The EENA research reveals that in many cases, CSOs are not free to act without the state’s permission. This is the case even in several countries where notification regimes exist on paper but do not apply in practice, as state agencies, officials and security forces assume powers to veto CSO activities. The impact of these constraints is to absorb the energy and resources of civil society, and reduce its ability to respond creatively to the challenges of the day.
The EENA process demonstrates a willingness by civil society around the world to engage actively in improving the conditions for citizens’ participation. It also indicates that in very diverse contexts, similar issues are being encountered, suggesting potential for enhanced cross-civil society working and the international sharing of good practice to overcome common challenges.