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EU Holds 2nd Dialogue with Civil Society

The European Union Delegation to Liberia will Thursday (14 February 2012) hold the second Structured Dialogue in Monrovia with Liberian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

 The dialogue is to focus on an update on the EU programming exercise, the role of CSOs in the implementation and monitoring of the Government's Agenda for Transformation and the Liberia Development Alliance, and the role of CSOs in promoting transparency and fighting corruption.

A press release by the EU Delegation to Liberia says the dialogue intends to facilitate an open discussion about issues of common interest around EU-Liberia relations.

It also seeks to reach mutual understanding and build consensus on the main challenges related to Civil Society Organizations through an open and inclusive forum; finding ways to improve the effectiveness of CSOs, and to advance and strengthen partnerships.

The event which takes place at the Royal Hotel in Sinkor beginning at 2:00pm (14:00hoursGMT) will be co-chaired by the EU Head of Delegation, Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, and Ms. Francis Greaves, Chairperson of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL).

Civil society institutions including the National Civil Society Council, NGO Coalition, and Liberia's International Non-Governmental Organizations (LINGO) will also be in attendance in addition to European Union Member States representatives.

Before the 'Structured Dialogue', the EU will hold from 10:00 am discussions with Liberian CSOs that are implementing the EU Non-State Actors (NSA) programme which aims at supporting actions that promote an inclusive and empowered Civil Society in Liberia.

The 2nd NSA meeting (the first one took place in November 2012) would centre on progress assessment and challenges identified, and would involve Non-State Actors (NSA) organisations including Care, Handicap International, Oxfam, Trocaire and Search for Common Ground (SFCG).

Background:
The Structured Dialogue is an initiative through which the European Union (EU) aims at opening a space for civil society organizations (CSOs) to:
• Reach a mutual understanding and building consensus on the main challenges related to CSOs through an open and inclusive forum; and
• Find ways to improve the effectiveness of CSOs, to advance and strengthen partnerships.

During the final conference of the Structured Dialogue organized on 17-19 May 2011 in Budapest, participants endorsed a Final Statement of the Structured Dialogue. The Dialogue brought together 700 participants from the EU and partner countries, with participation from representatives from over 60 countries, from grass-root organizations, national Platforms, the European Parliament and EU Member States. The Dialogue is now considered as a point of reference by all stakeholders. The Budapest conference was co-hosted by the Hungarian Presidency and by Commissioner Andris Piebalgs who described civil society and local authorities as an essential component of any working democracy. The conference led to the 'Joint Declaration of Budapest' , a series of commitments, addressed to each category of actor (EU, Civil Society, Local Authorities and Partner Countries).

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