2012 CEE CN Annual Report

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CEE CN Report 2012


Annual Report 2012


It might be difficult to report 2012 in a clearly positive dimension as we were experiencing deeper and deeper layers of many-sided crises and all kinds of rhetoric and debates around it. General establishments and structures were (are) questioned maybe more than ever before, where all actors of the society had to struggle with redefining orientations and roles. In spite of all these, it is also difficult to not speak about the certainly positive dimensions, which are all linked with mostly similar roots. In the footsteps of crises and indignation promising debates, citizen mobilization and activism, alternative answers and more sustainable solutions are also cumulating. From our perspective it could be already a success that we are still on the screen, but I believe we have done much more. Looking back to 2012, Citizens Network kept open, reflective and innovative in positioning. Network events, activities and programs are developing and extending with broader and broader connections and cooperation. We are growing and we seem to be attractive. The big questions are always around our real effects, and it is important to ask them often. Together with the overall changes the task is also growing: How to assist better for participation and sustainability?

CEE Citizens Network Date of registration January 24, 2005 Place of registration Bratislava Slovak Ministry of Interior Reg. number VVS/1-900/90-25362 Statutory Anna Karailieva

Máté Varga Co-director of CEE CN


Central and Eastern European Citizens Network

HISTORY The background for the Network began in 1996 when informal connection were established between three country projects affiliated with the National Democratic Institute and an additional three coordinated by the German Marshall Fund. This prompted discussions among the groups about working together to share ideas and experiences. Consequently, with the help of Freedom House and the Open Society Institute this occurred in 2000. During that year a planning meeting, conference and follow-up session were held, which resulted in the decision that the creation of a network of groups active in citizen participation was viable. Therefore, with financial support from the C. S. Mott Foundation, the Central and Eastern European Citizens Network formed in 2001 and was officially registered in January 2005. In January 2008, CEE CN received a participatory status with the Council of Europe and in 2010 the Network celebrated its 10th anniversary. During this celebratory year new elements were introduced to the Network, including membership standards and fees. Furthermore, the area covered by the Network was divided into sub-regions, to which coordinators were assigned, enabling better communication between members of the Network. MISSION The mission of CEE CN is to promote citizens participation in the CEE region and provide opportunities for grassroots initiatives to learn and exchange experiences and ideas.

ACTIVITIES Our main activities include: О Citizen Participation Week An annual week-long program with simultaneous national and local events to heighten the importance of active citizens О Citizen Participation University An activity which takes place during early summer for people working in this field, providing time for reflection through a combination of theory and experiences О Action studies The documentation of actual participation experience within Europe, which helps with analysis and reflection О Promotion of e-participation tools Exploring additional ways in which citizens can more effectively be active О Supporting the work of community organizing Assisting the work of community organizing to mature in the CEE region О Exchanging experiences and best practices Sharing of knowledge about how to better ensure active participation О Encouraging joint activities and the exchange of grassroots initiatives Learning firsthand from each other how they have brought about change STRUCTURE Our organizational structure consists of three aspects: О Membership which is open to organizations and individuals in the CEE region who share our mission. О A Representative Team with each country having their own “representative”. These country representatives meet yearly to set the agenda for the upcoming year. О A Coordinating Team which is elected by the Representative Team. MEMBER COUNTRIES Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Republic of Belarus, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine You can find out more about our Network and its activities on our web site: www.ceecn.net



Activities in 2012

REPRESENTATIVE TEAM MEETING March 19 – 21, Bialystok, Poland

In 2012 the annual Representative Team meeting was hosted by our Polish member, the NGOs Support Centre OWOP. Representatives from the member countries evaluated the activities organized in 2011 and held general discussion on the CEE CN activities for 2012, as well as working in groups to discuss the following issues related to future work: О О О О

Institutional development of the Network Citizens Participation Week Options for funding What are we fighting for? – Relations with EU and CoE

CITIZENS PARTICIPATION UNIVERSITY CPU July 9 – 13, Kunbabony, Hungary During the second week of July CEE CN held its third annual Citizen Participation University with the theme “GLOBAL UPRISING AND LOCAL PERSPECTIVE”. We invited several speakers to present on socio-political issues and crisis analysis. During the week different workshops were held enabling numerous discussions to take place, including reactions to the crises in different countries. Also, we tried to convey solutions for citizen participation on the local, national and international level. To see full versions of presentations given visit the link below: http://ceecn.net/citizen-participation-university/66-2012/271-cpu-2012 During CPU we also launched the European Platform of Active Citizens – see more on page nr. 28. 6


SOME FEEDBACK FROM PARTICIPANTS “Many new ideas, even if some of them seemed at first to be a little crazy, we can analyze them and use them anyway.” “Well, thank you for a tremendous CPU. What would life be without it? I feel that this year’s choice of thematic grouping; crises, actions and solutions was really good in a way that going from depression to hope in our work can point out important ways of new activities.” “T “Thanks for this year’s great occasion. It has become a true tradition that’s hard to be without. Imagine Christmas without Santa...” “This year’s CPU was yet another great, enjoyable and interesting event, and you can be sure that I will return to that little paradise you have created in Kunbabony!”

CPU 2012 by Ioana Traista, PACT Foundation We can measure the success of an event in many ways: the number of participants, their feedback, a wide range of speakers and so on. I tend to speak about an event if I go home with a decent number of questions. From the 9th – 13th July I represented PACT Foundation at the Citizens Participation University (CPU) held in Kunbabony, Hungary. Before going 8

there the agenda seemed very interesting. It featured topics about the crisis and how it can influence civil society, the program promised us a series of solutions and at the same time, it mentioned a wide range of professionals working in the fields of community development and community organizing. By taking part in the Citizens Participation University I realized it was more than a gathering between three important networks: CEE CN, ECON and CEBSD, but a state of the mind. Most people knew each other and about the work being done, so in between the sessions they were exchanging stories and examples of good practices, learning about new changes that had happened in their organizations and talking about activism at all levels. But the story of this year’s CPU is made up of a multitude of elements. First of all, the location – the Residential Training Center of the Civil College has an interesting history. The community center used to be the local school. The 400m2 building was transformed into a large “family mansion” with wonderful gardens where the sessions were held. Most of the training held here is for civil and community activists (often Roma groups, the unemployed and community groups from disadvantaged areas), enabling them learn how to think from the point of view of their and learn civil action techniques. Secondly, at the Citizens Participation University the three networks CEE CN, ECON and CEBSD launched the European Platform for Active Citizens with the aim of re-thinking the role of the citizen, ensuring their voice is included at the local, national and European level. Thirdly, the sessions were built in such a way to offer a complex perspective on civil society and participation and how it has adapted to the current situation on a global, as well as on a local level. The first few days focused on the crisis and reactions, while during the few last days we talked about chances, solutions, and practices. We talked about trying to find solutions within the system or to fight the system in order to produce change. Moreover, some speakers underlined the importance of facing the crisis through transnational solutions; they raised questions such as what are the steps needed to move from actions to movements and how to define our role in defining new paradigms. Consequently the questions and answers are different for all of us. The most important question that has stayed with me so far is “How do we strengthen civil society and the citizens?” Most of the time we tend to associate civil society with civil society organizations and we have the feeling we know what is happening with our beneficiaries or target audience in general. The Civicus Report: “Broadening civic space through voluntary actions: Lessons 2011” states that there are two types of gaps that we all are facing as citizens as well as civil society organizations representatives. The first one I expected: the gap between civil society organizations versus the state and the market. The second one I did not find so obvious: the gap between civil society organizations and the citizens. We tend to forget that we, as NGOs, are not the last and only force within civil society and if we forget to listen to each other, we might lose contact with reality. I heard stories of local governments working together with the community, other tales about communities that needed someone to listen to their problems so that they feel they can be a part of the call to change. In itself it is harder for us to listen than to speak and, as civil society, we need to listen more in order to foster more active citizens and concrete solutions to the challenges we are all facing. Hence, I came back from the Citizens Participation University with many new resources that I will develop further, but most importantly – I brought along several new questions and issues that will help me define better our work at PACT Foundation, and my own work and contribution as a citizen, as well as a member of PACT Foundation’s team. 9



September 24 – 30, 2012 Since 2005 Citizen Participation Week has been highlighting issues that are about citizens and their communities through promoting citizen’s participation. Local and regional issues and problems and alternatives are put on the agenda. While the notions of participation and democracy, and the opportunities for active citizenship, involvement and local action are also discussed, with an emphasis on good practices. The Citizens Participation Week presents European wide advocacy campaigns in 20 countries, coordinated by the Central and Eastern European Citizens Network. You are kindly invited to learn more about Citizen Participation Week 2012 by using links below: CPW web site http://www.ceecn.net/citizen-participation-week/cpw-2012 pation eek/cp 2012 CPW on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/CitizensParticipationWeek/107893082602567

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA Centers for Civic Initiatives The activities which took place included: О Forums for candidates with local representatives, О Websites with pre-elections promises, О Reports about the last mandate and the chairman’s period in local communities, О Panel discussion with citizens and public experts on local level and uestionnaire for candidates О Investigation about citizens’ satisfaction with local administration and communal service (including: water, electricity, roads and waste).

CROATIA Centers for Civic Initiatives Citizens of the small municipality Grubišno Polje in Croatia were invited by the City Mayor, Mr. Mađeruh to participate in defining the priorities for social development in the municipality. This was an interesting occasion for more than 60 citizens, representatives of CSOs, public local institutions, unemployed citizens, farm owners and other interested citizens to discuss, suggest and plan future projects in their neighbourhood. The project will receive 70 % of their funding from the National Foundation for Civil Society Development and 30 % from the Municipality. The process of public counselling with citizens is facilitated by the Center for Civil Initiatives. Citizens of the Croatian town Duga Resa suggested to the City Mayor priorities for the future development of the town. The City Mayor sat in the front row and listened to what the citizens had to suggest and took notes!

CZECH REPUBLIC Center for Community Organizing CCO Eastern Moravia organized three meetings for members from different work groups within the project “Implementation of the processes of social services accessibility planning in ORP Bystřice pod Hostýnem” which has been on-going in this area over past 18 months. The first group was aimed at families, children and young people, the second for seniors and the third group for disabled people. 10


c ivities ct Taking into account these issues, Civitas Georgica conducted the following act activities during 2012 CPW: О 1. Seminar on Civic Activism partner A seminar was conducted in Akhaltsikhe for students and teachers. A pa organization and member of the CEE CN, Agora CE from Czech Republic blilicc al also so took part in this event. During the seminar the importance of Civic activism and youth participation in decision making was highlighted. This seminar was also the official launch of CPW in Georgia.

The engagement of citizens in decision making plays a big part in this project and we made sure that all participants knew that the meetings had been organised during the Citizen Participation Week (CPW). They were informed about the problematic issue of citizen participation, about the importance of public involvement in local activities and about the idea of CPW in general. Moreover, representatives from the municipality were also present so the spirit of citizen participation was spread to higher authorities. Through CPW in the Czech Republic, lic, CCO Central Moravia organised a surveyy of the Members of Parliament, Ministers, National Institutions and mass media platforms ms about their activities in the European Year of Citizens 2013. CPW information is disseminated ted with this survey.

О 2. Student Debate Camp Civitas Georgica has organized 4 day camp for students from the Georgian Institute of Public Administration – future public officials – on the issues of organization and conducting public debates. 12 students took part in camp. It was organized in the municipality of Patardzeuli, Sagarejo. О 3. Strengthening the role of associations Civitas Georgica launched a new project oriented on strengthening the role of associations in Georgian villages. It will target five municipalities of Georgia and focus on increasing participation in local decision-making О 4. Student debating finale - on the way to the Parliament The final of the debating competition among secondary school students was organized at the Rabati museum. The competition was the final round of a yearlong debating project supported by the Polish and Czech ministries of foreign affairs.

CZECH REPUBLIC Agora CE o.p.s. The promotion of citizen participation n during g CPW was as part of our activities in Georgia and Turkey as well as in the Czech Republic.

GEORGIA International Association ‘Civitas Georgica’ The 2012 Citizen Participation Week in Georgia was held the week before parliamentary elections on the 1st October. This was a challenge for CPW – on the one hand the public was mobilized and ready for the election but we had to be careful that the civic activities were not considered to be party propaganda. 12

Moreover, partners of Civitas Georgica organized several events in regions of Georgia related to CPW. For example, “Guria Youth Club” collected 2000 signatures for petition on the rehabilitation of the city park; “Citizen’s League” from Khashuri distributed leaflets among local citizens on their right to participate in local decision making and discussions about the budget; “Lanchkhuti information center” organized special seminars on the rights and procedures of elections for first time voters. 13

HUNGARY Hungarian Association for Community Development and Civil College Foundation Our most important result, that we were able to keep the scale and level of our movement to strengthen citizen participation, while democracy has been under attack in the country in several forms. Hungarian results briefly: О

A total of 129 programmes/actions were organized all around the country on more than 60 municipalities with the cooperation of more than 100 groups/ organizations/institutions.


CPW priorities were defined during community planning processes, where finally several aspects of social, democratic, community, economic sustainability were framed and later targeted in actions and events.


Around 30 events were organized by newly active organizations, including cooperatives and for-profit companies (!). О

Related to the forms of activities, many more street actions and flash-mobs were organized in 2012 than the years before.


CPW developed from the online aspect as well. All channels were more progressive, modern and up to date, while 4 online campaigns/ initiatives also joined the Week.


Media was not supportive this year. We had less than 50 significant media articles (half of last year’s) which is also very much connected with present the Hungarian public conditions.


More than 3000 citizens filled our questionnaire about the quality of citizen participation.


Several new cooperation, small movements, networking developments were set up/strengtheopme op ment me n s wer ned during CPW 2013 in Hungary. n ed du duri r ng ri g CP

POLAND NGOs Support Centre OWOP FAIR OF SOCIAL ECONOMY: Social economy entities had an opportunity to present their activities and offers. They were able to promote themselves, get to know the environment, establish contacts and strengthen cooperation. NGO’S INITIATIVES FORUM: enabled discussions, exchange of experiences, information and mutual education on the most important issues related to the development of civil society. A workshop on INFRASTRUCTURE OF COOPERATION – CREATING CONDITIONS FOR SOCIAL ACTIVITY: A training event in the area of the cooperation model between NGO’s and public administration. The model was developed on a national scale in 2011. Citizens Café under the theme of ‘HOW TO PROMOTE ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP IN THE CITY?’.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA Terra–1530 О 1. Public debate on financing political parties and electoral campaigns. О 2. Citizens Participation Caravan in five communities from the Straseni district.



ROMANIA Association CRONO and Social Economy Development Foundation 21st September 2012 О Workshop on ‘Citizen Participation in social businesses’ organized by the Social Economy Development Foundation in Craiova. The social entrepreneurs from Craiova discussed their66 businesses and how to generate citizen participation to contribute towards their funding. One idea that was debated at this workshop was street crowd funding – and this will be tried in October, during the City Days. 26th September 2012 О Round table organized by CRONO RONO at Cal Calafat (S-W Romania) on ‘Citizen Participation through philanthropy for salary donations’. The meeting was hosted by Local Action Group Calafat, and the participants (NGO members and volunteers, union leaders, employers, local journalists) debated the legislative initiative of the Coalition for Individual Philanthropy which claims the tax exemption of salary donations. 27th September 2012 О Round table on ‘Citizens taking a stand in the community’ organized by Brainstorming Consulting Romania at Cumpana. The meeting was hosted by the Town Hall of Cumpana (County of Constanta) and the participants debated their role in taking a stand against anti-social behaviour and the support needed from the public authorities in this respect. The conclusion was that the citizens are prevented from taking action in some cases because of the lack of support from the authorities and this should be supplemented through organising and solidarity. 28th September 2012 О Round table and press conference organized by CRONO at Craiova on citizens’ participation at philanthropy through salary donations. The meeting was hosted by Dolj County Prefecture, and the participants (NGO members and volunteers, MPs, union leaders, employers, journalists) debated the legislative initiative of the Coalition for Individual Philanthropy which claims the tax exemption of salary donations. О Photovoice exposition organized by the public school “Mircea Eliade” in Craiova. The children from the primary school presented hundreds of pictures to their teachers, parents and neighbours about how they see their community. The exposition was organized in the public park near their school. 16

О The two round tables which were held on the 26th and 28th September were surrounded by the dramatic situation of the bankruptcy of Romanian NGOs due to poor management of Structural Funds by the Romanian authorities. The p proposals p made by the participants were sent to the Romanian Ministry of Finance nance to be include included in the Fiscal Code.

ROMANIA mmunityy Foundation PACT – Partnership for Community Action and Transformation During this year’s Citizens Participation Week, a debate was organised on the 28th September by the PACT Foundation – Partnership for Community Action and Transformation (www. fundatiapact.ro) at the Constantin Cantacuzino Technological High School in Baicoi, a small city located in Prahova County, in the South of Romania. The topic of the debate was “Citizen Participation during town hall meetings should be compulsory” and was chosen by members of the debating club from the high school. Baicoi was chosen as the location for this event due to the presence of a new project in the city which started at the beginning of September 2012. The project focuses on developing a community based organisation (CBO) in the city. The purpose of this CBO is to work with the community and to find participatory solutions for its needs and problems. As there is only one visible NGO in Baicoi the CBO aims to develop and reinvigorate the civic spirit in the community as well as engaging in new projects and activities related to social and economic well-being. Before the debate started Georgiana Cune the Community Development Projects’ Coordinator within the PACT Foundation and Istvan Szabo an experienced Community Facilitator, Consultant and Trainer collaborating with the PACT Foundation gave a short presentation about CEE CN and its projects focusing on CPW and the regional meaning. The debate was organised in Baicoi with the help of the Constantin Cantacuzino Technological High School and the City Hall. Around 30 participants were involved, including pupils, teachers, parents and other willing members of the community. 17

RUSSIA Russian Tenant Association Forum “Initiative citizens “Kirov” О Demonstration of films Films about community development in Kirov Film about active citizens in Kirov “The City in which it is desirable to o live” О Conference “We – together”

Both teams presented strong arguments for and against the statement, but in the end – for the sake of the argument – the negation team was declared the winner. However, the young people in Baicoi are eager to engage themselves in community life and contribute to its development, despite the result of the debate. Two weeks after the debate we participated in another event, during the European Week for Local Democracy, where we presented the project implemented in Baicoi, and specifically the above-mentioned debate and its larger context during the Citizens Participation Week and the CEE CN framework.

ROMANIA Resource Center for Public Participation (CeRe) The Resource Center for Public Participation – CeRe joined its European partners in celebrating Citizen Participation Week through an online communication campaign. Channels used were: ers r ) О CeRe facebook page (over 3,500 friends and subscribers) О CeRe’s website (over 2,000 users per month) e ia ed О External NGO-targeted online publication and print media Methods used were: mpo ort rtan an nce aand nd b ene en e ts of О Daily messages on social media sites to reflect the importance benefi citizen involvement in the decision making process О A poll to identify why people take action О A web-banner to promote citizen participation (online for the entire CP week) to be posted online on CeRe’s website and other partner websites О A short, 2-minute movie with a motivational campaign to promote the message “You can do it too” О Three motivational success stories on citizen participation to be issued online and printed О One pop-up window with which CeRe’s website opened during the entire CPW announcing CPW and displaying a motivational message 18

Greetings From the Mayor of the city Vladimir Bikov ikov Representatives from the local Church Representatives of the city and partners from other Russian cities: Nizniy Novgorod, Perm, Lipetsk Plenary reports The Mayor of the city – Bikov, Vladimir “How to encourage citizens be more active: Russian and nd international experience” Prof. Shomina Elena – CEE CN – “Local initiatives and Citizen’ Participation Week” Lilunege Irene – IFS, Kaunas – “Lutvinia Regional Experience of community Groups” Hkohklova Tatiana – Warsaw – “Russian-Poland partnership in community field” Prof. Tetersky Sergey, DIMSY, Moscow О Festival of Community Families О Round table “Family Kaleidoscope” (30 years of the experience of the Community Centre work) О Study tour to different community-groups in Kirov О Round table “Perspectives of community development”

SERBIA Civic Initiatives Financial and non-financial sustainability of CSOs in times of crisis The conference on financial sustainability and good governance in CSOs in times of crisis was held on 28th September in Belgrade. The conference gathered 120 CSOs, both domestic and international donors, state institutions and media. Milena Banović, from the Government Office for Cooperation with Civil Society spoke about the state role in the financial sustainability of CSOs. Kori Udovički, an eminent economist, gave a presentation on the impact of the economic situation on the civil sector in Serbia. 19

The importance of tax policy in the context of financial sustainability of CSOs was the topic of Dragan Golubović, from ECNL, presentation. Dragan Popović, Policy Center Director, stressed transparency, good governance and independence of CSOs as the main factors of their non-financial sustainability, while Mia Vukojević, BCIF Executive Director, spoke about CSOs sustainability from the local donor’s perspective. Marko Košutić, from the Association of Mentally Disabled Persons – Blue Bird, from Kula, served as an example of good practice regarding new models of financing and the diversification of financial sources.

Youth Volunteer Actions

Consultative Meetings of Signatories of the Civil Society Organizations’ Code of Ethics

Youth organization Collage Collective, in scope of the “Out of sight, out of mind” action, invited all interested young people to propose a visual solution of posters that were printed in large formats. The topic of this competition was to draw attention to the position of children and youth who are living and working on the streets. On the 29th September 2012, in the centre of Belgrade, street actions were delivered together with children and youth from the day care centre.

On the consultative meeting held in Kragujevac on 25th September, representatives of the CSOs which signed and supported the Code of Ethics, discussed mechanisms that can secure its implementation and promotion. This meeting was also an opportunity for exchanging ideas on how to improve good governance in civil society organizations and increase transparency of their work. The common opinion reached during the meeting is that CSOs should work on the promotion and visibility of the Code in the local media, as well as among small local CSOs. CSOs from all parts of the country, as signatories of the Code, agreed that they will continue to promote the Code’s values and principles at the local level. As one of the simplest but most effective ways to increase transparency, CSOs recognized publishing their annual narrative and financial reports and project results on their websites. V. session of professional development for Civic Education Teachers

Within the “Let’s Create Together” action, the informal youth group “InovARTists” organized the opening of an international exhibition in the new adapted gallery on September 26th 2012. In the scope of this action, young people arranged and revived the space obtained from the City of Belgrade for the use of the association “Living together”. Owing to their dedication and participation of a large number of volunteers, beneficiaries of the day care for persons with developmental disabilities now have a place for socializing and for practicing different activities.

The two volunteer actions were conducted within the “Youth is the Law” project implemented by Civic Initiatives as the resource centre for the territory of the City of Belgrade. Civic Initiatives provided logistic help and financial support.

SLOVAKIA Centre for Community Organizing The Center for Community Organizing (CKO) together with the active citizens from our neighbourhoods organised events to gain the attention of local citizens to promote citizen participation, local activism and CP Week. Two local initiative groups from two neighbourhoods actively organized local events in order to increase participation in their neighbourhoods. One nationwide initiative – Open Eyes Slovakia (OOS) was preparing nationwide discussions in different cities on the topic of Citizen Participation and Local Activism.

Within the “Europe through Our Eyes” program, the fifth session of professional development for 21 teachers of Civic Education was held on 29th September in Belgrade. Teachers from Belgrade, Novi Sad, Pancevo and Uzice talked about zero tolerance in schools and prepared to process the same theme in their classrooms with the aim to educate students about the concept of zero tolerance as a possible solution to reduce violence in schools. 20


The first one was held in the neighbourhood of Sasova in Banska Bystrica. The community organised a festival called “Leto v Haji” (Summer in the Haji park). The aim was to get the citizens outside of their homes and to bring attention to the Haji – a small abandoned park in the heart of the community. On the 20th September, a week before the festival, CKO was in the main square of Banska Bystrica at the Market of Non-governmental Organizations to promote its activities. The day after, as part of the volunteers’ day, children from schools actively invited people to the festival and undertook some research about the local Community Centre. On the 21st September, more than 60 pupils were involved in this activity and were spread around the neighbourhood. On 25th September, in order to bring attention to the activities being held in the park the festival organizing team marked the area with tape saying “I don´t like this”. This was part of a nationwide initiative to encourage people to think about the areas they would like to change in their surroundings. From the 27 th September the citizens had a chance to change the park themselves. Together they prepared the park for the festival, voluntarily tidying it and collecting rubbish. For three days the park was full of people and a variety of different activities were held and were attended by citizens from various age groups. Thematic discussions were held every day to enable citizens to discuss the most important issues related to the neighbourhood. All activities were organized in cooperation with local institutions and organizations. During the CPW, more than 1000 citizens got together, participated in activities and had fun while also getting to know each other and their own potential within the community. There were many positive reactions with people showing an interest in not just participating in next year’s CPW but on a more permanent basis. The festival got noticed as “the first community festival in Slovakia” and was a big success, involving numerous volunteers and citizens from the neighbourhood, as well attracting people from nearby towns and villages. The second successful neighbourhood activity was organised by ‘Initiative Zvolen Zapad’ within their neighbourhood. The activities in Zvolen were held over the entire week and were far-reaching. Between the 22nd and 30th September activists from the initiative organised the redevelopment of a playground in the neighbourhood, sponsored by the City of Zvolen. A number of discussions were held on the topic ‘Dogs in the neighbourhood’ as well a discussion between primary school pupils, the vice mayor of the city and several members of the local government and local NGOs where problems and potential solution were highlighted. A discussion was also held on safety in the neighbourhood with local citizens, representatives of the city police and the vice mayor present. As a result of the dialogue between the local government and citizens a new playground for dogs was opened and shows that co-operation between citizens and local government is possible. Lastly, on the Sunday, a social game was organised ‘Man – don’t be angry’ where players including citizens, members of the local government, police representatives, teachers, scouts etc. participated as live markers on a very large game board made especially for the event. 22

SLOVENIA Institute for Electronic Participation Already third year in a row, Institute for Electronic Participation took part in the Citizens Participation Week 2012 by presenting possibilities and advantages of using internet for civic participation, activism and community building at the LUPA NGOs festival in Ljubljana.

A the stand of the Institute for Electronic Participation (INePA), hosted by Centre for Information Service, Co-operation and Development of NGOs (CNVOS) as a part of the non-governmental organization festival LUPA, visitors and passers-by were informed about e-participation and e-democracy presented in INePA brochure well Puzzled by Policy project aiming to provide citizens with an engaging and easy-to-use on-line platform, where they can learn about and give their voice to policy issues concerning immigration in the European Union.

UKRAINE Regional Development Agency At the end of September (24. – 30. 2012) in the Donbass region Citizens Participation Week was organised. This year RDA “Donbass” with four partner organizations in local communities Rassypnoye, Krasny Luch, Olkhovatka and Bryanka organized practical informational forums in the format of OPEN SPACE. Open Space meeting is a new form of citizen activation in small, local and predominantly rural communities. Open Space Technology is one way to enable all kinds of people, in any kind of organization, to create inspired meetings and events. 23

In Open Space meetings and events, participants create and manage their own agenda of parallel working sessions around a central theme of strategic importance, such as: What is the strategy, group, organization or community that all stakeholders can support and work together to create? This year for the Open Space meetings during Citizen Participation Week the chosen topic was “My initiatives in solving local key problems”.

CITIZEN PARTICIPATION STUDY The first phase of the study was completed by the end of 2011 and in 2012 we launched the second phase. This will enable us to produce a document which can be published and promoted during the 2013 European Year of the Citizen. It has been agreed that the introduction will be extended, additional country chapters will be added and six crosscutting chapters that address issues raised in the country chapters will be included. The conclusion will also be updated.

Approximately 450 people took part in OS meetings within selected communities. R Re esu sultts we sult w e prepared into outcomes and protocols from the different groups Results were acco ac cord co rdin rd i g tto the locally identified problems i.e. homelessness, health care for the in according elderly, improvements in primary education, improvement in rural infrastructure, roads and water supplies and local unemployment. In November 2012 the manual “Open Space – a tool for al leaders citizen activation” will be published for local in Ukrainian.

CEE CN E -PARTICIPATION Since 2009 CEE CN has established itself as a key regional civil society network, promoting and using the internet to strengthen democratic participation, civil dialogue, citizen activism, community building and grass-roots campaigning. The main activities, which are presented below, were implemented in 2012 resulting in better online involvement from citizens in activities hosted by the network, as well as establishing an overview of the needs of our members and subsequently prioritising and planning e-participation activities for the upcoming year. О 1. E-participation study The second stage of the online survey “Do you e-participate?” was implemented from January to April 2012 with the aim of establishing an overview of the preferences and needs regarding the use of internet tools for democratic participation among the members of the CEE CN. 20 member organizations and individuals took part in the survey and identified the following priorities: О О О О

e-participation education & training to enable the use of e-participation tools on-line social networking & community building projects generation e-participation project ideas on national and international level supporting local projects with e-participation know how

The main recommendations from the second stage of the e-participation study are to focus on strengthening CEE CN e-participation leadership and coordination, enhance the online community building of Citizen Participation Week, provide e-participation training working as part of the Citizen Participation University and upgrade the e-participation information on the CEE CN website. A detailed report from the first stage of the survey is available online at: http://www.inepa.si/images/stories/datoteke/CEE_CN_e-participation_ questionnaire_2011_report.pdf. The overall results of the survey were presented at the Citizen’s Participation University 2012 in Hungary. 24


О 2. E–participation workshop at CPU 2012


In July 2012 an e-participation workshop was organized as part of the Citizen Participation University in Hungary. The workshop introduced recent conceptual and applied developments on the use of internet in orderr to strengthen democratic participation by non-governmental organizations. The second part of the workshop focused on presenting results from the stage of the CEE CN e-participation study as well as case studies from the European e-participation project Puzzled by Policy.


Presentations from the workshop are available on-line at: http://www.ceecn.net/ citizen-participation-week/cpw-2012.

Founded in 2008, the mission of the European Community Organizing Network (ECON) is to promote, support, and expand community organizing in Europe. With members in 9 countries ECON provides training, consultations, and other resources to organizations wanting to implement community organizing. In 2012 ECON continued to promote and develop community organizing in Europe through participation in a US State Department Professional Development Exchange Program. Through this program 32 young professionals from Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia spent six weeks in the United States where they learnt about community organizing. In return 16 American community organizers visited Europe to learn and also share their experiences. Furthermore, 3 individuals from Hungary, Slovakia, and Germany have been involved in extended community organizing internships in the United States with the Virginia Organizing Project.

О 3. Citizens participation week 2012 In September 2012 the Citizen Participation Week subpage on the CEE CN website was upgraded. CPW Facebook newsfeeds, Google maps of events, country specific Facebook profiles, videos and dissemination materials were added. Also, an archive of previous CPW events was developed. These resources can be found at: http://www.ceecn.net/citizen-participationweek/cpw-2012. During CPW 2012, members of the CEE CN participated in the distribution of activities on Facebook resulting in a considerable increase in CPW’s online community. О 4. Cross–cutting chapter on New Technologies and E–Government As a part of the CEE CN Citizen Participation Study ‘Learning for Local Democracy’, a cross-cutting chapter on New Technologies and e-Government is being prepared. This chapter is aimed at providing information on the use of internet technology as a factor in shaping local participation. Both conceptual aspects and case studies from nongovernmental organizations from across Europe with practical ideas for strengthening ove vern rnme rn ment me ntal nt al o al rgan rga rg local participation will be presented in the chapter. ocaal on online p arti ar tici ti cipa p Report prepared by Simon Delakorda M.Sc., Institute for Electronic Participation Ljubljana, 28th November 2012 26

At the local level, with ECON’s consulting and training assistance, community organizations experienced positive victories in numerous neighborhoods and villages with issues relating to parking, poor infrastructure, public assistance for poor families and improvements in outdoor spaces e.g. parks. In cooperation with a Grundtvig Lifelong Learning Partnership which supported site visits, two conferences, and the sharing of best practices, ECON described community organizing and these local accomplishments in a “Handbook on Citizens Participation – Community Organizing as a Tool of Enhancing Citizens Participation.” Also with assistance from ECON, community organizing began working in Budapest, Hungary and Katowice, Poland. Groups in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine received training in 2012 and are seeking funding to begin work. ECON’s partnership with the Center for Community Change based in Washington, DC has supported three visits a year by American community organizers, trainers and consultants since 2009. This partnership will continue into 2013, focusing on the challenges facing community organizing in Europe – namely the building of long-term, multi-issue, and sustainable community organizations with democratic decision-making processes, as well as, increased fundraising capacity. 27

In April 2012 the “Friends of ECON” was formed consisting of Americans seeking cooperation with ECON members around themes and strategies of mutual interest. At ECON’s Annual Meeting in October 2012 the membership team voted to join the European Platform for Active Citizens and also to identify and work on themes of mutual interest with CEECN and CEBSD. Photo caption #1 – Staff and volunteers from the Resource Center for Public Participation (CeRe) celebrate the major renovation of a family and children’s park won through community organizing in Bucharest’s Callatis neighborhood. Photo caption #2 – Members of Forum Community Organizing (FOCO) and local community organizing projects speak to the Social Committee of German Parliament about the need to reform and improve Germany’s public assistance program for poor families.

EPAC — European Platform for Active Citizens

While we share many values and aims, we recognize the differences in our approaches. We agree however that through our complementary approaches we could make a larger impact and achieve our common goals. This is why in 2012 we agreed to form the European Platform for Active Citizens (EPAC) as a vehicle to unite our efforts. We organized the following events enabling the leaders of these Networks to discuss a long term plan of future cooperation: О Joint meeting of CEE CN, CEBSD and ECON leadership groups January 18 – 19, Budapest, Hungary О Launching the European Platform for Active Citizens July 10, during CPU in Kunbabony, Hungaryy О First EPAC meeting October 3 – 7, Orebro, Sweden

PARTNERSHIP IN OTHER PROJECTS ECTS WTD – Working Together for Development project

The Central and Eastern European Citizens Network (CEE CN), the European Community Development Network (CEBSD) and the European Community Organizing Network (ECON) have a history of working together in building the capacity of citizens to be active players in the public life/sphere. The three networks share many values. They also have a belief that democracy is about a “shared community of people” and is capable of delivering better lives for them. We agreed that an enormous democratic potential exists and that it includes an understanding that everyone is capable of participating. But we also agreed that we are far from accomplishing a democratic ideal. There is a realization that this requires an investment of effort, creativity, and resources to achieve the potential of empowering citizens and building stronger communities able to be proactive in their development.

CEE CN is a partner in the Working Together for Development (WTD) project implemented by the Association of Local Democracy Agencies (ALDA). This is a 30-months project which aims to foster the role of local authorities associations and civil society networks in the field of development; enhancing their capacities to act as development agents inside and outside of Europe, partnering with the European Institutions in the implementation of the EC development policies. WTD Alliance Trainings on Decentralized Cooperation and European Development Days 2012, 15th – 17th October, Brussels, Belgium In the framework of the EU-funded project “WTD – Working Together for Development”, ALDA, in partnership with 21 international partners and associates from 16 different countries of the enlarged Europe organized a training session on the Decentralised Cooperation and a WTD creative café session during the European Development Days EE CN at this event in Brussels s. 2012. Chuck Hirt and Lucian Zuleanu represented CEE Brussels. ct “Action and Reflection for Engaged Citizens” project One of our Romanian members, CeRe (the Resource Centre for Public Participation) invited us to be a partner in their project funded by the European Commission through the Europe for Citizens program. Through this program we analyzed the current state of citizen participation in 4 EU countries (Belgium, Romania, Slovakia and Poland) and recommendations were put forward in order to increase citizen involvement in local public decision-making.




Citizens Network received EU Operating Grant In 2012 the Citizens Network received support from the European Commission through the Europe for Citizens Program. The operating grant ensured funding to support all the planned activities for the year. Furthermore, this year our organization was chosen for a monitoring visit which took place at the end of November. This gave us an opportunity to discuss our activities and projects with an EACEA representative as well as visiting two of local citizen groups which we are helping to build as a result of the funding from the operating grant. Support for our administrative office We received additional help this past year thanks to cooperation with KABA Slovakia and their full-time vocational training, funded by the European Leonardo da Vinci Programme. During the latter part of 2012, Nathalie Kopecky undertook a 10 week placement with us. During spring 2012 Irina Pop undertook an internship with CEE CN as part of her master’s studies at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, at the Erfurt University, in Germany. Membership The following organizations are no longer members of our Network because they could not (for different reasons) fulfill the CEE CN membership standard requirements including the payment of the membership fee: О Community Foundation Sibiu — ROMANIA О Institute for Social and Humanistic Initiatives — RUSSIA О Association of Economic Development of Ivano-Frankivsk — UKRAINE О Ukrprostir NGO — UKRAINE On the other side we now have seven new members from organizations which approached us due to association with an existing member: О Estonian Village Movement Kodukant — ESTONIA О DARTKE Association — HUNGARY О Social Economy Development Foundation — ROMANIA О Mehedinteanca Association — ROMANIA О “MilleniuM” Training and Development Institute — MOLDOVA О Regional Foundation for Local Development “Zamah” — CROATIA О Center for Rural Initiatives — CROATIA We believe that our membership will continue to grow and stablise and we are still open to new members from the CEE region especially in countries where we currently have no members. To see the updated membership list please go to page pages nr. 33 – 35 of this report or visit our website http://www.ceecn.net/membership/listofmembers. 30



CEE CN members

X founders of the Network


Urban Research Institute www.uri.org.al


MILLENNIUM – Association for Education and Research www.millennium.am Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation www.acgrc.am


Centers for Civic Initiatives X www.ccibh.org


Sustainable Development Association – SDA www.sda-bg.org


Center for Civil Initiatives www.cci.hr Organization for Civil Initiatives www.ogi.hr Regional Foundation for Local Development “Zamah” www.zamah.hr Center for Rural Initiatives


Center for Community Organizing X www.cpkp.cz Agora Central Europe, o.p.s. www.agora-ce.cz


Estonian Village Movement Kodukant www.kodukant.ee


International Association „Civitas Georgica“ www.civitas.ge


Hungarian Association for Community Development www.kka.hu Civil College Foundation www.civilkollegium.hu Csaba Madarasz – individual member www.madaraszcsaba.info Cromo Foundation http://cromo.hu Dartke Association www.dartke.hu




Biljana Zashova – individual member


NGOs Support Centre OWOP www.owop.org.pl


Center of Social Innovations www.csi.by.com Education Center „POST“ www.post.adukatur.net


TERRA – 1530 www.terra1530.md ”MilleniuM” Training and Development Institute www.millenium.md


Pro Democracy Association Brasov Branch X www.apd.ro Asociatia CRONO www.crono.org.ro Association for Community Partnership Braşov Foundation PACT www.fundatiapact.ro CREST Resource Center www.crest-center.org Resource Center for Public Participation www.ce-re.ro Social Economy Development Foundation www.fdes.ro Mehedinteanca Association


Citizen Foundation http://nfst.mccinet.ru


Civic Initiatives www.gradjanske.org


Center for Community Organizing X www.cko.sk


CNVOS www.cnvos.si INePA – Institute for Electronic Participation www.inepa.eu


Regional Development Agency www.ard.dn.ua 35



Tuzla Community Foundation Forum Community Organizing (FOCO) Hungarian Anti-Poverty Network Civil College Foundation Association of Citizens with Initiative Craion Contact Cahul Bona Fides Resource Center for Public Participation Romanian Association for Counseling and Support Center for Community Organizing (CCO) St. Johannes Parish Norrkoping Opora L’viv

Financial Report 2012



Income 2012

Operating grant European Commision

95 601,06

C. S. Mott Foundation

38 586,62


Expenses 2012 48 311,47

Annual training

4 682,32


5 388,89

Coordination of Network

5 353,00

Open Society Fundation

14 247,49

10 276,15


14 433,21

Training and Consulting Visits with Local ECON Partners

Total income

168 257,27 €

Local comunity organizing Translations Translation of study and other materials Cooperation with CEBSD Services and meeting

BUDGET ITEM Awareness of Citizens Web-site maintenance fee

Expenses 2012 3 362,81 822,00

Printed materials

2 540,81

Citizens Participation Week

3 892,67

Promotion materials and local actions costs Studies Study for Cere Citizens Participation Study

Leadership of Network

28 000,00 2 670,00 2 670,00 7 115,44 7 115,44 7 961,23

Regional Coordination

1 997,00

Coordinating and representative team meetings

5 964,23

— Travel and travel insurance

4 315,33

— Accommodation

1 648,90


64 078,69

— Executive salary

14 700,00

15 200,00

— Network Coordinator

13 884,00

2 800,00

— Financial Manager

14 326,00

3 892,67

12 400,00

— Office supplies and equipment

1 511,01

2 000,00

— Rent

5 411,86

E-participation pilot project

2 000,00

— Audit

2 000,00

Citizens Participation University

16 334,96

— Communication (internet, post, phones)

1 829,34


— Travel and travel insurance

3 662,03

— Accommodation and meals

12 210,86

— Materials 38


Travel and subsistance – staff Total expenses

10 416,48

168 257,27 € 39


We would like to thank the donors who have provided support in 2012 year and made our work possible: C.S. Mott Foundation European Commission German Marshal Fund Open Society Foundation Slovakia

We would also like to thank all members for their contributions in form of the membership fee and especially to the NGOs Support Centre OWOP, Poland and Civil College Foundation, Hungary for hosting CEE CN activities in 2012.

For information about how you can help support the Central and Eastern European Citizens Network in general or a specific activity, send an e-mail to ceecn@ ceecn.net or contact the administrative oďŹƒce at the address listed on the back of this report. Thank you.

For more information about members and activities of CEE CN check the web site: www.ceecn.net. 40

Administrative office CEE Citizens Network Kapitulská 13 974 01 Banská Bystrica, Slovakia Phone: 00421 | 48 | 412 38 80 E-mail: ceecn@ceecn.net www.ceecn.net Chuck Hirt – director | chuck@ceecn.net Máté Varga – co-director | matev@kkapcsolat.hu Anna Karailieva – coordinator | anna@ceecn.net Eva Havlikova – financial manager | eva@ceecn.net Jaro Huba – web master | hubajaro@gmail.com Written by: Team of authors Editors: Anna Karailieva and Nathalie Kopecky Photos: CEE CN members, Anna Karailieva and Nathalie Kopecky Illustrations: Pavol Borodovčák Design and Production: Graphic studio Inak | www.inak.sk Printing: PRESS GROUP, Banská Bystrica