With 53 National Societies, from the Atlantic Ocean to the borders of China, the Europe Zone is very diverse, and there are huge differences when it comes to the level of development and self-reliance. Some National Societies are still very much dependent on external funding, and the sustainability of their programmes and their overall organisation can often be questioned. In the given context, after a long-lasting economic crisis, we have more and more National Societies who are undergoing a major crisis that is triggered by the crisis itself, but the root causes are traced back to the past when the necessary organisational changes had not been undertaken. The traditional way of thinking that only National Societies in transition countries are underperforming is not true any more. The situation is more complex than that. Some of the National Societies in our region are in the middle of the implementation of their planned change processes (Italy and Ireland, for instance) and some others are embarking on a painful journey just now (Greece). Tailored support and individual approach have been the working philosophy of the Secretariat of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and it will continue to be like this.
There is still an interest in the Organizational Capacity Assessment and Certification Initiative (OCAC) as a self-assessment tool with the possibility to plan more focused Organizational Development interventions and development plans within the NSs in the Europe Zone. To date, 17 NSs have undergone the self-assessment process in Europe and the majority have either developed or are in the process of developing a plan of action linked to the OCAC outcomes.
The National Societies of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Hungary are in the process of discussions with their own governments about the adoption of Red Cross/Red Crescent Laws. A number of National Societies have completed the revision of their Statutes (Russia, Iceland) and some others have started this process (Kazakhstan, Greece). The IFRC Europe Zone Office will continue to accompany the NSs along this process and will interact closely with the Governance department at the Federation`s Geneva-based Secretariat.