"The NGO market has traditionally been an opportunity for Czech and foreign NGOs alike to come to one place and present to the public their activities, their plans for the future and attract both visitors and volunteers, and also sponsors."
"The organisations are very much needed in this country because the state cannot provide everything, there are services the state cannot provide to its citizens, there is still a huge gap that can only be covered by the NGOs. So I see them mainly as service providers that still have their space in this society."
But it wasn't just Czech NGOs attending this year's event. Lin Hsinyi is from a Taiwanese organisation campaigning to end the death penalty:
"From our experience, regional and international networking is really helping the movement in Taiwan to abolish the death penalty. That's why I am here, because I want to meet people from other countries, so that they know about the Taiwan situation and also we want to know the other countries' situation."
"Everything has always been decided from the top, so if the president says or if the parliament decides, but, come on, people! We really need you to open up to the third sector and start doing something!"Listen to the report:
And we should soon know the outcome of that campaign for the presidential election. The first round of voting is on April the 22d. Opinion polls, for what they're worth, put the right wing candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, in the lead, followed by socialist Ségolène Royal, centre right François Bayrou, and number four is the far right contender Jean Marie Le Pen. Surveys show that forty per cent of the electorate, 18 million voters, are still undecided. Working class voters often leave it to the last days of the campaign to make up their mind. Blue collar workers account for a quarter of the electorate, so they will be the king-makers so to speak. That's why all the candidates are going out of their way to seduce them. Radio France International's Nick Champeaux reports from Charleville -Mézière, in the Champagne Ardennes region, in the north-east of France.
It's been four years since the fall of Saddam Hussein... but Iraq is still a far cry from the haven of Middle East peace and democracy once promised by the US-led coalition. More than 2 million Iraqis have fled the country in hope of a better life elsewhere. And more than 80 thousand Iraqi refugees have settled in Sweden - thanks to Stockholm's open asylum policy - an exception in Europe. But more and more Swedes says they're stretched to the limit and this welcoming policy needs to change. For Network Europe Radio Netherlands' Perro de Jong has this report from Rosengård, a suburb of Malmö.
That sound of Polish composer Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki's Third String Quartet played by the American Kronos Quartet, is something you might be hearing more often in the future. After a long period of silence, much of Gorecki's work and that recording in particular, is being re-released: a chance for music lovers everywhere to rediscover his work. Michal Kubicki of Polish Radio’s External Service has been following the development of Gorecki’s career for many years.
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