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On June 25, 2024, at the headquarters of the International Institute of Civil Society (MISO), the fifth meeting was held, as part of the project entitled "Embassy of Civil Society". The special guest at the meeting Mr. Fabrice Filliez, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Poland. The event was moderated by Ewa Moncure, member of the Res Publica Foundation Council.

The meeting was an opportunity to discuss key matters related to the functioning of civil society in Switzerland. Among the issues discussed were similarities and differences between Polish and Swiss civil society and social activism, cooperation between NGOs and public administration, leadership, security, global challenges, environmental protection and ESG.

Ambassador Fabrice Filliez, in an introductory speech, presented, inter alia, Swiss cooperation programs that support NGOs that focus their activities on human rights and democracy. He added that each year the Embassy in Poland selects two social organizations to which it awards small grants.

As the diplomat emphasized: - "Civil society in Switzerland is based on the voluntary association of citizens, individual persons and social groups that work together for the common good. An important part of their activities is interaction with local communities and patronizing various projects, especially in small and medium-sized towns.

During the meeting attention was paid to the fact that the unique features of the Swiss civil society are strong activism and democracy. It is estimated that about 100,000 associations and 1 in 4 citizens is active as a volunteer. The structure of these organizations is very simple and unbureaucratic, which facilitates their operation.

The Q&A part included the discussion about global challenges for NGOs, the need to support people in need and the importance of international cooperation. 

Ambassador Filliez expressed admiration for the strength of the Polish civil society, thanked them for the invitation to the discussion and wished success in course of the foundation's future activities.

The meeting was attended by representatives of business, diplomacy, NGOs and scientific organizations, as well as members of the MISO community.

"Civil Society Embassy" is MISO's cyclical meetings with diplomats devoted to the broadly understood civil society in countries represented by diplomats, inter alia, the definition and understanding of the notion of civil society, manifestations, problems and challenges of civil society, laws regulating civil society, financing of civil society, activities of NGOs and social movements.