06 November 2020

Solidarity in the time of COVID-19 - CIVICUS Alliance

Solidarity is a value which already has an undoubted presence in the legal framework of the EU and has been exploited for the past years in initiatives such as the European Solidarity Corps. The EU Treaties explicitly refer to solidarity in a number of provisions, including the values and objectives of the Union (solidarity ‘between generations’ and ‘among Member States’) and particular policies where the ‘principle’ or ‘spirit’ of solidarity is to be applied. The Charter of Fundamental Rights in the EU adopts solidarity as the title of Chapter IV for provisions that include rights at work, family life, welfare provision and health. [1]

Solidarity is now even more important, as the world is facing the same battle: the COVID-19 pandemic. A very important role in fostering solidarity is played by civil society, which stepped to help as the pandemic swept the world. 

Civil society organizations (CSOs) made a difference to people and communities experiencing the impacts of both the pandemic and the emergency measures taken by states. CSOs worked not only as frontline responders, but also as defenders of human rights during the pandemic, including the rights of vulnerable and excluded groups. [2]

CIVICUS World Alliance just released an analysis on the topic, which highlights the irreplaceable role of activists, NGOs and grassroots organizations during the pandemic and calls on states to work with civil society to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and create a better post-pandemic world.

This report outlines some of the many civil society responses to the COVID-19 crisis including a series of interviews with civil society leaders and activists, a survey of CIVICUS members, inputs from members of the @Affinity Group of National Associations, a variety of webinars and public discussions, CIVICUS Monitor posts and media reports.

In the context of the 4th Global Accountability Week organized by the CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, GEYC joined and shared its experience in becoming more accountable and more transparent as a response to the adaptation to the pandemic context where the resources allocated for nonprofit organizations are mostly directed to the health and humanitarian causes.


[1] European Commission, "Solidarity in Europe, alive and active", 2018.