Foto-145East-European Foundation with the support of the Government of Sweden, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and ERSTE Foundation organized the first-ever International Festival „Civic Fest 2013: Moldova for citizens” in Moldova. During three days, civil society, represented by members of over 80 nongovernmental organizations proved that is strong, diverse and harmonious!

The first edition of the international festival was held on October 29-31, 2013 and attended by 250 participants. Participants included representatives of civil society, state institutions, local and central public administration, business sector, international and diplomatic community, independent experts and mass media, as well as over 20 well known speakers from different fields.

“Civic Fest has been a new project for us and for the civil society from the Republic of Moldova. This event became an interactive platform, a tool for exchanging experience in the future. All issues addressed by civil society actors during the 3 days of the Civic Fest are very important. However, I would like to mention the culture field, which is one of the most vulnerable from the viewpoint of the financial support it gets. Culture faces with different problems in our country, that is why, I wish that representatives of civil society and our development partners pay more attention to this field, which is very important for the sustainable development of the Republic of Moldova”, said Mr. Sorin Mereacre, President of the East-European Foundation.

We remind you that Civic Fest aims to bring on the stage the most successful projects of the civil society, both from the European Union and from the Republic of Moldova, initiatives which got international acknowledgment and can serve as models of best practices in different fields: entrepreneurship and social integration, community development and social inclusion, social-cultural transformations and social responsibility. The agenda of the event comprised 3 thematic days:

1) Culture and mass-media in Moldova –  a new approach;

2) Justice and social transformations – how NGOs support democratic and social changes from Moldova;

3) Social entrepreneurship, social inclusion and development of communities.

“This international festival provides exchange of best practices and civic dialogue, the projects represent an important inspiration source for all participants. I was impressed by the enthusiasm and passion of NGOs representatives from the Republic of Moldova and I am convinced that together we can do more changes”, said Doraja Eberle, Chairwoman of the ERSTE Foundation Board.

Ms. Liliana Rotaru, Director CCF Moldova, said: “For the first time in Moldova, they managed to convene a forum with participants from different fields – media, culture, NGOs, central and local authorities. They debated on topics and issues of common interest; there was created a space for exchanging experience and learning from best practices of colleagues from other countries. There was a vibrant environment of communication and debates. We thank to organizers and participants. We are looking forward for the next edition.”

About 250 participants in Civic Fest 2013 had the possibility to get to know in detail the activities, ambitions and problems faced by them. Civic Fest 2013 was supported by many partners, donors, volunteers, and benefited from an intense promotion campaign which attracted over one thousand likes on Facebook for a period of 3 weeks and over 80 articles in the media.

“This event provided a lot of useful, new and diverse information; we learned about new initiatives. At the same time, I saw much promotion in Internet and in mass media”, said Roxana Teodorcic, present at Civic Fest 2013.

We believe that each participant became more self-confident as a result of this contest and got more information about the non-governmental sector from the Republic of Moldova, Transnistrian region, EU countries and one of the most important elements is the fact that the organization of this event, Civic Fest has reached its objective and contributed to the unification of representatives from both banks of the Nistru river in all dimensions of community life and provided them the chance to get promoted and learn from the experience of other colleagues.

,,Much work , efforts and commitment were done. Civic Fest 2013 – an important start and with a positive impact on civil society”, said Ana Bordos, Public Relations and Fundraising Manager, CONCORDIA Moldova.

The feedback of the event reached organizers and is a very important reference for organizing future editions. In this context, the Public Association,,Synergetica Eur/Est”, which implemented this project, carried out an opinion poll among participants and wanted to know the needs for the organization and topics to be discussed in future editions. Though, the majority of answers were positive and all of them were happy with this event, a part of polled people, about 20% from answers of the poll pleaded for developing the next edition by paying more attention to practical methods, interactive presentation, workshops and concrete solutions for social problems.

The plan to shift from a theoretical format to a more practical one is also supported by Tudor Ştefan, Director of the Public Association „Synergetica Eur/Est”:  „This Festival will be less formal next year. It will be organized in a more relaxed atmosphere where civil society representatives will communicate about daily work”, concluded Mr. Ştefan.

All in all, Civic Fest 2013 has been a success and will become a tradition for Moldova!

Details about Civic Fest, photos taken during the festival and other information are available at  or on Facebook:

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