Short Communication Guide When Dealing with the State. For NGOs.
Lately, I have noticed that more and more NGOs share their opinions on current topics, each focusing on their “specialisation”. Today, I set out to touch on the delicate matter of communicating with the state, either when it is represented by an institution or by individuals: senators, deputies, ministers, mayors, heads of county councils and so on. Each of these institutions and incumbents are considered to be a legitimate result of the election, so one of their basic responsibilities is to represent the will of their constituents. Consequently, there must be a dialogue between them, both at an institutional and personal level, and the NGOs that are keen on a particular topic, as representatives of civil society (voters) that reflect decision-making transparency. Whether we are talking about children living on the streets or natural resources, forest exploitation, autism, public health or shale gas, these are all issues that some NGOs are fighting for with the utmost seriousness and involvement, as voter representatives. For all of us, civil society equals voters. Therefore, NGOs can do some simple but effective things, especially in relation to the state, which is obliged to respond transparently to requests.
The basic idea is simple: we have chosen you to represent us, therefore you are obliged to do it whenever we ask for it during your term.
Here is what can be done divided into 5 fundamental points:
1. Permanent involvement in the creation / modification of legal frameworks: laws, application norms, etc.;
2. The permanent request for clarifications / information and participation in the debates of the institutions and commissions;
3. Petitions, interpellations and requests addressed by groups of citizens to their elected representatives in the constituency to which they belong;
4. All of the above, executed as often as possible, while also being thoroughly discussed and legally supported, with the help of lawyers and jurists;
5. All results, correspondence, attitudes of the respondents made public through press releases, blogs, social media and through authorised or well-known spokespersons and institutions.