Poland - 2012 CSO Sustainability Index

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CSO SUSTAINABILITY: 2.2

The overall sustainability of Polish CSOs remained stable in 2012. CSO-government dialogue continued to expand throughout the year and extended to policy issues beyond CSO registration and operations. CSOs proactively stated their priorities during preparations for the new EU fund programming period. CSOs also increased their capacity to form coalitions at the national level, with some notable successes.

The Public Debate Forum launched by the President of Poland in 2011 has become a key mechanism for reforming legislation affecting CSO operations. Government agencies responsible for the economy, regional development, and agriculture also created new opportunities for CSOs to become involved in policy making. However, it remains to be seen how much of this newfound openness is driven by the government’s desire to improve its public image as opposed to true readiness to take CSO opinions into consideration. The government proposed controversial legal initiatives concerning public gatherings and access to public information that civil society perceived as limiting citizen freedoms, thereby undermining the credibility of the president and the Civic Platform-led government as civil society supporters.

CSOs are increasingly dependent on public funding. The share of other sources of revenue, such as membership fees and income from services, in CSO budgets declined.

Last updated: July 11, 2013