Retrospective and perspective: CIVIL’s civic initiative

The role of citizens always has crucial importance and influence in the implementation of social and political processes in our country. Regardless of the area of action, creating policies that are primarily of utmost importance for the citizens, pave the way for the kind of society we will live in and how good governance will define the political order in our country.

Always starting from the fundamental human rights and freedoms, expanding the corpus of action in specific areas that are also part of human rights and freedoms, CIVIL marked 2020 with multiple civic initiatives with calls for active citizen participation in creating social and political conditions in our country.

Therefore, regardless of whether it concerns establishing, fostering or promoting peace and arms control, the voting right, gender issues, green values, European values, anticorruption, fight against fake news or disinformation and hate speech, civic participation and action has the most important task in the democratization of a state, of a society.


CIVIL’s call to its members, supporters, associates and all interested citizens to participate in the new action: Citizens forum for participation in government policy makingreached many citizens, activists and supporters of the Organization. A large number of messages with recommendation and requests to the future government kept arriving on our email addresses every day, which were published on CIVIL’s media platform.


The start of the Colourful Revolution is the day that will be remembered in history as a symbol of the fight against the regime and dictatorship of a government that should never happen again to the Macedonian society. This date is imagined as a day when we will remember all the progressive civic initiatives and campaigns, civil protests throughout the years against the undemocratic policies and practices.

With the purpose of marking all civil protests for human rights, freedoms, justice and equality, CIVIL in 2018 launched an initiative for celebrating April 12 as a Day of Civil Defiance. The Initiative was submitted to the Parliament of the RNM, but it’s mostly about the citizens, regardless of whether this date will be accepted and recognized by politicians and institutions. This initiative was supported also by President Stevo Pendarovski.


International Day of Peace, September 21, is dedicated to the fight against hatred, prejudice, violence, nationalism, cult of weapons and armed conflict, as well as to the promotion of democracy and prosperity for all equally.

On September 19, 2013, CIVIL submitted and Initiative to the Parliament of Macedonia for September 21 – International Day of Peace and December 10 – International Human Rights Day to be declared national holidays. This year, CIVIL started an intensive campaign for a fight against hate speech and hate crimes, calling on all stakeholders in society to a constructive dialogue and a peaceful and non-violent way of resolving conflict situations provoked by differences.

CIVIL appeals that peace, freedom, unity are values that North Macedonia has and should value and promote every day. Precisely because of this, for achieving and maintaining peace, all stakeholders in society should equally contribute to mutual respect and overcoming mutual misunderstandings, to promoting human rights and freedoms and to improving the living conditions in peace and dignity.


One of the key documents that CIVIL is guided by is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN in 1948, which resulted from the experience in World War II and the need for protection of the basic human rights around the world. The first Article of the Declaration, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” guarantees the rights and freedoms of every person regardless of their affiliation or origin.

It’s no coincidence that in the area of civil and political rights, CIVIL led an initiative for December 10, International Human Rights Day, to be declared Human Rights Day in our country, which will not be celebrated accordingly just by civil society organizations, but will be a day of promotion and accountability of institutions and political structures for their efforts and activities for improving and promoting, as well as actively acting in the spirit of respect for human rights and freedoms.


The Initiative for abolishing the privileges of officials  that was supported by thousands of citizens a year ago, on May 17, 2019 was translated into demands that the organization submitted to Parliament and refers to abolishing the privileges of former and current officials. After Parliament was constituted on August 4, the organization again brought up the Initiative.


In the area of protecting and exercising the right to vote, CIVIL led the Initiative “Vote” on the social networks, in order to encourage citizens to exercise their right to vote and to go out and vote at the early parliamentary elections that were held on July 15. The elections caught us in a time of a pandemic, when protection of public health is a priority. That is why CIVIL called for voting, but also maximum compliance to the coronavirus protection measures on election day. Public figures, civic activists, actors, musicians, journalists all joined and supported the Initiative, recognizing the importance of the right to vote and why a turnout on July 15 was important.

CIVIL is aware of the need for strengthening public awareness on the right to vote (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 21) and is implementing long-terms activities for citizen education on the right to vote and citizen participation.


Within the framework of the project “The Greens Are Coming”, CIVIL is working on promotion and strengthening awareness on green values, social justice and antinationalism. Through concepts that will contribute to their understanding and their connectivity, not only by the public, but also by decision makers and stakeholders, CIVIL paves the way for a real green movement that will make significant changes in the perception, but also in the action in areas that include green values, including solving key problems related to environmental protection, urbanism and sustainable development that will contribute to improvement of the quality of life of citizens, their personal freedom, health, happiness and human dignity.


CIVIL’s Initiative “United in Diversity” emphasized the Organization’s strong commitment to advocating and promoting human rights and freedoms, multiculturalism and European values in the Macedonian society. The Initiative started in mid-October, and after the end of the promotional activities, the Organization will continue with its usual dynamics.

Numerous activists, intellectuals and public figures write, design and speak about diversity, a multicultural society and European values.  More than 90 media contents have been published on CIVIL’s media platform as well as on the social networks.

The Macedonian society is multicultural, multiconfessional and multi-ethnic. This fact of reality represents both the beauty and great potentials of the country. And with this project, CIVIL sends a strong message against nationalism and calls on citizens to continue supporting the future of North Macedonia in the EU.

The message is to be “United in Diversity”. To work for peace and prosperity and at the same time to recognize the richness that emerges from our different cultures, traditions and languages.


CIVIL is also leading many other initiatives and projects in which civic participation is not only welcomed, but is crucial for strengthening democracy and human rights and freedoms in the country.


Having in consideration that all of CIVIL’s initiatives as counter arguments always have the motives that contribute to violation of human rights and freedoms in the widest sense of the word, hate speech, fake news and cases of corruption, citizens will be able to report and alert about them in one place, and in the process itself remain anonymous.

All that is needed is to open the Civic Lenses website that is dedicated to activism, citizen journalism, human rights, transparency and accountability, and to select the required form in the section REPORT. With the purpose of facilitating the communication, in case those reporting hesitate which form to select, all they need to do is to open the form HUMAN RIGHTS and enter data in the category “Other”. The reason for this is simple, all forms of violation and abuse are part of the topics in the corpus of human rights and freedoms.


translation: N. Cvetkovska 

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