On 28 and 29 March 2019, a third European Civil Society Academy will be held in Słubice at Collegium Polonicum in Poland on the border with Germany. The aim of the ECA is to bring together activists and leaders of civil society organisations together with academics and researchers to discuss together societal challenges relating to civil society and democracy, as well as building partnerships between the academic world and civil society. The meeting is co-organised with OFOP, the national Polish civil society platform and the European Alliance for Social Sciences and Humanities.
In a context where civic freedoms are challenged in several countries of the European Union, and the emerging of « illiberal » democracies, the rising of populist movements has created a difficult climate for independent civil society organisations. The rule of law is also challenged in a number of countries and European Values are attacked.
A dedicated European Civic Academy will provide CSO leaders and academics with an opportunity to exchange and gain key insights into these developments, as well as concrete tools on how to address them and build resilience within civil society.
The venue of the meeting is of high value for two reasons, being in a country which is currently under review for non-compliance with the rule of law principles and where recent legal and administrative reforms have contributed to a shrinking civic space, but also gathering in a place that is a symbol of Unity and reconciliation in Europe.
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