EU boosts support for civil society in the Neighbourhood with extra €45.3 million for 2012-2013

EU boosts support for civil society in the Neighbourhood with extra €45.3 million for 2012-2013

The European Commission today adopted the second phase of the Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility to enhance involvement of civil society organisations in the European Neighbourhood area, with a new budget allocation of €45.3 million for 2012-2013.
Announcing the decision, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said: “Civil society plays a key role as a force for democratisation and inclusiveness. The initiative adopted today should be seen as the concrete translation of this conviction and as our endeavour to build up a real partnership with civil society.”
“With this initiative we are broadening the scope of our support for civil society in the Neighbourhood area by providing civil society organisations in our partner countries with more opportunities to establish a deep and sound dialogue between different stakeholders but also between the civil society organisations and local and national authorities in their countries, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle added.
The funding is divided in two parts: the Eastern Neighbourhood Facility will receive a new budget allocation of €23.3 million for 2012-2013, while the additional funds for the Neighbourhood South Facility will amount to €22 million.
The goal is to support civil society organisations in the European Neighbourhood area in the policy dialogue with partner governments, to strengthen civil society’s role in fostering public accountability and support their increased role in national reforms process and in local development agenda.
The Facility was first set up by the European Commission in 2011 with the aim to reinforce capacities of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the Neighbourhood region. It allows civil society organisations to contribute to the ongoing transformation and democratisation in their countries by developing their advocacy, networking and monitoring capacities.
The Facility will be implemented through regional and local calls for proposals, and funding will be used to support civil society organisations’ projects, networks, exchanges of best practices, training and meetings bringing civil society and public authorities together in order to help them advance the process of transition and transformation
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