Wednesday, June 05, 2013


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50th issue and 5th year of Civic World

In front of you is the 50th issue in the 5th year of Civic World. The first issue was published in January 2001. Civic World was preceded by the NGO Newsletter from 1996.

The 50th issue in the 5th year of Civic World, besides the celebration for its marking, is a good reason to reflect upon and assess the past. The first step is a glance on the expectations. In the introduction to the first issue I asked the question: Why “Civic World?”

Civic World should contribute to the development of the civil society. Then and now, in my opinion, the reference point is the problem stated in Why NGO-ists, and not materialists, surrealists or defeatists”, by Zoran Kostov in the NGO Newsletter. The civil society is not rooted enough, even in the social elites, and it is more a reflection of individuals’ enthusiasm or copying the European standards rather than citizens’ interest, and, it is not accepted by the state as a social partner. Some of the alleviating circumstances were lack of tradition and the existential problems.

Even today, we can find arguments for both pessimism and optimism. Only every third citizen is socially active in any form of civic associating. And, while the civil society is rooting itself into the urban environment (about 42% of all organizations in Skopje, which include 24% of the population), it is almost non-existent in the rural areas (about 6% of the organizations are located in the rural areas, where 40% of the population is present). More and more organizations are becoming real movements, mostly the women organizations and the organizations of people with special needs. It is not by accident that most of the winners of the Award for Civil Society and Democracy originate from these groups. However, besides them, the civic self-organizing is becoming acceptable with groups where it used to be unimaginable, for example, with the market-traders (the association of market-traders). In this respect, we can also mention the first successful lobbying for changes in the Laws. 

Civic World supported the process of rooting the civil society in Macedonia and contributed to the changes in the understanding, spreading and deepening the concept of civil society. Now we are faced with the challenge to spread it outside Skopje and the urban regions. We are faced with the challenge of cooperation, but also calling for accountability on the part of the country and the business sector.

Civic World has placed its own more operative goals: better access outside the management of the civil society organization, being more reader-friendly oriented and have on-time information. I personally think we accomplished these goals. We have introduced several changes, such as new contents which illustrate new policies. For example, we introduced the columns Balkan Express, Europe and World as a reflection of the opening of the Macedonian civil sector. We improved the format and we started printing in colour, which only confirms the fact that Civic World is a reflection on the power for learning.

Since the Civic World is designed for the citizens, in the months that follow, we will do some research into citizens opinions on it. The citizens’ experiences and opinions will help us set the directions for the next 50 issues and the next 5 years.


Saso Klekovski

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“Give pleasure to your boss!!!”
These days, a new commercial about a new coffee brand appeared on TV. I presume you’ve already seen it. A secretary slips when bringing coffee to her boss, slides down his desk on her stomach to stop in front of him with the coffee in her hand? I am not sure how you react to it, but after I had seen it for the first time I was left with my mouth open. It was a mixed feeling of bewilderment, sickness, disbelief…how could somebody think of something like that? How could nobody react to this commercial?
“Mesecina” and “Arka” work on registering adults
People are born for the second time after obtaining personal documents
Bari, Alisa, Dzejlan and a list of other names are just some of the examples for successful work of the Roma information centers of the humanitarian organization Mesecina from Gostivar. Despite being adults, they have recently been given their first birth certificate and have practically been born for the second time.
Civic resistance for the restarting of the melting plant in Veles
The Green Coalition insists on dislocating the polluter
It was so alive on 16 February in Veles! The event “Veleska pastrmajlija” was taking place at the pizza-bar “Snoopy”. The event has a special purpose – collecting money for the Children Ward at the Town Hospital. The action was organized by the “Focus” Foundation, in cooperation with the municipality of Veles.
Expeditio, Kotor, Montenegro
Our vision is a quality space for better life
We decided to make an unusual interview with three people, as they themselves are unusual, as well as the association they are members of. Aleksandra Kapetanovic, Biljana Gligorovic and Tatjana Rajic are three young architects, who dedicate their creativity, knowledge and enthusiasm to cultural heritage, architecture, spatial planning and the civic sector in Montenegro, particularly focused on Boka Kotorska and its surroundings.
Violeta Tanceva – Zlateva
My attitude towards the language
“People who are of the same origin and who speak the same words and who live and make friends of each other, who have the same customs and songs and entertainment are what we call a nation, and the place where that people lives is called the people's country. Thus the Macedonians also are a nation and the place which is theirs is called Macedonia.”
Armenian community in the Republic of Macedonia
About 110 families cherish both the Armenian and the Macedonian culture
The genesis of the Armenian communities on the territory of today’s Macedonia goes back to the medieval times as can be proved by the numerous papers, traveling notes by foreign travelers who stayed or passed through the towns where among other nations, lived the Armenians.

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