EDITO – As elections loom, civil society secures a partial victory on the foreign interference directive.

The European Commission has delayed its plan to introduce a directive on foreign-funded organisations and will carry out a full impact assessment, following calls from civil society.

Op-ed: The EU is right, we must defend democracy. But foreign interference isn't the biggest threat.

Writing for Euronews, ECF co-presidents Raffaella Bolini and Jean-Marc Roirant explain why to defend democracy we need to protect civil society.


European Civic Forum (ECF) is a pan-European network of more than 100 associations and NGOs across 29 European countries. Founded in 2005 by our member organisations, we have spent nearly two decades working to protect civic spaceenable civic participation and build civil dialogue for more equalitysolidarity and democracy in Europe.


We advocate at the EU level to ensure policies respect and promote fundamental rights for all, and for the institutions to create an enabling environment for civil society and introduce genuine civil dialogue.

Network & Capacity Building

We connect civil society actors transnationally and across sectors through conferences, forums and alliances.

Monitoring and reporting

We monitor civic space across Europe and report on developments for Civic Space Watch and Civicus Monitor.

Our network

We are a pan-European network that brings together nearly 100 associations and NGOs across 29 European countries: a great variety of civic organisations ranging from big federations and national platforms of NGOs uniting hundreds of thousands of organisations across different sectors, human rights advocacy and campaigning organisations, but also smaller groups working at community level or engaging with the public on local issues.




Our research and advocacy team produce reports on a wide variety of topics – from our annual Civic Space Report to an assessment of the impact of Covid-19 on fundamental rights.

Civic Space Report 2023

Towards Vibrant European Civic and Democratic Space

The implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on fundamental rights and civic space

Civic Space Watch

Civic Space Watch collects findings and analyses from actors in Europe on the conditions for civil society to operate, capturing national and trans-European trends in civic space.  Through ongoing monitoring of social media and regular contact and interviews with a strong network of members and partners on the ground, we strive to provide easy access to resources and improve information sharing within civil society across Europe  with, policy-makers and the media.