Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Looking ahead: CSF expresses views on civil society development at EU’s Regional Strategy meeting in Brussels


Yesterday CSF coordinators Jan Pieklo and Leila Alieva participated in the consultation meeting with the Civil Society organisations hosted by the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle in view of the preparation of the next European Neighbourhood Policy country progress reports.

The participants contributed on behalf of the Forum and highlighted the need for introduction of a mechanism for supporting civil society monitoring of all EU projects funding government activities.

Other points included:

  • a dialogue mechanism linking civil society to CIB and other EU-funded projects;
  • funding for training of civil society experts in monitoring of implementation and effective use of resources (funding and human capacity);
  • a review of the funding of EC tenders, and their effectiveness (including addition of training of civil society experts in monitoring);
  • Support to reform the legal framework for NGOs;

At the meeting the Commissioner said: 'I am delighted that I have this opportunity to talk, but more important to listen to, the civil society. It is extremely important to hear your views about the European Neighbourhood Policy implementation and about social, political and economic developments in the partner countries. All your contributions will be very helpful when preparing the next progress reports. I am very grateful for that’.

The Commissioner added that EU plans to further step up the dialogue with the civil society, stating that in 2014, the EU Delegations would have to develop EU roadmaps on working with civil society at country level.

'Such effort will provide more impact, predictability and visibility to EU actions targeting civil society, as well as increased complementarity between EU instruments and the support offered by the Member States through its linkage to the EU cycle of external assistance,' the official said.

The Commissioner also assured ‘that the Commission will continue to make significant funding opportunities available to support civil society's efforts to participate in the implementation of the transformation process. In particular we are keen to strengthen the local civil society organisations and their capacity to engage with public authorities’.

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