KCSF was honored with the “PASOS Think Tank Achievement of the Year Award”, for leading an initiative of 55 CSO’s for the prevention of the transformation of microfinance NGO’s in Kosovo.

The annual award was announced at the PASOS General Assembly in Warsaw on December 13th 2014.

KCSF initiated and led a coalition of 55 civil society organizations that opposed a legislative initiative by Kosovar institutions that would have done great harm to the integrity of NGO’s by allowing the transformation of microfinance NGO’s into joint-stock companies. After the approval of the Law on Banks by the Assembly of Kosovo, KCSF and supporting organizations requested from the Constitutional Court of Kosovo to investigate the constitutionality of specific provisions within the law. The request was handed in to the court through the Ombudsperson institution. On April 2013, the Constitutional Court ruled in favor of the civil society’s request, by declaring the challenged provisions unconstitutional.

PASOS Executive Director, Jeff Lovitt, regarding the allocation of the award said: “This is a shining example of an NGO taking the initiative to preserve authentic civil society, and showing that rule of law can be used to thwart those who would attempt to subvert civil society through legal maneuvers”.

The winner was selected by a three-member jury of leading experts from the international think-tank world and experienced policymakers with a knowledge of the policy challenges facing young and aspiring democracies in Europe and Central Asia. The jurors are:

  • Bohdan Krawchenko, Director General, University of Central Asia;
  • Kalman Mizsei, Head of EU Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform, Ukraine (EUAM Ukraine), Adjunct Professor at the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary;
  • Gabriela Svárovská (Dlouhá), former Director of Human Rights and Transition Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic.

The PASOS Think-Tank Awards commend the work and achievements of members that demonstrate outstanding work to promote the values and goals of PASOS in promoting and protecting democracy, human rights and open society values – including the rule of law, good governance, and economic and social development.

Awards are given in two categories: Achievement of the Year and Best Policy Publication of the Year. The award for the 2014 “Best Policy Publication of the Year” was given to Prague’s EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy.

PASOS is a network of think-tanks from Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, in which KCSF has been a member since 2009.