EU Delegations’ engagement with Civil Society Organisations on geographic programming 2014-2020 

At the end of phase 1 of the EU geographic programming process, CONCORD launched a survey to assess whether and how CSOs had been consulted. The objective was to draw lessons from this assessment and formulate recommendations to try to influence and improve CSO consultations in the second programming phase as well as in other future processes and new channels for EU Delegations’ engagement with CSOs such as CSO roadmaps, Policy Coherence for Development commitments and Human rights and democracy focal points in Delegations.

The responses received from CSOs from all over the world allowed CONCORD to draw the following 6 key recommendations for a more structured dialogue between EU Delegations and CSOs:

  • Reach out to more CSOs;
  • Build capacity, provide relevant information and guide them so all CSOs can speak up and be heard;
  • Give CSOs time to prepare and coordinate themselves by sharing (annual) planning documents and announcing consultations more in advance;
  • Interact more regularly. Make a follow up a part of the dialogue process in order to come to a truly structured dialogue;
  • Be flexible with issues to be discussed. Take on board issues that are outside of the direct scope of EU funded projects;
  • Further build the capacity and means of EU Delegations to engage with CSOs.