Civil society support and funding in the area of fundamental rights, the rule of law and democracy (SOC/762)

EESC, JDE61 & online - Tuesday, 4 April 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 01.00 p.m.

Civil Society Organisations active on fundamental rights, the rule of law, and democracy are confronted with increasing difficulties, from regulatory challenges to financial constraints and concerted attacks on their work and credibility. At the hearing, the EESC intends to engage with CSOs and other relevant stakeholders to identify the main issues they face and propose ways of improving support. The hearing will feed into the opinion, which will have a particular focus on EU funding.


09.30 a.m. - 10.00 a.m. | Log on to platform / Interactio testing for speakers

10.00 a.m. - 10.20 a.m. | Welcome and introduction

  • Helena de Felipe Lehtonen, EESC Study Group President
  • Valeria Setti, Deputy Head of Unit 'Programmes and Financial Management (JUST.H.3)', European Commission Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers

10.20 a.m. - 11.15 a.m. | Panel I – Political, legal and operational support

Moderator: Claudiu Craciun, Advisor to the EESC Rapporteur

  • Carlotta Besozzi, Coordinator, Civil Society Europe
  • Eszter Hartay, Program Director, European Centre for Not-for-Profit Law on line
  • Yolanda Besteiro de la Fuente, President, Plataforma de ONG de Acción Social (Spain) – on line

Questions and answers

11.15 a.m. - 11.30 a.m. | Break

11.30 a.m. - 12.45 p.m. | Panel II – Funding

Moderator: Filip Pazderski, Advisor to the EESC Co-Rapporteur

  • Leif Trana, Chairman of the Financial Mechanism Committee, Norway/EEA grants – on line
  • Hanna Surmatz, Head of Policy, Philanthropy Europe Association (Philea) 
  • Elisa Peter, Fund Director, Civitates' Fund – on line
  • Stefania Andersen, Director of operations, Civil Society Development Foundation (Romania) – on line
  • Veronika Móra, Director, Hungarian Environmental Partnership Foundation Ökotárs (Hungary) – on line

Questions and answers

12.45 p.m. - 01.00 p.m. | Closing remarks

  • Cristian Pîrvulescu, EESC Rapporteur
  • Ozlem Yildirim, EESC Co-Rapporteur

Interpretation requested from French, English, Spanish and Romanian into French, English, Spanish and Romanian