A new report by CONCORD, the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs, looks at the mutual engagement between EU’s delegations and civil society organisations across the world. The report comes at a timely moment as this month the European Year for Development 2015 was launched with a dedicated focus on Europe in the world.
The report is based on responses to a worldwide survey from 229 civil society actors (CONCORD members and their partners) working in 70 partner countries , supplemented by interviews with EU Delegations (EUD).
The overall aim of the report is to contribute to improving the engagement between EU delegations and CSOs, gather examples of good practice and lessons learned, give feedback and make recommendations to the EU (delegations and headquarters), to EU member states, and to the civil society community.
EU Delegations and civil society still need to improve dialogue for better development cooperation.
Key messages and findings
- Positive trends show that EUD-civil society dialogue is increasing and there are a number of interesting experiences to learn from.
- The elaboration of of roadmaps for EUD engagement with civil society is viewed as a major step in the right direction
- Major challenges remain in the dialogue between EU Delegations’ and civil society:
- Existing consultation processes are often ad hoc and need to be transformed into more permanent dialogue mechanisms that allow for genuine engagement on relevant matters.
- The range of civil society actors to engage with and the issues addressed need to be broadened.
- The dialogue and information sharing concerning funding opportunities and aid modalities remains fairly limited and engagement with especially local and grassroots organisations needs to be stepped up.
- Civil society organisations should coordinate better. Lack of efficient coordination hampers efforts to improve engagement with EU delegations.