On May 28, 2019 in Skopje, the closing conference was held on the project " Improving the Macedonian CSO’s active participation in decision-making process through the empowerment of grass-root CSO’s " or abbreviated title ACTIVE CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS which has been implemented, starting from 1st of February 2017 until the closing conference, by the Foundation for Sustainable Economic Development PREDA Plus, together with the ASB supported by the European Union.
The main mechanism for supporting and strengthening small grass-root civil society organizations was through the Small Grants Program, with the slogan "Activate".
20 civil society organizations implemented activities in 27 municipalities across the country and thus contributed to the communities where they operate.
The purpose of small grants was to strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations and to provoke a change or solution to some economic or social problems in the community. The topics were from different sectors, from youth activism, to fire services, tourism, crafts, young farmers, etc.
Through the numbers we will show an overview of the activities:
20 CSOs conducted activities by organizing 47 public debates for 31 problems affecting the citizens, 1038 citizens involved in the project, 33 surveys of 2063 respondents were made in the project, 11 memorandums for cooperation with the public sector were signed, and 1052 citizens received skills for involvement in policy creation and decision making processes.
We enabled mentoring, participation in national conferences, study tours in Germany, numerous trainings and internships in Croatia.
We have held the event at a special place called Umbrella, which employs people with disabilities and helps them to grow economically. So the site has an important silliness for our social responsibility.
The project aimed to emphasize the need for civil society involvement to introduce policies and decisions of central and local government in practice by ensuring the participation of representatives of civil society organizations. The bottom-up approach was used to organize national and regional civil society organizations networks / coalitions by defining the common interest of newly established and civil society organizations.
The conclusion is clear, the strengthened civil society can play an important role in participative democracy, especially when dealing with problems related to economic and social development. Civil society actors and organizations can make a significant contribution by referring to many of these problems by lobbying, disseminating and overseeing activities at national, regional and local level. Also, the involvement of civil society in the pre-accession process in Macedonia can contribute to increasing the civic understanding of the reforms that a country should implement to qualify for EU membership.
At the closing conference, a memorandum of cooperation was signed by PREDA Plus and 10 civil society organizations that participated in this project, so that their cooperation continues.