A new cooperation platform for civil society will launch its exploration phase on 1 March 2021. The „European Hub for Civic Engagement“ will strengthen democracy in Europe by providing a digital infrastructure for activists and operatives of civil society organisations (CSOs). Since 2019, the „Hub“ has been developed in an extensive consultation process involving hundreds of civil society actors from across Europe.
CSOs have been facing pushbacks all across Europe since the mid-2000s. While several governments cut down freedoms and funding, civil society actors have mostly met the struggle individually. Cooperation and mutual empowerment among CSOs will turn Europe’s shrinking spaces into open spaces.
A digital toolbox to strengthen civil society
The „European Hub for Civic Engagement“ offers a digital toolbox to strengthen the civil society community. Similar to professional social networks, the Hub will provide operatives and activists with a personalised user experience in finding relevant peers, funding opportunities, events, best practices and news in their fields of work when completed.
Examples of challenges it will solve in the future are:
- project managers searching for digital cooperation tools and partners
- campaigners looking for a guide on strategy
- funders reading experience reports
- journalists checking up experts in a particular field
Interested individuals and organisations are invited to join the „European Hub for Civic Engagement“ from 1 March 2021, the European Civil Society Day. The Hub will start with an exploration phase offering essential functionality and a focus on collecting user feedback. In mid-2021, the platform is scheduled for a big update that incorporates the evaluations and offers extended services.
„For two years, we have been asking civil society actors what they need in order to counter shrinking spaces and improve their work. Their answer: a collaborative platform. So we built the Hub together with them“,-explains Paulina Fröhlich, Head of the Programme Future of Democracy at Das Progressive Zentrum.
Over 700 civil society actors from across Europe
The project team systematically collected civil society needs through workshops and hackathons in several countries, consultation conversations and an online feedback process. Thereby, its supportive community has grown to over 700 civil society actors from across Europe.
The Hub was initiated by the Berlin think tank Das Progressive Zentrum (The Progressive Centre) and co-created by Alliance for Europe and Citizens for Europe. Supporters are the German Foreign Office, the Open Society Foundations in Europe, the BMW Foundation and Stiftung Mercator.