In a May 23, 2014 speech during the II International Seminar of the Legal Framework for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Brasilia, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff affirmed her support for a draft law that aims to facilitate state-civil society relations.
To cries from the packed auditorium of “marco regulatorio yá!” (“legal framework now!”), President Rousseff urged Congress to pass the Legal Framework for Civil Society Organizations bill. Civil society and Government officials contend that the law will bring transparency and fairness to state-civil society partnerships, including contracts for social services.
President Rousseff also called for the transformation of state-civil society relations through new channels for social participation in all ministries, as well as public debates on public policy matters. Such dialogue is not a favor, she asserted, but rather a crucial step in strengthening democracy and accountability. At a time when new legislation is restricting the ability of civil society to take part in policy debates in some Latin American countries, this message from Brazil on the need for a more enabling legal environment stands out.
ICNL was pleased to take part in the International Seminar. ICNL shared international legal trends and standards for state-civil society cooperation during a panel and led a session on international funding for civil society.