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Presently, the culture of open discussion seems to be threatened in an increasing number of countries. In Central and Eastern Europe's (CEE's) democracies, recent political developments appear to jeopardize progresses made in the past. Against this background, this study aims at shedding light on the dynamics of CEE'scivil society and gives a brief overview of the status quo and recent developments that directly affect civil society.
The study was conducted by the Competence Center for Nonprofit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship at WU Vienna (Vienna University of Economics and Business), commissioned by and in collaboration with ERSTE foundation as well as with a group of country experts. The inclusion of expert assessments on civil society aims at giving a voice primarily to practitioners. Therefore, the study included an online survey in each participating country, addressing CSO representatives operating in various fields of activity.
More than two decades have passed since nonprofit and third-sector researchers "discovered" Central and Eastern Europe as an area of scholarly interest. After the collapse of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the fall of the Iron Curtain, scholars noted the emergence of new civil society actors and were curious to understand the role these actors would play in their societies. Since that time, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has experienced intensive periods of transformation, conflict and renewal. This study is guided by the intention to develop a better understanding of the current state of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe, the diverse pathways of its development, and its possible future trajectories.
Open Society Foundations;
In this report, commissioned by the Open Society European Policy Institute, the author, Anna Mirga-Kruszelnicka, sets out to provide a shadow report to the European Commission on the practical implementation of the EU Roma Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies between 2011 and 2016.
The report is based on desk research and 27 responses to a questionnaire distributed to active Roma and pro-Roma civil society organizations in nine countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. It focuses primarily on the European dimension of the design and implementation of the EU Roma Framework, providing a critical overview of its relevance for the process of implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategies in member states.
The report finds that although the very existence of the EU Roma Framework is an achievement in itself and represents a turning point for Roma communities in Europe, by design, it has several major shortcomings. It concludes that post-2020, the EU Roma Framework should be maintained but should undergo a substantial reform that will reorient the current policy design. The recommendations for the EU Roma Framework reform post-2020 are detailed in the report.
Nordic Consulting Group;
The objectives of this rapid assessment were twofold. First, it was a summative assignment in that it sought to document the EEA and Norway Grants' efforts to promote gender equality (GE), reduce domestic violence (DV), and reduce gender-based violence (GBV) in the seven focus countries. Second, it was formative and forward-looking. It was formative in that it aimed to generate lessons learned based on an assessment of relevant achievements; it aimed to help improve the design, planning, organisation, and implementation of future interventions. It was also forward-looking in that it provided a context-based set of ideas on how things might be done in the future; it aimed to consider current contextual changes that may not have been reflected in the earlier programme experience.
The assessment addressed two aspects of gender – first, mainstreaming GE and promoting work-life balance (WLB), and second, addressing DV and GBV – in seven countries: Bulgaria, Estonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain. Not all countries reviewed have programmes addressing both aspects supported by the EEA and Norway Grants. The assessment focused on the following three lines of inquiry: 1. Relevance of the programme and projects therein. 2. Effectiveness of the programme and projects therein. 3. The bilateral dimension, focusing specifically on the execution of programme and project partnerships involving the Council of Europe (CoE) and other expert organisations (primarily based in Norway).
The subject of this study is the percentage tax designation system as a phenomenon in the nexus of public finance allocation, public benefit/civil society realm and taxation. Its focus is Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), where the system has remained to be a popular policy instrument over twenty years.
This research had been prepared in 2014 and was conducted during 2015 in five CEE countries that use the percentage tax designation system: Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. It focused on four areas: 1) What the percentage tax designation system actually is and what it is not, 2) What is its role in funding of the non-profit sector, 3) What are its side effects and 4) What is the connection between the policy making and the results? The research had a form of expert panel through country research associates that worked according to the unified methodology, using secondary quantitative and qualitative data. The data including the expert opinion were organized into the project's database.
This study covers 47 programmes relevant to Roma inclusion in 12 countries, with a focus on the countries with the largest share of Roma (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia). The study included a review of literature and programme documentation, interviews with stakeholders in the focus countries, and online questionnaires and telephone interviews with Donor Programme Partners and authorities in the other countries. The cut-off date for data collection was March 2015.
Center for Strategy and Evaluation Services;
The EEA Grants in the current period have been allocated to programmes defined at national level, instead of to individual projects. These programmes have been implemented according to the Regulation and after a process of negotiation between the donors and the European Commission and then between the donors and the beneficiary countries. This negotiation has concerned, first, the Memorandum of Understanding and, second, the specific Programme Agreements. The process of negotiation and of preparing open calls for proposals has taken significantly longer than expected. This has led to severe delays in the allocation of funds and significantly reduced the time available to implement projects. However, there is broad support for the programme-based approach, as it could further improve the strategic focus and simplify the management arrangements. Given the time and effort that has been expended in setting up the programme-based approach, consideration should be given as to whether this approach should be retained for the next period. Stakeholders from the donor and beneficiary countries should consider whether negotiations can be concluded much more easily the second time round and whether programme management capacity can be retained. Where this is the case, the programme-based approach should be continued. There would be potential benefits from extending the end-date for completing expenditure and/or extending the programme period from 5 to 7 years. Monitoring indicators are appropriate, although many outcomes do not easily lend themselves to measurement and quantification. Qualitative reporting therefore remains important alongside monitoring of quantitative outputs.
Association of Social Gerontologists;
A publication called Aging in the Social Space is a compilation of studies, which deal with theoretical understanding and empirical solutions, learning about problem spheres, specifying content parallels of social, legal, economic, moral and ethical views on senior issues in society, which are closely related to each other and are interconnected.
This publication focus on the case study of Poland. It is supposed to provide a multidimensional view of old age issues and issues related to aging and care for old people in society. We believe that it is natural also to name individual spheres, in which society has some effect, either direct or indirect, within issues concerning seniors. Learning about these spheres is the primary prerequisite for successful use of social help to seniors in society.
The work elaborates a very important topic of our time, this is of an aging population, which many countries with their established social, political, legislative, health and other systems are not prepared for. The authors compared the global data on the aging of the population with information relating to the aging of the population in Poland.
"This publication consists of two large chapters with subheadings. In the first part the authors describe the elderly in social area and in the second part of a social policy relating to older people. The first part explains the different concepts and presents a new paradigm, which refers to the phenomenon of active aging. The second part presents the analysis of the aging population in selected major cities and presents documents and strategies necessary for further development of the quality of life of elderly people. The case studies technique enables the authors the identification of a number of factors and in-depth analysis of researched topics for each city. Theoretical bases complement to the research findings of other authors and adds their findings."
Doc. dr Bojana Filej, the Alma Mater Europaea – European Center, Maribor, Slovenia
"The publication, in my humble opinion, can be dedicated primarily to researchers of social gerontology topics, primarily students from the humanities and social sciences. Given the systematic increase in the number of people from abroad studying in Poland (including the Erasmus program) this book can also be used as teaching material to courses on subjects such as: geragogics, social gerontology, social pedagogy and sociology."
Prof. dr hab. Jan Maciejewski, the University of Wrocław, Poland
European Commission (EC);
This report provides a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the contributions that foundations make to support research and innovation in EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland. Over the last 25 years, the role of foundations as supporters of research and innovation in Europe has grown significantly in scope and scale. However, the landscape is fragmented and, till now, largely uncharted. Little is known about the vast majority of such foundations, their activities or even their number, and information about their real impact on research and innovation in Europe was very limited. A team of national experts in the EU 27 (and Norway and Switzerland), led by VU University Amsterdam, has therefore been commissioned by the European Commission to study foundations' contribution to research and innovation in the EU under the name EUFORI. This study helps fill this knowledge gap by analysing foundations' financial contributions, and provides useful insights into the different ways they operate. It also identifies emerging trends and the potential for exploring synergies and collaboration between foundations, research-funding agencies, businesses and research institutes.
European Foundation Centre (EFC);
This publication aims to provide the reader with a comparative overview of the diverse legal and fiscal environments of foundations in 40 countries across wider Europe: the 28 EU Member States, plus Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine. It includes charts, draw on the basis of the updated online EFC (European Foundation Centre) Legal and Fiscal Country Profiles, which are available to download at www.efc.be. The EFC online profiles include more detailed country information and further explanation of the information presented in those charts. (Edition translated from English to Chinese)
Open Society Foundations;
Since 2010, the Open Society Think Tank Fund has supported projects that propose new uses of data for advocacy and target non-traditional stakeholders, to develop challenging and complementary information sets for broader application in the policy sphere, and to use data sets to challenge commonly accepted facts in a given policy field. The Fund assisted think tanks with bringing these data sources to light; enhancing their usefulness by expansion, maintenance, and use of this information; integrating such enhancements into their daily routines; and promoting a new culture of presenting policy research findings and thus reaching untapped audiences.
The Data Matters presents highlights and successes of projects supported between 2010 and 2013, illustrating how data matters in the everyday lives of citizens of many countries. This portfolio is offered as inspiration for members of NGOs, think tanks, and advocacy organizations who are focusing on using data for informing discussion on policy cha
Open Society Foundations;
National governments in Europe can greatly enhance the implementation of their National Roma Integration Strategies and social inclusion more broadly. One proven way of doing this is by providing assistance to local authorities and organizations to access and implement projects financed by European Structural and Investment Funds.
The Making the Most of EU Funds for Roma Program of the Open Society Foundations has worked for more than five years with local communities to leverage EU funds for social inclusion projects targeting Roma, as well as other disadvantaged communities. This paper summarizes the experiences and methodologies employed by the program, bearing in mind that national authorities—particularly in new member states benefiting from Structural Funds—might be keen to replicate a similar model to advance their own social inclusion goals.
National governments can establish similar support mechanisms for local communities in order to intensify local spending of EU funds for social inclusion. This assistance is most relevant for EU Member States with sizeable Roma communities including Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.