The history of the Carpathian Civil Society Platform initiative started two years ago as an intensive dialogue with participating CSOs, working in bordering regions of five countries,
Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine, covering the territory of the Carpathian Mountain area. The main goal of the initiative is the creation of a cross-border network of CSOs.
The initiative reflects the challenges Europe is facing today, which are the weakening European solidarity and cohesive forces, and the erosion of democratic principles in many European countries.
These challenges are even more powerful in Central Eastern Europe that has went through a complex process of democratic transition during the last three decades, but many symptoms, such as shrinking space of civil societies, show that the culture of participatory democracy is still fragile in these countries.
Another challenge is the growing social and regional disparities within the countries, which preserves and further strengthens the formation of contiguous peripheries, especially in the border regions of the mountain area.
The Carpathian Civil Society Platform and Hub
Vision. The Carpathian Civil Society Platform and Hub is driven by a common vision to strengthen a lively, pluralistic, and rights-based civil society in the territory of the Carpathian Region.
Values. Shared by the Carpathian CSOs, social and regional solidarity, ensuring equal opportunities, social justice, social inclusion, and respect of the rich natural, cultural and ethnic diversity of the Carpathians are the core values for joint actions.
A cooperation instrument. The envisioned Platform and Hub is an instrument to realize this vision by offering a framework for cooperation between civil society organizations (CSOs) working primarily with grassroots and vulnerable communities in mountain areas of the Carpathians. By its nature, it can also contribute to the dissolvent of national and ethnic prejudices and can strengthen regional solidarity and cohesion through cooperation.
A network. The Platform and Hub is an inter-regional place-based network attached to the geographically, historically, culturally and sociologically contiguous territory of the Carpathians, which is the common ground for cooperation. Its main goal is to coordinate and synergize the individual and often isolated efforts of CSOs; to amplify the effect of their activity at local, sub- regional and inter-regional levels; to generate and disseminate innovative solutions for resolving socio-economic problems of communities.
The Platform and Hub can play a connecting role in linking the Carpathians with similar European initiatives and assist CSOs to learn European, especially mountain and border region experiences and practices, furthermore enable them to join other European networks and Hubs while promoting the Carpathians at a European level.
A place for innovation. The Platform and the Hub intends to free the innovative potential and energies of CSOs to reconfigure social practices, in response to social challenges, seeking to enhance outcomes on social wellbeing and necessarily including the engagement of civil society actors in a broad sense, such as local and regional governments, businesses, independent media, and academia.
Project description: http://www.karpatokalapitvany.hu/en/tartalom/carpathian-civil-society-platform