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27-02-2021 10:20

Message by the Commissioner for Volunteerism and Non-Governmental Organizations, Mr Yiannis Yiannaki, on the World NGO Day - 27 February

The World NGO Day is an international calendar day annually celebrated on 27 February.  Originally it was recognized by the Baltic Sea NGO Forum of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (Belarus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Norway and Sweden) on 17 April 2010, and recognized by the rest of the world for the first time in 2014.

The message for World NGO Day 2021 is to celebrate, remember and work together. It is an excellent opportunity to highlight the achievements of Non-Governmental Organizations, always being at the forefront of social movements and change, while allowing small developing organizations to receive the recognition they deserve. It provides the impetus for NGOs to share their knowledge and experiences and to enlighten the Civil Society about the values and importance of their actions.

On the occasion of the Day, the President of the European Commission, Ms Ursula von der Leyen, said: “Today, the tremendous work being done by NGOs around the world is more necessary than ever. The European Commission will continue to support them in their crucial work, without fear”.

In addition, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr Josep Borrell, stated that the European Union welcomes the substantial contribution of CSOs, while the President of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe, Ms Anna Rurka, emphasized: “February 27 is a day for Civil Society. On World NGO Day, we honour all organizations around the world”.

In the context of the World NGO, the Commissioner for Volunteerism and Non-Governmental Organizations, Mr Yiannis Yiannaki, participated on 26 February 2021 at the online Conference of International Non-Governmental Organizations of the Council of Europe, entitled “Challenges faced by NGOs in conflict situations”, with the aim of highlighting the important work of the Civil Society, which focuses on human rights, reconciliation and the strengthening of social cohesion.

The Office of the Commissioner for Volunteerism and Non-Governmental Organizations honours this Day and shares the messages of the European Union and the Council of Europe. We firmly believe, what Civil Society can bring to the modern world and recognize its important role. We strengthen its role with innovative policies, such as Public Consultations and the Informal Council of Ministers meeting. Thus, we strengthen the Participatory Democracy and encourage the participation of young people in the policy-making of the Government. Finally, we modernize the legal framework governing the legal status of NGOs, helping to upgrade their role and increasing the trust of citizens in relation to the important work they perform.