti.orgthat enables access to the local and international legislation on persons with disability, their enhanced awareness and engagement in the EU integration processes, with a focus on social inclusion and non-discrimination. The platform brings together the NGO sector, organisations of persons with disabilities, local government, media and public in efforts to build a society of equal and different citizens.”The web platform ”RavnopravnoRazliciti’ (ENG EquallyDifferent), aims to increase the impact of persons with disabilities and their organisations on decisions that concern them, to contribute to raising social sensitivity of the CSOs, local communities and society in general and to initiate advocacy and promotion of the integration of persons with disabilities in BiH. The platform will be updated regularly with useful information, affirmative stories, publications, educational material and it will integrate in one place a content service for the needs of persons with disabilities”, said Dijana Kremenović, Project Manager for the Communities of Different, but Equal Citizens.