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.

Webpages on specific policy issues:

The Multi-annual Financial Framework 2021-2027 (EU budget)

EU Delegations report 2017

 The Cotonou Partnership Agreement

Latest news

Future EU Budget delay? Funding gap could put vital development aid at risk

Brussels, 12 December 2018 – Ahead of the European Council during which the external relations part of the future EU budget will be discussed, CONCORD, the European Confederation of Development NGOs, urges EU leaders to safeguard the amount dedicated to Heading VI (external relations) and agree on the political timeline. The future development aid budget and the European Union’s engagement in addressing global challenges is at stake.

read more

Learning & Exchange Forum 2018 – Cultural Shift towards resilience

CONCORD members gathered in Prague on 26 and 28 November to explore possibilities of a Cultural Shift in NGOs sector. In the current environment where Civil Society Organisations are challenged, criminalised and losing support from their governments and the citizens, the aim of Learning and Exchange Forum 2018 was to explore how and to what extent CSOs need to change their culture and sharpen their values to remain relevant and true to themselves.

read more

Development going digital? – Report

Digitalisation is becoming a vital part of our world, and by extension of development cooperation. It represents new challenges and opportunities for our sector. The report commissioned by FOND Romania and CONCORD Europe analyses the key digital trends and the impacts of digitalisation on the development agenda as well as it explores the roles of and the opportunities for civil society organisations in this new environment. Don’t miss it now!

read more