Support for civil society
Civil Society Facility
The Civil Society Facility (CSF) was established in 2008 to support the development of civil society financially. It includes both national and multi-beneficiary initiatives which are programmed in a coordinated manner to achieve shared outcomes.
The CSF consists of three strands:
- support for national and local civic initiatives and capacity-building to strengthen the role of civil society in the region
- support for activities carried out in partnership between civil society organisations (CSOs) from across the region and from EU Member States in order to develop networks and promote transfer of knowledge and experience
- a 'People-2-People' programme supporting visits to EU institutions and exchange of experience, know-how and good practice between local civil society, the EU and civil society in Member States
The aim of the CSF is to support the development of a civil society which is participating actively in the public debate on democracy, human rights, social inclusion and the rule of law, and has the capacity to influence policy and decision making processes.
For the period 2011-12 the CSF has a budget of EUR 40 million. It will focus on three outcomes which have been identified on the basis of needs analyses, reviews and feedback from stakeholders:
- CSOs benefit from better national legal and financial frameworks and improved dialogue with state institutions;
- Networks of CSOs show greater commitment and capacity to give citizens a voice and influence public sector reform processes through analysis, monitoring and advocacy etc; and
- Grass-roots organisations and civic initiatives have increased access to financial resources, in-kind contributions or expertise from established CSOs and CSO networks.
The CSF is complemented by a number of other policy and financial instruments which provide support to civil society in candidate and potential candidates:
- Dialogue between civil society in EU member states and candidate countries
- Supports dialogue between civil societies in candidate countries and EU Member States to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation.
- EU Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights
- Support for the promotion of democracy and human rights through civil society in non-EU countries.