Professor Mirjana Najcevska at the Conference “Between Hopes and Reality”, on the occasion of CIVIL’s 20th anniversary, spoke about the civil sector over the past 20 years, pointing out the organization as a significant unifying factor in civil society.
“The elementary thing that has happened in the past 20 years is that the non-governmental sector has become a significant component of social life for which every government, everyone who comes to power, has to take care.
Non-governmental organizations definitely ask questions, control, demand, oppose and offer alternative solutions. What emerges as a key challenge, which will probably be the most difficult to resist, is the charm of populism and that manner in which political parties function that is definitely opposing, opposing everything that is flexibility and individuality of civic association.
There is great danger of political parties to turn the tool of non-governmental organizing, civic organizing, a tool that citizens use for achieving their interests and meeting their needs, into a leash with which the political parties will guide the direction of the movement of non-governmental organizations.
The civic sector has to develop and adapt. That is for sure. What it must not do is that it must not give up on using political parties in the pursuit of their interests, that is, their needs and interests of the citizens it represents.
One of the basic protective mechanisms, in any case, is to adhere to one’s own standards and principles at all costs. Meaning there is no giving up on what represents standards and principles of action of the civil structuring. Much greater cooperation is needed, between the organizations themselves, and building institutional memory. To stop starting all over again all the time, and always from a point zero, but to always keep building on what the civil sector has previously done and achieved.
I perceive CIVIL as one of those civil society organizations that are constantly developing and improving. Not that it has no flaws. You probably do not expect that I cannot reveal their flaws. However, in my opinion, they are profiled as a significant factor in raising citizen awareness. As a unifying factor in civil society and as an organization, which for me is especially important, that has managed in some way to accommodate in its action a wide range of people, different in their perceptions, opinions, understanding of social developments. Otherwise, Saso and I would have probably never appeared at the same place. Therefore, in my opinion, it is good that we have you and I wish you further progress and development”.
Text editing: М. Ivanovska
Camera: Аtanas Petrovski
Editing: Аrian Mehmeti
Photography: Aleksandar Kondev
Translation: Natasa Cvetkovska
This post is also available in: Macedonian