Several European Union Member States are experiencing what is referred to as a ‘shrinking of civic space’: governments implementing anti-democratic measures that make it difficult for citizens and social organizations to take part in the democratic process. For example, NGOs are facing hate campaigns and structural misinformation, curtailed freedom of the press, and a range of administrative measures that impede their work.

Civitates is a new consortium of 16 foundations who aim to combat these types of anti-democratic developments by strengthening democracy throughout Europe. The consortium believes in the power of European democracies—democracies in which all citizens have access to information, can let their voice be heard, get organized, and take part in democratic systems.

Civitates supports pro-democratic civil social organizations that work to safeguard fundamental European values. These interventions aim to strengthen the civic space in which social organizations work, and to develop EU policy to counter the erosion of democratic principles.

Adessium Foundation co-founded Civitates, because we have promoted the need for a strong, open and democratic society for several years and would like to join forces with other European funds. Protecting democratic fundamental rights is of vital importance to all of our beneficiaries.

Here are some interviews with Civitates grantee organizations:

“Corruption in Romania raises many concerns, but it also ignites engagement.” – Interview with Oana Preda, director of CeRe
“In Slovakia, many organizations were in denial, saying there was no real threat” – Interview with Milan Sagat, Executive Director of Via Iuris
‘In Hungary it’s like this; if you’re not friends with the local government, you can’t do anything’ – Interview with Veronika Móra, director of Ökotárs

About this partner

Civitates is a new consortium of 16 foundations committed to upholding democratic values in Europe. To achieve this vision, Civitates strengthens the capacity of civil society to play its indispensable role in shaping vibrant and open European democracies that work for all.

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