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.

Latest news

Stand up for a better future for all – Event on post-Cotonou

On December 7th, CONCORD and the Slovak Presidency will host an open dialogue on the future of the Cotonou Agreement. The event, titled “Stand up for a better future for all” will bring together authorities and Civil Society Organisations from both the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, to discuss the future of the EU’s partnership with 79 ACP states after 2020.

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First Learning & Exchange Forum- European NGDOs addressing shrinking civic space

CONCORD members gathered in Budapest on 8th and 9th November to discuss the shrinking space for civil society in Europe. This event, the first of its kind, aimed to foster information-sharing and mutual learning between our members on the solutions they are exploring. Our Hungarian members, HAND, supported the preparation of the event and highlighted the extreme situation for civil society in the country.

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