Civil society is considered to be a corner stone of democratic governance, human rights and social cohesion in Europe. Yet, civil society actors are under tough pressure in several European countries. Attacks, smear campaigns and delegitimization of human rights organisations have become everyday occurrences and human rights defenders run an increasingly high risk for the work that they carry out. Nevertheless, we still see some glimpse of hope.
Norway, together with Iceland and Lichtenstein, has, through the EEA and Norway Grants, allocated 200 million euros for the development of independent civil societies in 15 European countries. Is financial support enough to solve the problem? And how does the future of the European civil society look like?
- Niels Engelschiøn, Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of Financial Mechanism Committee
- Tina Divjak, Head of advocacy at CNVOS (Slovenia)
- Vera Móra, Director at Ökotárs Foundation (Hungary)
- Stein Runar Østigaard, International Coordinator at Oslo Pride (Norway)
- Csilla Czimbalmos, Senior Adviser at the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (moderator)
The debate is a part of a series of events marking the 25th anniversary of the EEA agreement.