We are pleased to share with you a new report produced by CONCORD, the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs, which looks at the mutual engagement between EU delegations and civil society organisations across the world has produced a new report. The report is based on responses to a worldwide survey from 229 civil society actors (CONCORD members and their partners) working in 70 partner countries, supplemented by interviews with some EU delegations (EUD).
The aim of the report is to gather examples of good practice and lessons learnt on EUD-CSO engagement, give feedback and make recommendations to the EU (delegations and headquarters), to EU member states, and to the civil society community. The ultimate goal being of course to contribute to improving the engagement between EUDs and CSOs. You can access the report in English, Spanish and French via the following link: http://www.concordeurope.org/publications/item/406-the-eu-delegations-watch-report-2015
What does the report tell us? Overall, positive trends show that EUD-civil society dialogue is increasing and there are a number of interesting experiences to learn from. The elaboration of country roadmaps for EUD engagement with civil society is viewed as an important step in the right direction. Yet major challenges remain in the dialogue between EUDs and civil society. Existing consultation processes are often ad hoc and need to be transformed into more permanent dialogue mechanisms that allow for genuine engagement on relevant matters.
The range of civil society actors to engage with and the issues addressed need to be broadened. The dialogue and information sharing concerning funding opportunities and aid modalities remains fairly limited and engagement with local and grassroots organisations in particular needs to be stepped up. But it’s not only about EU Delegations. CSOs should also coordinate better. Lack of efficient coordination hampers efforts to improve engagement with EU delegations.