Statement | Defending Civil Society Space in the Southern Neighbourhood Countries
View this email in your browser

The Civil Society (CSO) Forum organised by DG DEVCO taking place on 17 and 18 March 2016 in Brussels, will bring together Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from the international development and human rights constituencies, with EU institutions to discuss concretely EU policy supporting the enabling environment of civil society in external relations.
On this occasion, SOLIDAR together with its partners the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) and the EuroMed NGO Platform is launching a regional report on “Defending Civil Society Space in Southern Neighbourhood Countries”. This policy briefing comes as the result of the three networks’ commitment to defend and promote the space of Civil Society and independent Trade Unions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to foster inclusive development, as part of a regional – funded programme to promote Decent Work, Social Protection and Freedom of Association in the MENA region.
“The role of civil society in the region facing all the challenges and developments is prerequisite in defending democratic freedom and watching governance, it is also imperative for the monitoring of the implementation of the developmental agenda. Consequently freedom of association, the right to assembly should be secured and protected particularly for the independent social actors" says Ziad Abdel Samad, Director of the Arab NGO Network for Development, President of the Euromed NGO Platform).
Conny Reuter, Secretary General SOLIDAR states that “Freedom of peaceful assembly and association are fundamental human rights – a fundamental principle for Civil Society Organisations. This report documents alarming levels of shrinking space for civil society in the Europe’s Southern Neighbourhood. We have to remind that the role of civil society is essential to keep governments accountable for progressing or failing to realise economic and social rights that were requested by the millions of people taking to the streets during the Arab Spring.”
Whilst the EU commitment to promote and protect Human Rights is outlined in the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy the new European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) fails to embrace its demands. For that reason ANND, the Euromed NGO Platform and SOLIDAR call the EU to:
  • Promote the implementation of Aid Effectiveness Principles by fully implementing the international aid and development effectiveness commitments made in Paris, Accra and Busan.
  • Ensure the statutory role of Independent Civil Society Organisations: by supporting existing initiatives aimed at promoting long-term structured dialogue between independent civil society and the EU.
  • Ensure effective monitoring in close cooperation with EU delegations: by setting up monitoring benchmark to assess and measure the enabling environment for independent CSOs.

This publication has been produced with the financial support of the European Commission. The information contained in this publication does not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of the European Commission.
Copyright © 2016 SOLIDAR, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp