Consultative meetings "We share a common vision for the strategic partnership, in Vlora, Pogradec and Tirana"
7, 8 and 9 October 2014
Having the goal of starting and developing a fruitful and successful cooperation between ASCS and Civil Society; ASCS has undertaken:
Consultative meetings on 7th, 8th and 9th October 2014; respectively in Vlora, Pogradec and Tirana under the motto:
"We share a common vision for the strategic partnership"
As part of the development of medium and long term strategy, in order to fulfill its mission, ASCS has gathered information and opinions from different actors and factors operating in the field of civil society.
Believing that the empowerment of civil society is an important tool in the relationship between citizens and institutions, the ASCS has been determined to be an active promoter of a healthy climate for independence, effectiveness and sustainability of civil society.
This extensive consultative process with the civil society had successfully achieved the aim, namely the initiation of new legal initiatives, as well as their monitoring and evaluation. The CSOs of the respective areas, according to the agenda had the opportunity to give their concrete input for initiating new legal initiatives, as well as their monitoring and evaluation.
The interest of CSOs in these consultative meetings was proved to be great, having a broad participation by nearly more than 120 representatives of CSOs.
This series of consultative meetings initiated by the ASCS has been the first and will continue with a second cycle that will cover the northern part of Albania.
To facilitate the expression of their own opinions, we previously distributed electronically and in hard copy a short questionnaire. They had answered and summarized their ideas and then became part of the discussion at the event, but will also be on the agenda of ASCS work.
The participants appreciated the initiative of the Agency for the Support of Civil Society as an important instrument of dialogue between civil society and state institutions.
Referring to the main issues rose by representatives of civil society during the meetings, there were identified the areas where cooperation between ASCS and civil society will be focused:
- Strengthening the role of the ASCS
- Strengthening the lobbying position of ASCS, e.g. contribution should be given on the removal of VAT for CSOs, that’s to say, legislative changes concerning the VAT law on CSOs need to be done
- Strengthening the role of the Supervisory Board of ASCS in terms of representation and dependence:
ASCS is facing the challenge of improving its image. A legal initiative needs to be undertaken to increase volunteerism and capacity building.
Data updating of the current registry of SCOs, because a large number of CSOs are not active any more. Information must be collected to see how many people are employed by this sector.
Strengthening the capacity and role of the organizations (civil society)
- By increasing the representation in the Supervisory Board of the members from civil society and reducing the representation of members from the government and state institutions (The Board must be strengthened and have less members from government representatives. It must have some more members from civil society and some representatives from the parliamentary assembly.
- Reducing the dependence of the Supervisory Board from the Government (It must be a structure that is not dependent on the Government, but above the Government).
- To increase the role of the ASCS by adjusting the legal framework for regulated professions.
- Fees of the based services for non-profit organizations are costly, so facilities need to be undertaken
- Facilities must be undertaken through lowering the costs for the basic services which will lead to the lowering of the costs for the total budget of CSOs.
- A special attention should be given to the vulnerable groups, to the poorest
- Strengthening the grassroots organizations, building their capacities
- ASCS should grant projects to see how the conflict of interest is applied
- Reintegration of the Albanian migrants who choose to live and work in their country by promoting civil society actors to encourage the young generation towards the labor market, because being unemployed they feel pessimistic;
- Civil society should cooperate with public administration
- There should be more transparency from all civil society actors including the ASCS
- Creating a successful model for volunteerism
- Civil Society should be the initiator of all initiatives
- Capacity building for all the groups of the civil society that have as their mission social services
- Special attention should be paid to persons with disabilities
- Innovation problems must be treated and included.
- Training of representatives of CSOs to better understanding and implementing of the European legislation
- Bringing together our legislation with that of the EU, in all areas, and specifically, that of civil society
- Active participation of civil society in the parliamentary committees
- Attempts should be made to make null all the taxes wrongfully charged by the tax system at the expense of CSOs.
- Establishment of joint regional forums (Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, etc.) concerning schoolbooks, education etc..