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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.
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)
The EEA Financial Mechanism (2009-2014) have committed € 160,4 million to support seventeen NGO Programmes in sixteen countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Spain. The overall objective of the EEA Grants NGO Programmes is strengthened civil society development and enhanced contribution to social justice, democracy and sustainable development in each of the beneficiary countries. As of 30 of June 2014, 957 projects in total of € 53,793,561 have been supported mainly in the fields of democracy, citizen participation, human rights, social justice and empowerment, sustainable development and provision of basic welfare services. The mid-term evaluation of the NGO Programmes funded by the EEA Financial Mechanism (2009- 2014) is an independent formative evaluation. Its objective was two-fold: 1) to assess the progress and needs for improvement of the current Programmes, and 2) to inform policies for the next financial period. The main purpose of this evaluation was to provide an expert independent mid-term assessment of the contribution of the EEA Grants 2009-2014 to the NGO sectors in the beneficiary states operating NGO Programmes. The evaluation was of dual nature: (1) of a formative evaluation to identify progress and needs for improvement of the current Programmes and (2) of a forward oriented strategic review to inform policies for the next financial period.
This is the the 18th edition of Freedom House's comprehensive report on post-communist democratic governance -- highlights recent setbacks to democracy across Eurasia and the Balkans, as well as in Central Europe. Russia served as the model and inspiration for policies that have led to an uninterrupted retreat from free institutions throughout Eurasia and in 2013 brought a new and alarming level of repression. In Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and several other countries, civil society responded with remarkable resistance to repressive governance. The year also featured improved elections and peaceful transfers of power in Kosovo, Albania, and Georgia.
Migration Policy Institute;
The immigrant population in the Czech Republic has grown considerably over the past 15 years, more than doubling since 2000. The 2000s also brought significant changes to the Czech labor market, and to the profile of migrants coming to the country and settling for the long term -- not least because of significant institutional and policy changes resulting from accession to the European Union, as well as the arrival of the economic crisis at the end of the decade. This changing political and economic climate coincides with substantial fluctuations in immigrants' economic outcomes.
This report presents detailed labor market outcomes for immigrant groups in the Czech Republic, focusing on trends according to year of arrival, country of origin, gender, level of education, and sector of employment. The analysis, based on data from the Czech Labor Force Survey, suggests that the challenge of reducing obstacles to immigrant workers' progression into more skilled employment are worth significant policy attention. The report is part of a series that explores the labor market integration of new immigrants in several European Union countries.
This report explores how mobile services provided by Vodafone and the Vodafone Foundation are enabling women to seize new opportunities and improve their lives. Accenture Sustainability Services were commissioned to conduct research on the services and to assess their potential social and economic impact if they were widely available across Vodafone's markets by 2020.
It showcases the projects and the work of those involved and also poses the question -- what would the benefit to women and to society at large be if projects such as these were taken to scale and achieved an industrialscale of growth? This reflects the Foundation's commitment not solely to the development of pilots but rather the Trustees' ambition to see projects which lead to transformational change.
In order to understand this more deeply, the Report looks at the benefits for women and society and providessome financial modelling for how the engagement of commercial players could achieve industrial, sustainable growth in these areas. Accenture has provided the modelling and, given the public benefit and understanding which the report seeks to generate, these are shared openly for all in the mobile industry to understand and share. It is the Trustees' hope that the collaboration with Oxford University and Accenture in the delivery of this Report will stimulate not only the expansion of existing charitable programmes but will also seed other philanthropic, social enterprise or commercial initiatives.
Open Society Foundations;
The situation of the Roma minority is one of the Czech Republic's most urgent social and human rights problems. The Czech Republic seeks to address this complex problem with a wide range of activities. The overall direction of the Czech Republic's integration policy is defined in two strategic documents: the Concept for Roma Integration 2010-2013 and the Strategy for Combating Social Exclusion 2011-2015. The former document has at the same time the status of the Czech Republic's National Strategy for Roma Inclusion (NSRI), as it was translated and sent to Brussels in response to the European Commission's request to all member states to develop national strategies for Roma inclusion.
Initiated by the Decade of Roma Inclusion Secretariat Foundation and written by a coalition of Czech non-governmental organisations (NGOs), this report is intended to provide an independent assessment of the Czech Republic's progress in achieving the goal of Roma inclusion as defined in the Concept for Roma Integration/Czech NSRI. Focussing on six topics: education, employment, health, housing, anti discrimination, and structural requirements, the European Commission provided the member states with feedback on their strategies and made recommendations as to how the strategies could be improved. With a view to providing additional feedback from the perspective of civic society organisations, the Decade Secretariat decided that the independent civic society reports would focus on the same topics.
Due to this decision, this report does not cover all the dimensions of Roma integration that are covered by the Czech Concept for Roma Integration, which also includes chapters on the support of Roma identity and culture. However, the decision to limit this report to the social, economic and legal aspects of Roma integration should in no way be interpreted as a disregard for questions related to Roma identity and empowerment. On the contrary, the authors demonstrate throughout the report how the hitherto applied integration strategies fail to give the Roma communities a chance to participate actively in the process of integration. One of the most important challenges for the coming years will be to develop funding mechanisms that will be more accessible for Roma and to introduce better mechanisms for the participation of Roma in decision-making.
The first part of this summary follows the report's thematic structure. In the case of each of the six thematic chapters a few key messages will be highlighted. The full text of this report provides more comprehensive information on particular policies and programmes. The second part of this summary has been used to draw attention to three particular cross-sectoral challenges which have surfaced in many of the thematic chapters.