Civil Society in Cyprus

The international Civil Society actionresearch project CIVICUS (World Allience for Citizen Participation) took place in Cyprus. This is by itself an attampt to enhance the strength and sustainability of civil society with the overall objective to strengthen civil socity contributon

The results of the CIVICUS study in Cyprus carried out in 2010 for the two communities separately are revealing, indicating for both sides of the island the presence of a society with low social and political participation, and the presence of a civil society that still needs to develop in terms of the level of organization (within and among CSOs) and the practice of democratic values.

 The Civil Society Diamond below represents the state of civil society in the northern part of the island. While the 4 dimensions representing the characteristics of civil society make up the diamond, the circle around it represents the political, social, economic, and cultural External Environment within which the civil society functions. The fact that the edges of the diamond do not reach the circle suggests that the environment is suitable for civil society to develop with respect to all 4 dimensions. The scores for the Level of Organization (%51), Practice of Values (51%), and the Perception of Impact (50%) were all moderate. The External Environment scored 70%.

 In Greek Cypriot part of CYprus (south) an in the increase of possibilities and prospects for a positive contribution o fthe Greek Cypriot Civil SOciety to its community is found over the last six years.

 This point is expected to lead to a greater involvement of Greek Cypriot community in civic engagement and an in Civil Society Organizations. How ever up to this poıint the participation of Citizens in NGO s levels at only 5%

Civil Society in the Northern Part of Cyprus CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation 2010 Cyprus Civil Society Index Report

Dr. Ömür Yılmaz

Civil Society Diamond for the Northern Part of Cyprus

Dış DışOrtam Ortam (70/100)

Participation in Civil Society Active Membership

Active Membership


Neighborhood/villag e committee Religious/spiritual group



2 6









Farmer/fisherman group or coop Trader or business association Professional association

% 5.7 5 6

Labor union


Coopr, credit or savings group Health group/social service association


Women's group

4.5 4

NGO/civic group/human rights Ethnic based community group Environmental or conservational organization


Human rights


2 5.7

Individual Activism

Social Values/Attitudes

Social Values/Attitudes

Level of Organization  96% have formal governing structures (legal requirement), 92% have volunteers, 36% have paid staff.

 39% are members of a platform/umbrella organizaiton (compared to 89% in the South), 76% meet regularly with other CSOs, 71% share information with other CSOs.

 42% do not have access to telephone, 49% to fax, 20% to computer, and 19% to internet.

 In general the financial resource base of civil society is diversified.

Level of Organization Financial Source

CSOs benefiting from this source (%)

CSOs that get %50 or more of its financial resources from this source (%)







Funding organizations (incl. EU and UN)



Private donations



Membership fees



Service fees



Practice of Values: Internal Democracy Decision-Making Power


Appointed leader


Appointed committee




Elected leader


Elected committee




Practice of Values: Corruption (Self-evaluation)

Practice of Values: Racism and Discrimination

Perception of Impact: Economy

Perception of Impact: Cyprus Conflict

Perception of Impact: Social Issues

Perception of Impact: Policy Making

Civil Society and Cyprus Conflict  Population:  While 16.2% participated in bi-communal events prior to 2004 (7.6% in the South), it fell to 14.7% after 2004 (10.2% in the South).  Cultural activities are the most attractive.  42.9% have never visited the South. 0.3% visit daily, 5% visit weekly, 12.3% visit a couple times every month, 16.8% visit a couple times a year. Most visit the South for leisure (81%), and 50% visit for shopping.  While 42% of the population believe bi-communal events can have a positive impact on the peace process (45.3% in the South), this rate among CSOs and stakeholders is much higher.

Civil Society and Cyprus Conflict  CSOs:  While 40% participated in bi-communal events prior to 2004, it rose to 70% after 2004.  Cultural events attract the most attention; educational events are the second in line.  79% believe bi-communal events have a positive effect on the peace process.

Civil Society and Cyprus Conflict

Comparing the Diamonds for the North and the South