For the last five years, the Report on the State of Civil Society has been analysing the conditions under which civil society operates across EU European countries and Russia. To introduce the publication of the 2020 Report, the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum organised the presentation of the latest report “Civil Society in the EU and Russia: major trends and responses to challenges” and the public discussion online on June 21st, 2021.

Researchers and contributors to the 2020 Report Ruth Simsa (Austria), Edith Archambault (France) and Viacheslav Bakhmin (Russia) presented their findings to participants, providing overviews of trends, challenges and responses to these challenges in civil society in their respective countries. Thereafter, Brian Harvey (Ireland) shared his and Anna Sevortian’s analyses of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on CSOs in the year 2020. After questions from the audience, Nick Acheson drew on previous reports to present a comparative analysis of the situation of CSOs in the EU and in Russia, and discussed overarching trends over the last five years.

Contributors from previous reports also had a chance to react to the presentations and to share insights about current developments in their own countries.

The discussion was moderated by Elena Belokurova (Russia), co-coordinator of the Expert Group on Civil Society Research at the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, and Kristina Smolijaninovaitė (Germany), deputy director of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum.

Watch the discussion here:

The slides accompanying the discussion can be found here.

More information on the Report is available here.

To request a copy of the 2020 Report, please contact us at