In an age where community involvement and partnerships with civil society are increasingly being recognized as indispensable, there is clearly a growing potential for cooperative development and renewal worldwide

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, 25 June 2015

An empowered Civil Society is an necessary for any democratic society. Civil Society Organisations embody the citizen’s demands for transparency and accountability; promote participation, pluralism and inclusivity and play an important role in conflict resolution. Moreover, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are crucially important actors in driving democratic reform and promoting Human Rights.

Hence, Civil Society has been recognised as a fundamental actor in development, and strengthening its capacities to ensure its active participation is key to the post-2015 development agenda. The main challenges to enhance participation of Civil Society include:

  • Increasing Civil Society capacities, so that they can play a role as relevant and sustainable actors, especially local CSOs in partner countries;
  • Promoting an enabling environment for the creation, development, and participation of CSOs;
  • Building bridges and exploring synergies between states and CSOs, so that the latter contribute to policy making, enhance governance and contribute to development;
  • Contributing, through a number of projects carried out in the field as well as supporting the policymakers, B&S has contributed to the strengthening of civil society actors, as well as facilitating dialogue and networking between national authorities, CSOs and donors.

Related Projects & Success stories

To see the list of B&S Europe projects in the Civil Society sector, click here or go to the Projects section.

B&S Europe successfully implemented tailor-made request-based assistance to EUDs implementing the Thematic Programme on Non State Actors and Local Authorities”, under the coordination of DEVCO B2. In January 2015, the European Commission renewed its trust and B&S started the implementation of the support facility to the new CSO-LA Thematic Programme.  

B&S Europe draw crucial lessons on how to effectively assist the EUDs in better formulating their requests for assistance in order to respond to their specific country needs, in accordance to the latest relevant policy papers, namely the Civil Society Thematic Programme.

Furthermore, B&S implemented CSO capacity building activities, and provided guidance and support to EUD staff in the management and monitoring of on-going NSA/LA portfolio.

In 2016, B&S has started implementing the multi-annual Technical Assistance “Operational support Facility for the implementation of the "Civil Society and Local Authorities" (CSO/LA) Thematic Programme”, to support the implementation of the Thematic programme, aiming at enhancing CSOs’ and LAs’ contribution to governance and development processes in partner countries. B&S is also implementing a pioneer civil society development and reconciliation project in Cyprus, and a technical assistance to support civil society in Guinea.