Forum on State of Civil Society and Civic Space in Europe

The state of civil society in Europe and the struggling civic space is in the focus of the gathering. We aim at involving the best of the knowledge, insights of trends, experiences from real watchdog activities and solutions used so far for responding to populism, polarisation and repressions on civic action across the Europe. Discussions analyze European trends, but compare these also with the Estonian context; practical workshops provide an opportunity to share best practices from different European countries as well as understand the role organised civil society has when protecting values and practices of democracy.

Detailed AGENDA

When: November 16

Where: Erinevate Tubade Klubi. Tallinn, Telliskivi 60a

10.00 Registration and coffee

10.30 Opening words by Mr. Eiki Nestor, President of the Parliament of Estonia

10.50 – 11.45 What is the state of civil society in Europe? Recent assessments, facts and conclusions.  

11.45 – 12.405 Discussion: how can civil society address the threats?

Representatives of European civil society networks and institutions argument on how civil society can protect its space. What can be done by each organisation, what is the role of networks.

  • Civil Society Europe
  • Open Government Partnership
  • European Economic and Social Committee

12.45 – 13.45 Lunch

13.45 – 15.15 Won’t stand without action!

We have an honor to introduce outstanding initiatives and activists in civil society who have not just observed social trends, but have taken action.  Three parallel sessions with moderated discussions provide an opportunity to learn from each other and discuss resources, strengths and methods of civil society.

I Countering populism

Post-truth era, populism, leaders with radical views and messages. How can civil society oppose the trend and build constructive dialogue in governance and social relations?

II Protecting the freedom of association

Right to engage in free speech or to participate in associations is closely dependent on the environment for cooperating in communities and society at large. What can civil society do if restrictions set by the government start to harm civil society?

  • Ms. Dora Papp, Krétakör Foundation
  • Mr. Urmo Kübar, Civil Society Adviser to the President of Estonia

III Mobilising people

Civil society is about dialogue, collaboration and joint action. How can we mobilise people to address concerns?

15.15-15.30 Coffee

15.30 – 16.00 Final word: role of civil society in protecting democratic values and civic space