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Report Issued on State of Civil Society in EU and Russia

01 March 2017

The EU-Russia Civil Society Forum recently published the first results of its research on The State of Civil Society, conceptualising civil society developments in Russia and the EU. The research looks into  legislation, NGO financing and the relation of civil society with the  state, the business sector and the public, with particular emphasis on highlighting the success and failures of NGO initiatives.

The intention of the project is to pilot the production of a yearly analysis of NGO and civil society developments in the EU and Russia. The current report presents a summary of research conducted in 2016. The document focuses on a number of countries: Hungary, Germany, Poland, Russia, and Spain. Objectives of the research were to find common challenges and solutions in order to create a basis for cooperation; outline important challenges in illustrating arguments for advocacy; evaluate the achievements of NGOs; and provide knowledge and facilitate mutual understanding of the civil society conditions and agenda in the various EU member states and Russia.

Two major aspects were studied during the research. Firstly, the perception of NGOs of the most important challenges for civil society was considered. Subsequently, the research examined best practices developed by civil society organisations  to respond to these challenges. Results indicated that for organizations in all the countries, the biggest challenges are financial, although to varying extents and for different reasons. With respect to the legal environment, the situation in Russia and Hungary stands out in a negative way.

The full report will be published in April 2017. The Forum is also producing a series of leaflets on civil society in individual countries; to date, only Lithuania, Finland and Croatia have been issued.