EU Civil Society Guidelines

The DG NEAR Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in the Enlargement region outline the results towards which EU support to civil society in the enlargement region will aspire in the period 2021 – 2027. EU support to civil society will continue to focus on strengthening participatory democracies and the EU approximation and integration process in the Western Balkans and Turkey through a strengthened contribution by civil society.

The guidelines are anchored in a solid set of standards. These are based on EU Rule of law Acquis (Chapter 23 “Judiciary and fundamental rights” and Chapter 24 “Justice, freedom and security”) and other relevant international and European standards. They are furthermore aligned with recommendations, opinions and guidelines adopted by international organisations and inter-governmental fora. They apply standards developed by civil society for civil society at the global level.

These Guidelines are for EU staff, civil society in the Enlargement region and IPA beneficiary policy makers and officials.

The Guidelines are published officially on the website of the European Commission, DG NEAR, here.

DG NEAR Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in the Enlargement Region 2021-2027

The first version of the “Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in Enlargement Countries”, 2014-2020 (EUCSG) was developed during 2013 through a consultative process involving key stakeholders from the region. This present revised version is based on lessons learned and feedback received from representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), public institutions and other stakeholders on various occasions – in particular the Western Balkans and Turkey Civil Society Forum held in Skopje, North Macedonia on 22 and 23 January 2020; on-line consultations carried out over 2020; and consultations in each IPA beneficiary in February and March 2021. This revised version also takes into account the findings of the 2017 evaluation of the Civil Society Facility and the findings of the Evaluation of the EU’s engagement with Civil Society in the enlargement, neighbourhood regions and Russia 2007-2018.

Annex B: Explanatory Note on European and International Standards Underpinning the Guidelines

Civil Society Assessment Report for 2020

Assessmet of the State of the Enabling Environment and Capacities of Civil Society against the 2014-2020 Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in the Enlargement region for the year 2020.

Reports from EU Civil Society Guidelines 2021-2027. Сonsultations published

EU TACSO 3 organized country consultation meetings in all seven IPA Beneficiaries between 22 February and 2 March 2021. The aim of the consultations was to present the draft Guidelines result framework document for the period 2021-27 and receive comments and suggestions for its improvement. The meetings were attended by over 300 representatives of civil society, public institutions, donors, international organizations and other stakeholders.

Guidelines for EU support to Civil Society in the Enlargement region, 2021-2027 country consultations stage – background information

EU TACSO 3 project has been mandated by the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) to facilitate the preparation of the Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in the Enlargement Region for the period 2021-2027.

First coherent picture of Сivil Society capacity and conditions in the Western Balkans and Turkey for the period 2018-19 – full report and country briefs available

During the autumn and winter 2019, EU TACSO 3 has conducted a thorough analysis of the state of civil society in the Western Balkans and Turkey (WBT). Through intense consultations with nearly 700 CSOs, public institutions, donors and other stakeholders, the findings of the research have been validated and synthesized in the form of the Report named: Assessment on the State of the Enabling Environment and Capacities of Civil Society against the Guidelines for EU support to Civil Society in Enlargement Region, 2014-2020 for the period 2018-2019.