This report was compiled for the European Economic and Social Committee at the request of the Diversity Europe Group by a consortium of four partners - European Civic Forum, Civil Society Europe, European Center for Not-for-Profit Law and the Institute of Public Affairs. It examines how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the work of civil society organisations (CSOs) across Europe. It also focuses on how solutions implemented in individual EU Member States have impacted CSOs' ability to exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms.
The report is based on in-depth analysis of existing studies and reports, a survey, 29 expert interviews and three focus groups. It showcases a number of ways in which the pandemic has affected the functioning of civil society organisations in the EU. The observations emerging from the different stages of the research were characterised by a high degree of consistency, validating the picture depicted.
Finally, the study investigates possible policies at EU and national level to address the challenges identified and includes recommendations on how to implement them.