CSOs Forum 2017 - EU engagement with civil society

Tuesday 20 jun 2017

The fourth edition of the Civil Society Forum Neighbourhood South, is planned to be organised on 10-12 July in Brussels by DG NEAR, in co-operation with DG DEVCO and other European Institutions. The Forum provides an excellent opportunity to exchange views on regional agendas under the umbrella theme of "resilience and youth". It will reiterate the EU's commitment to support Southern Neighbourhood civil society and highlight their role in policy-making and in proposing innovative development instruments in a context of increasing instability, inequalities and shrinking space for civil society.

This dialogue should lead to strengthening coherence and establishing a joint agenda between regional CSOs from the Southern Neighbourhood and the EU and would set the basis for a new mechanism of structured dialogue managed by regional civil society from the end of this year. About 150 participants are expected:  representatives of civil society organisations, local authorities, media, academics, think tanks, mainly from the Southern Neighbourhood, EU Member States, UfM partners and international organisations. The HRVP and other personalities will also be invited to take part.

The Forum in Brussels falls at a time when several initiatives will take place here with Civil Society and local authorities. This will therefore be the opportunity to engage strategically with these partners to work on a plan of action for sustainable development and partnerships. (DG DEVCO is organising a Partnership Forum for Civil Society on 6-7 July at global level, followed by an event on decentralised co-operation on 10-11 July.)

The 2017 edition of the Forum will take the form of four thematic seminars (on migration, security and resilience, human rights and governance, and reducing inequalities), based on a preparatory seminar held in Tunis from 25-27 April. The outputs proposed for the 2017 Forum should be aligned with ENP priorities and also mirror ongoing discussions between Headquarters and EU Delegations, especially regarding the role of Civil Society at national and regional levels, as well as with regional bodies such as the UfM and League of Arab States.

Download the recommendations here.