Civil Society Advocates is founded in June 2018 and it is a registered Foundation under the Law 104(I)/2017 in Nicosia District (registry number: ΛΕΥ/I/5).
Civil Society Advocates aims to strengthen Civil Society Organisations and improve their operational framework. The organisation was founded by a group of people who were working together with other organisations and individuals, to promote changes to the legislation on Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) since 2007 (Cyprus NGO Initiative on Law Reform).
Following the adoption of the ‘About Associations and Foundations and other related issues Law of 2017( L. 104(I)/2017)’, the NGO Initiative for Law Reform decided to suspend its activities as the main aim of the initiative was achieved. The NGO Initiative for Law Reform was created in 2007 as an informal group of nine organisations sharing similar concerns regarding the amendment of legislation concerning NGOs in Cyprus.
Civil Society Advocates works at the public policy and legislative level to strengthen the role of the Civil Society, increase the influence of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on public dialogue and policy-making, and to highlight the important role CSOs play in society. Furthermore, Civil Society Advocates supports organisations through training and other educational programs, in areas such as lobbying and advocacy, good governance, strategic planning, resource mobilisation, and overall capacity-building.
We aim to develop and strengthen Civil Society in Cyprus by (among others):
- Developing a modern legislative framework for Civil Society
- Promoting more positive attitudes about the role and contribution of Civil Society
- Ensuring that Civil Society has sufficient access to funding
- Supporting and promoting good governance
- Promoting the active participation of citizens. groups and organisations in decision-making processes, and by
- Ensuring Civil Society has access to justice
The principles that guide our work are:
- Good Governance
Our vision is for an active civil society, with strong, independent, professional organisations working to support society, democracy, the quality of life, environmental protection, health, culture and whatever each chooses, without obstacles and in an empowering environment.
Our strategy is based on two main pillars:
- Strengthening Civil Society and increasing its influence on public dialogue and policy processes, as well as highlighting its significant contribution to society. To achieve this, we work towards the:
- adoption of improved public policies, laws, and regulations for Civil Society, such as ensuring access to funding programmes, improving the legislative framework, as well as ensuring access to justice.
- promotion of good governance through the adoption of policies and practices.
- establishment and improvement of public consultation processes, and strengthening the capacity of Civil Society to participate more effectively to these processes.
- improvement of public perceptions and attitudes about Civil Society.
2. Offering support and training to CSOs to better respond to today’s challenges, in areas such as lobbying and advocacy, good governance culture, strategic planning, resource mobilisation, and overall capacity-building.