“Civil society groups, backed by philanthropy, have been central to changing hearts, minds, and laws. They are an essential part of functioning and effective democracies”, emphasised Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić while addressing the opening plenary for the PHILEA Forum 2023 “A New Compass for Europe: Forged in Crisis, Forward in Hope" in Šibenik.
“We witness freedom of assembly and association being squeezed with civic space shrinking and laws being used, misused, and invented to limit legitimate protest. We see the terrible rise of hate speech which intimidates and harms so many, especially young people”, declared the Secretary General, referring to her latest annual report.
“Over recent years, we have taken specific measures to bring civil society closer to the heart of decision-making. Where it belongs”, she added. Marija Pejčinović Burić also highlighted the relevance of the “Reykjavik Declaration – United around our values”, following the Fourth Summit of the Heads of State and Government in Iceland.