On February 28, 2022, the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC) with the facilitation of Resource Centres for CSOs in the Balkan, organized a regional forum online with the participation of 70 representatives of civil society organizations, regional networks, international organizations, academia, private sector, media, relevant state institutions and other stakeholders from Northern Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The aim of the regional forum was to discuss the current state of COVID-19 impact on the economy, particularly the social economy, highlighting key issues and challenges faced and measures are undertaken from all stakeholders’ points of view, thus contributing to sharing of experience, promoting of successful practices or adaptability in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
During the regional forum, the key speakers emphasized that it is necessary to build the institutional framework for this type of entrepreneurship and at the same time to strengthen the awareness not only of the institutions but also of the citizens for the benefits of social enterprises. In addition, the speakers concluded that it is necessary to develop knowledge and skills on this topic, especially given that there is no formal education on the topic, at least not in all countries. While acknowledging that COVID-19 has accelerated digitalisation, they point out that, on the other hand, it has exposed the lack of technical skills.
The forum is organised in the frame of the regional project “Fostering regional cooperation and policy responses in time of crisis” implemented by 5 regional organizations serving as Resource Centre for civil society in their respective countries as, Partners Albania for Change and Development, Macedonian Center for International Cooperation, Center for Civic Initiatives, Centre for Development of Non-Governmental Organisations, Civic Initiatives and Kosovar Civil Society Foundation. The project is funded by the Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the USAID.
In the next months, 5 other Regional Thematic Forums will be organised discussing topics such civil society organisations response and adaptability; Voluntarism, solidarity and philanthropy in time of crisis; Access to services during the pandemic, with special focus on marginalised groups; Covid-19 impact on Youth sector and Human rights and access to information.
The next regional forum will be organised on 29 of March, 2022 on “Civil society organisations response and adaptability to Covid-19 situation”.
To participate in the forum https://bit.ly/3IGuT5L