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Begins:   Jun 09, 2005 22:15
Ends:   Jun 11, 2005 

3rd Forum of Civil Society Organizations


Sustainability of Civil Society Organizations in Post-Accession
 Central and Eastern Europe, the CIS, the Balkans and Turkey





              On behalf of the ECA NGO Working Group and the Pontis Foundation,

we are delighted to inform you about the 3rd CSO Forum on

Sustainabilityof the CSO Sector

in Post-Accession Central and Eastern Europe, the CIS, the Balkans and Turkey,

Bratislava, Slovakia, 9 - 11 June 2005



The meeting is convened by the ECA NGO Working Group, under the auspices of the Commission of the European Community, the Government of Slovakia and the World Bank. The preparations for the event are overseen by an Organizing Committee, consisting of representatives of ECA CSOs, foundations and international organizations. The technical and logistical preparations for the event have been entrusted to a local not-for-profit organization, the Pontis Foundation (Slovakia).  


The event will serve three overarching objectives:


  • To build understanding and exchange experiences among CSO leaders, governments, foundations and intergovernmental agencies in regard to the functioning, role and sustainability of the CSO sector in the Region,


  • To promote partnerships among the above mentioned development actors and enhance regional cooperation between the new EU member states and other countries of the Region, and


  • To strengthen networking and promote debate on specific themes within the CSO community in the countries that have recently joined the European Union and those aspiring to join the Union in the future


In addition, it is expected that the event will advance two secondary goals:


  • To foster knowledge sharing and exchange of information on innovative approaches to civic participation in development,


  • To contribute to the development of specific follow-up initiatives that are likely to promote CSO sustainability at the regional and country level.

The Forum will bring together participants from the following four constituencies: (a) civil society representatives from the Region, (b) official donors and development partner organizations, (c) international NGOs and foundations operating in the Region, and (d) local civil society.   In addition, a number of “like-minded” government officials will be invited as presenters/speakers in panel discussions.  


While the meeting will be open to any CSOs from the region interested in the theme (pre-registration will be required for logistical purposes), travel subsidies will be limited to up to five CSO representatives per country. The participants will be selected in a decentralized way through especially established National Selection Committees in each of the countries of the region.


In conjunction with the Forum, a Knowledge Forum (KF) – a fair of the participating organizations and institutions, to present themselves and their projects – will be held. We are, therefore, encouraging all CSOs who will participate in the Forum to bring to Bratislava relevant material and documentation to showcase in Bratislava.   More detailed information on KF will be circulated under separate cover among all confirmed participants in early May. 


Application process


If you would like to participate in the 3rd CSO Forum, please complete the Application Form in a detailed, but concise manner. Please provide a detailed Curriculum Vitae of the prospective participant and be ready for further verification of the information provided.

A small fund for supporting travel and accommodation costs in Bratislava will be available for a limited number of participants. Through a careful review of the Application Forms received, the National Selection Committee (consisting of members of the local donor community and ECA NGO Working Group representative) will strive to allocate these funds in the most appropriate way to ensure maximum representation and diversity of CSOs. Every organization that applies will receive a written answer re the status of their Application and the amount of the travel/accommodation grant (if any). 

Regardless of the amount of travel subsidy granted, each CSO participant will be expected to contribute to the event’s cost in the amount equivalent to the local transportation cost in the city of departure and return.  In other words, the cost of transportation to/from the airport or the train station in the city from which the trip originates will not be eligible for reimbursement.  Transportation from the Vienna and Bratislava airports to downtown Bratislava will be provided by the organizers.


Who may apply:


-          Representatives of non-governmental, non-commercial and non-partisan organizations based in the Region, active in the area of socio-economic development;

-          CSO leaders with established public recognition, engaged in public debate on socio-economic reforms;

-          Manifested knowledge/experience in enhancing the sustainability of the CSO sector in the country concerned;

-          The CSO represented by the applicant should operate at the national level with the potential to network and disseminate information gathered at the Forum to other CSOs in the country;

-          Willingness to contribute relevant material for showcasing at the Knowledge Forum;

-          The applicant should hold a senior position in the delegating organization and have a working knowledge of Russian or English;

-          Preference will be given to representatives of CSOs supporting the development of the CSO sector, CSO networking and building the sector’s capacity.


Please submit your applications to the National Selection Committee, by email: as soon as possible but not later than April 25, 2005.  If you require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Information regarding the ECA NGO Working Group, a background note on the CSO  Forum, a draft program and the Application Form are attached.


We look forward to hearing from you soon,




1. About ECA NGO Working Group

2. CSO Forum Application Form

3. CSO Forum Background Note

4. CSO Forum Draft Program


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