Network 23 Commentary on the draft model for the involvement of CSOs in the negotiations with the EU


Network 23 Commentary on the draft model for the involvement of CSOs in the negotiations with the EU

Network 23 submitted comments on the draft model for inclusion of civil society organizations in the accession negotiations for EU membership.

The proposed model of participation of CSOs in the accession negotiations for membership in the European Union is proposed without knowing the institutional structure of the negotiations, as well as the full national procedure for the negotiations. Such an approach makes it impossible to perceive and conceive the role of the civil sector in the whole process, which is why there is a great risk of neglecting many aspects of the negotiations.

Therefore, we think that the Government, in cooperation with the civil sector, should propose a wider platform for participation of the civil sector in the negotiations, in all its phases. Moreover, the responsibility for participation should be transferred to the CSOs themselves to a greater extent, which should enable wider debate, as well as articulation of possible different interests, opinions and contributions in the negotiation process. It should be taken into consideration that several networks of CSOs have already been established for certain chapters or negotiation issues, which already have extensive experience and practice, which can be a significant contribution to the negotiation process.

A prerequisite for a higher level of involvement of the civil society sector is to ensure the transparency of the process, with understandable, but predictable limitations in certain phases. Past experience, despite the publicly expressed will for cooperation and openness, shows non-transparency, while in the meantime the explanatory screening for several chapters has already been conducted, including the Chapter 23. Therefore, we emphasize the need for timely information, substantial transparency and explanations from the institutions, especially in the cases of non-acceptance of the arguments given by the civil society organizations. The CSOs - members of the working groups should not only have timely and comprehensive access to information and documents, but should also be able to attend all meetings, including meetings abroad, in order to be thoroughly informed with the process and to be able to make a substantial contribution, rather than being consulted on an ad-hoc basis, without sufficient information and insight into the process.

Therefore, we believe that at this stage, more options for participation of the civil sector in the negotiations should be discussed, as an alternative to the existing proposal for involvement of the civil sector only through representatives in the working groups for the negotiations, whose competencies are not yet known.

The full text and specific comments are in the document below.

Signatures of the document are members of Network 23:
  •     Association Zenith;
  •     Association of financial workers of the local self-government and public enterprises, Veles.
  •     European Policy Institute - Skopje;
  •     Institute for Human Rights;
  •     Coalition All for Fair Trial;
  •     Macedonian Young Lawyers Association;
  •     Multikultura, Tetovo;
  •     NGO KHAM Delcevo;
  •     Freedom Square;
  •     Council for Prevention against Juvenile Delinquency (SPPMM), Kavadarci;

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 Network 23 Commentary on the draft model for the involvement of CSOs in the negotiations with the EU