Annual Forum of EIDHR and CSO-LA focal points


Last week, in Brussels, B&S Europe supported the European Commission in the organisation of the annual meeting for EU staff concerned with the implementation of two EU external financing instruments: the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and the Civil Society Organisations and Local Authorities (CSO/LA) programme under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI).

The EIDHR is the European Union's main financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights in its external relations. The general objectives of EIDHR are to contribute to the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law as well as to the respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms, within the framework of the European Union’s policy on development cooperation with third countries and consistently with the EU’s foreign policy as a whole.

The EIDHR is designed to help civil society to become an effective force for political reform and defence of human rights. Thanks to its flexibility and capacity to respond to changing circumstances, the EIDHR is able to focus on sensitive political issues and innovative approaches and to cooperate directly with local civil society organisations without the involvement of public authorities.

The CSO/LA programme encourages civil society (i.e. non-state actors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and citizens’ organisations) and local authorities to play a greater role in development strategies. It has for objective to foster "support to" and "participation of" CSOs and LAs in pursuit of internationally agreed goals and development effectiveness. This Programme supports actions aimed at enabling CSOs and LAs to respond to populations needs and to participate in inclusive policy-making at different levels. Whilst respecting actors’ specificities and diversity, it seeks to promote their coordination, actions’ coherence and synergies.

In this context, the European Commission requested the support of B&S Europe to organise a Forum that brought together the staff from EU Delegations in third countries, in charge of implementing both the EIDHR and the CSO/LA in the field. It focused on bringing qualitative support to on-going work related to EIDHR and CSO/LA implementation. The 5-day seminar gathered more than 180 EU Delegations & headquarter staff including the participation of the Director General of DG DEVCO, Stefano MANSERVISI for the kick off of the Forum.