(18 June 2020) Civil Society Europe has sent an open letter to leaders of the EU institutions and on the EU Recovery Plan, and the need for it to acknowledge Civil Society. As the European trade union representative of workers in public and social services, the social economy and many civil society organisations, EPSU has supported the letter.
With almost fifty signatories, the letter highlights the crucial role civil society organisations have played throughout the pandemic, both in offering support to those facing hardship, and in exercising their watch dog role.
In a Post Covid-19 Europe that will face a large increase in unemployment, hardship and inequality, continuing to support the existence of a strong civil society is critical. Furthermore, as huge sums of public money are channeled into recovery plans, civil society’s watchdog function will be particularly vital and will be required to provide active scrutiny in the coming period.
Given the crucial role of civil society organisations it is regrettable that the proposals for a European Recovery Plan do not acknowledge and address the needs of the civil society sector as part of the Plan’s identified priorities and response measures. The letter therefore calls on the EU institutions to take into account the urgency of supporting the civil society sector, ensure finding is available within the future MFF, and establish dialogue with civil society organisations, amongst other things.