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Brussels, 27 September 2011
EU response to the Arab Spring: the Civil Society Facility
The Communication on “A new response to a changing Neighbourhood” - the culmination of a comprehensive review of the European Neighbourhood Policy launched in 2010, outlines a new approach towards the EU’s neighbours to the East and South, based on mutual accountability and a shared commitment to respecting universal values, international human rights standards, democracy and the rule of law.
Acknowledging civil society’s role to contribute to policy-making and hold governments to account, the Communication commits to supporting a greater role for them through a partnership with societies, helping non-state actors develop their advocacy capacity the ability to monitor reform and their role in implementing, monitoring and evaluating EU programmes.
It also paves the way for more intensive engagement with all those stakeholders who are already involved in the implementation of the Eastern Partnership. Most importantly, it proposes the establishment of a Civil Society Facility to provide funding for non-state actors.
The Facility is also referenced in the Communication on “A Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean”1, outlining the EU’s response to recent events in the Neighbourhood South.
The Components of the Civil Society Facility 2011-2013
The Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility is made up of three components, to be funded over 2011-2013:
Component 1: Strengthening capacity of civil society, through exchanges of good practice and training, to promote national reform and increase public accountability, to enable them to become stronger actors in driving reform at national level and stronger partners in the implementation of ENP objectives.
Component 2: Strengthening non-state actors through support to regional and country projects, by supplementing the funding available through thematic programmes and instruments.
Component 3: Promoting an inclusive approach to reforms by increasing the involvement of non-state actors in national policy dialogue and in the implementation of bilateral programmes.
Budget Source: European neighbourhood and partnership instrument (ENPI)
For more info
Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:
ENPI Info Center: