Promoting Civil Society Space

Across the world, from small, local initiatives to international networks, there are many civil society organisations working for a better world. Because together we are stronger, we seek to strengthen civil society organisations by facilitating cooperation, creating partnerships, thus promoting civil society space.

Civil society can act as a critical voice and therefore hold governments and policymakers accountable. In development policies, civil society serves to democratise the governance of the agenda, sharing the ownership of the policies with the governments and institutions. However, the space for Civil Society to speak up is shrinking around the world and Europe is no exception. Therefore, we aim to enable and enhance political space for a full participation and collaboration of the Civil Society in Europe and around the world. This means that Civil Society has to be consulted as an important actor on policies processes, programmes and funding that impact their work, while considering the diversity of the sector.

The change we want to see:

  • Political Space for Civil Society: We want an enhanced political space for civil society. This can be achieved through ensuring meaningful participation of the Civil Society sector in and through EU bilateral and bi-regional policy processes.
  • Enabling environment for Civil Society: We want to strengthen an enabling environment for Civil Society in EU Member States and globally. CONCORD Members will develop and exchange on response strategies in an effective way.
  • Civil Society Access to EU processes and funding: We want Civil Society Organisations to be meaningfully consulted on programming processes and we want them to have access to EU funding, while respecting the diversity of the sector.
  • Gender Equality: We want the EU and Member States to promote gender equality and women’s & girl’s empowerment in their civil society engagement including through internal capacity development and consistent monitoring.

“EU Delegations report 2017” – webpage:

 Cotonou Partnership Agreement – Process and documents:

Timeline of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement

Timeline on the process and key documents.

CONCORD Position

Position from April 2016.

Joint Statement

Joint statement from EU and ACP Civil Society Organisations from December 2016.

Analysis of the joint Communication

Analysis of the official EU-ACP communication.

Latest news

Civil Society barred from speaking at the Africa-Europe Summit

Press Reaction – The AU EU Summit should have been a great opportunity for young people from Africa and the EU to exchange and listen to each other’s views. Scheduled to speak, and with speeches prepared, as part of the peace, security, and governance section of the Summit today, instead their contribution was ruled out on the grounds of “rules of procedure” after the objections of a number of delegations. Civil Society reacted to the situation.

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