Launch of the baseline assessment DG NEAR Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in the Enlargement Region 2021 – 2027


31 May – 1 June 2023

Location of the event

Hotel Crna Gora, Podgorica, Montenegro

Description of the event

The EU Civil Society Forum for Western Balkans and Türkiye 2023 is set to kick off on 31 May in Podgorica!

It is the flagship EU civil society event in the region and is a place for civil society, EU representatives and government officials to discuss the latest developments and explore future trends.

We will be launching the Baseline Assessment against the revised DG NEAR Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in the Enlargement Region 2021–2027. This report provides critical data on the state of civil society and will be the basis for invited experts to present their findings and thoughts on future challenges and opportunities in the coming years.

The event will take place on May 31st and June 1st in Podgorica, Montenegro. Around 120 participants will attend in person and many more online.

The event is structured around three key themes that form the basis for the DG NEAR Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in the Western Balkans and Turkiye 2021-2027:

  • Enabling Environment – civil society under pressure

This session will explore the baseline assessment findings regarding the enabling environment for civil society. The speakers will discuss progress, bottlenecks, likely trends, and the importance of freedom of expression and civil society.

  • Government – Civil Society Cooperation – a win-win if we can make it happen

Presentation of findings regarding government-civil society cooperation. It will provide perspectives on the importance of CSOs in the EU integration process and highlight the significance of local cooperation. 

  • CSO Capacity and Accountability – no time for complacency

The Assessment findings related to CSO capacity and accountability will discuss skills for non-profit management, global and national standards, and donor perspectives on CSO accountability.

The forum will also include lively breakout discussions on various related issues, such as the use of digital tools for protecting the enabling environment, CSO financial sustainability, local cooperation in community development, mainstreaming diversity, professional standards, and good governance in civil society organisations.

All breakout sessions will provide a platform for in-depth discussions and exchanging ideas, fostering collaborative approaches for advancing civil society in the region.


For more details on sessions and speakers, check out the detailed Agenda.


Online participation

To register for online participation, click here.