The consultation on the EU's financial regulations, which govern the way the EU distributes grants and contracts, opened on Monday and runs until 18 December.
Filippo Addarii, executive director of EN, said he and a number of partner organisations had been lobbying the commission to hold a public consultation since the spring, but it had only agreed to do so after the network of European voluntary sector leaders reported the results of its own unofficial consultation, launched in August.
"The idea was to put pressure on the commission," he said. "If you can't get into the room, you have to gather a lot of people outside it."
The recommendations of the unofficial consultation, which include cutting jargon and abolishing the non-profit constraint, will be integrated in the final report of the working group on EU financial support in the Directorate-General for Education and Culture, which is chaired by Addarii.
The Directorate-General for Budget, which is responsible for the financial regulations, has pledged to consider the recommendations and adopt them as appropriate.
Addarii said it was important for civil society organisations to respond to the official consultation to register their interest. He said it was also not too late for organisations to contribute to EN's consultation.
It would also be necessary to lobby national governments and MEPs, both of which will have to approve the new regulations before they are formally adopted by the end of 2010, he added.