Recharging Advocacy for Rights in Europe

Advocacy is an extremely important part of the work of civil society organisations, yet it often remains misunderstood as an activity. Perhaps one reason are the many different definitions. At its core, however, advocacy is about targeted actions that a group of people or civil society organisations undertake in support of a particular cause in order to influence decision-makers to develop and implement policies and achieve positive change.

Advocacy is also an important part of the work of Ekaterina Karavelova Foundation, through which we aspire to achieve gender equality and women’s full participation in all spheres of life.

This is why the participation of Margarita Spasova from our team in the second edition of the RARE programme (Recharging Advocacy for Rights in Europe) is a wonderful opportunity to increase the capacity of the foundation and develop a network of active civil society organisations in the European Union. The programme is a joint initiative of the Hertie School, Berlin, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in Poland and Oxfam Novib. Its aim is to bring together representatives of civil society organisations from different countries to enhance their skills and build a strong alliance to advocate for human rights and civic space at a European level. The programme lasts for 2 years and includes 10 thematic meetings on topics such as communicating human rights, policy writing, non-profit leadership, etc.

The new edition of the RARE programme kicked off in October in Crete, where 26 participants from civil society organisations from across the European Union gathered to share about their advocacy work and lay the foundations for working together to defend fundamental rights and rule of law in the EU. The next thematic meeting of the advocacy network will take place at the end of November in Tallinn and will give participants from the first edition of the programme and the new group the opportunity to exchange experiences and develop their public speaking skills.

We are confident that increasing Ekaterina Karavelova Foundation’s advocacy capacity will enable us to work even more effectively in support of gender equality and women’s rights at both national and European level.