ECAS upholds a great number of partnerships, either mission-related or with EU institutions, with academia and within umbrella organisations.
European Coordination of Civil Society Organisations
Civil Society Europe was initiated on 16 December 2014 in Rome, bringing together European networks of civil society organisations that adhere to its Manifesto and that are willing to work towards regenerating the European project around the shared values of Equality, Solidarity, Inclusiveness and Democracy.
Civil Society Europe will enable horizontal exchanges between civil society organisations and movements across Europe providing a common and permanent space to:
- Share experiences and knowledge
- Scale up campaigns and other forms of collective action
- Strengthen the capacity of its members to connect people in the diversity of their democratic forms of expression
- Act for change around the shared values expressed in its Manifesto.
Civil Society Europe aims to be influential in shaping the agenda on transversal issues of common interest for citizens and their organisations and to nurture a vibrant European democracy grounded in civic participation, safeguarding the full respect of the freedoms of expression, information, assembly and association across Europe, to ensure that people’s aspirations, guided by the values we share, are heard and responded to. Throughout its activities, Civil Society Europe will strive for the full implementation of Article 11 of the Lisbon Treaty on civil dialogue.
What Does ECAS Do?
- Contributes to the drafting of all of Civil Society Europe’s Strategic documents.
- Commits to the allocation of time, and organisational and human resources to help achieve Civil Society Europe objectives.
The Liaison Group was set up by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) to interact with European civil society organisations and networks and it is designed to be both a liaison body and a structure for political dialogue. It ensures that the EESC takes a coordinated approach towards these organisations and networks, as well as allowing for joint initiatives.
Its aim is to strengthen cooperation with European civil society organisations and, more specifically, to:
- exchange information and views on the organisations’ respective work programmes and relevant events;
- identify themes on which cooperation might be appropriate and possible;
- examine the feasibility of practical arrangements for the increased involvement of the networks in the EESC’s consultative work;
- consult or cooperate on preparations for certain hearings, seminars, conferences, etc.;
- study any other matters of common interest, e.g. in the context of dialogue with the EU institutions
What Does ECAS Do?
- ECAS is an alternate member representing the sector European Citizenship.
- Participates actively in the relevant meetings and hearings.
- Contributed to the drafting of the “Roadmap for the implementation of Articles 11(1) and 11(2) of the Treaty on European Union. Towards better EU civil dialogue and involvement of citizens for better policymaking”
- Contributes to the Newsletter
ECAS also forms partnerships with academic groups such as the Sheffield University (Citizen BREXIT Observatory), Oxford University and others (through advisory board of the REMINDER project) as well as Maastricht University, Malmo University and European University Institute’s EUDO Citizenship.
In addition ECAS has been coordinating and hosting volunteers from Universities and similar entities across Europe since 2007, in various activities supporting the active participation of young people in the European public sphere under the European Voluntary Service (EVS).
From a European Solidarity Corps trainee’s perspective, I consider myself lucky to have completed a legal traineeship at ECAS. I heard about ECAS high reputation in the field of EU Rights from the European Commission staff while I was doing my traineeship there. I became curious to have a look at the other side of the medal, concretely how an NGO contributes to EU Law.
This is how it all started and now that my traineeship is over, I can count the benefits. Not only professional, but also personal ones. I had a daily contact with EU Law situations in a wide range of forms. I was hearing citizens voice on their free movement right through everyday questions coming from them. Moreover, I had the opportunity to participate in trainings, webinars and other events on this topic in order to be updated with the latest developments.
I could see the dedication of the staff in managing citizens situations in the best way possible. I could see the staff putting dedication in everything that they do. I could see their good will in sharing their knowledge and being motivating and helpful in various cases.
After seeing so many benefits during my traineeship, I could not leave ECAS without expressing my gratitude to ECAS staff for highly contributing in changing my life. Thank you ECAS!
EVS is a programme that gives you an opportunity when you do not necessarily have specific experience or knowledge but do have the will to learn and expand your abilities. ECAS treats its volunteers equally and fairly, which creates a safe space for achieving various tasks and improving yourself in many ways. What stands out the most in the twelve months I enjoyed as an EVS at ECAS, besides the diverse nature of Brussels, is being part of a hard working, active international team that supports each other at all levels in empowering citizens, CSOs and governmental bodies in policy making processes. I gained specific knowledge of the IPA project cycle and project management beside citizen support services both in Europe and in pre-accession countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey.
There were three main components of my EVS experience, which you could think of as characters in a story: Brussels, ECAS and me. All three had an equal share and power in my one year course and together we created a very appealing and memorable story. Anyone interested should start creating one of their own.
I followed ECAS’ training on advocacy, EU fundraising and project management and I would certainly recommend it!
Great format: perfect balance between theory, home assignment and feedback session
Great staff: competent and available
Great approach: useful tips/tools for our day-to-day work and a tailored feedback session for ready-to-use strategy
The EVS experience at ECAS helped me better understand how EU institutions work in practice. Seeing things with your own eyes is very different from reading or hearing about them, and many things were different than I expected, in one way or another. Doing an EVS at ECAS is also quite different from what normally EVS are about, but this is another reason why it was so interesting! The colleagues were also very nice and welcoming, and all in all I am really glad I had this opportunity.