Over 430 NGO Representatives File an Appeal to Government

Total Croatia News

NGOs want the government to change its attitude towards civil society.

Representatives of more than 435 civil society organizations today filed individual demands with the government to preserve the existing model of support to civil society. They were motivated by the government’s recent decision related to the allocation of revenues from the lottery for 2016 which, according to the associations, endangers not only the already existing support networks, but also the very survival of many organizations which provide direct social services to the most vulnerable groups in society, reports Večernji List on May 9, 2016.

They said that the existing institutional model of civil society development was a good example and role model in quality and transparency. Therefore, the 435 associations from all over Croatia urged the government to respect the already existing model of support through the Office for Non-Governmental Organizations, the National Foundation for Civil Society Development and the Council for Development of Civil Society. They urged the government to respect democratic procedures, public dialogue, and principles of creating public policy and to not make decisions that are contrary to the fundamental principles and good practices of societal development at the level of the European Union and the Council of Europe.

Mirela Travar from the Initiative for a Strong Civil Society said that they were motivated by the events in the past month. “The government adopted a decree which drastically reduced funding for civil society development in Croatia. The decision was made in a way that ignored the dialogue. We are concerned that this decree is not the only thing which might be changed, since currently the Managing Board of the National Foundation for Civil Society Development is being blocked. There are also rumors that the Law on Lottery Funding would abolish money for NGOs completely”, said Travar.

The representatives of the associations began filing their individual appeals at 11 am and several hours later the column of activists was still stretching across the St. Mark’s Square, in front of the government’s building.


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