The Black Sea NGO Forum was launched in 2008 by the Romanian NGDO Platform – FOND. After several editions of the Forum, participants expressed the need for a more comprehensive and strategic approach to support civil society in order to contribute to a sustainable regional cooperation. Thus, in 2014, the process of creating a strategic framework for civil society cooperation in the Black Sea Region started with a consultation on the needs and challenges organisations face with regard to the environment in which they operate. The results of the consultations revealed the fact that having an enabling environment for civil society development was both a common need among the Black Sea Synergy countries and a condition that must be filled in order to increase regional cooperation among NGOs.
Therefore, a comprehensive study was conducted on this matter in 2015 by research experts Tanja Hafner-Ademi and Milka Ivanovska from the Balkan Civil Society Development Network, with the support of FOND. The results of the study were presented at the 2015 edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum, where participants decided to include enabling environment for civil society as a cross-cutting priority in the newly
adopted Strategic Framework. Following this strategic direction, the current study is part of the efforts of continuously monitoring the environment in which civil society operates, both at national and regional level, with the purpose of raising awareness on the existing challenges and potential negative trends, but also to encourage the exchange of experience, best practices and lessons learnt in this matter.