Thursday, 22.11.2018 - Nicosia

Discussion: The right to Freedom of Association: status and challenges in Europe and Cyprus - Nicosia

In cooperation with the Civil Society Advocates, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) was honoured to co-host a roundtable discussion on the current situation regarding the Freedom of Association in Europe and Cyprus on November 22 in Nicosia. The discussion was commenced by an input of Mr. Luben Panov from the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law.

Photo: © FES-Cyprus

Freedom of association is a core human right and the foundation of a strong civil society. Europe has long been viewed as the place where civic freedoms were ensured and civil society could thrive. And while this is still the case in many countries, in many others people’s fundamental rights are challenged and civic freedoms are under threat. In Cyprus, where civil society has a relatively weak base, the current legal and policy framework is not enabling for civil society.

Issues on restrictions and in some cases threats to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) were as well raised as questions on how law and policies should encourage civic participation and facilitate the engagement of CSOs in public affairs. Moreover it was discussed which actions the EU is taking in order to protect civic freedoms and which kind of problems besides the lack of financial sustainability CSOs in Cyprus are facing.

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