The EU Steps Up its Support to Civil Society
Increased engagement is in recognition of the important role played by local CSOs in TT's development
February 10th, 2017 - The European Union Delegation to Trinidad and Tobago has stepped up its engagement with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), awarding three grants benefitting in total 17 local and regional based organizations for projects in Governance and Human Rights. In making the announcement, EU Head of Delegation to Trinidad and Tobago, Ambassador Aad Biesebroek, acknowledged the tremendous work being done by CSOs in Trinidad and Tobago, stating that this additional support is in recognition of the key role that they play in the advancement of human rights and development. The Delegation also announced that a new Call for Proposals for additional grant funding for CSOs for activities in business/economy and the environment will be launched in the coming month.
The EU has had a long tradition of support to CSOs, recognizing that not only are their actions an important complement to the work done by the public and private sectors, but understanding as well their critical role as agents of social change and as a safeguard of democratic systems. In light of this situation, the EU proposed an enhanced and more strategic approach in its engagement with these organizations, including requesting that they form consortiums to implement their proposed projects. In this way the beneficiaries would be able to make maximum use of the resources at their disposal as well as foster internally that spirit of cooperation and continuous dialogue necessary for future success.
Ambassador Biesebroek commented: "We are encouraged by the commitment of these groups to come together to achieve their common goals."
Seventeen CSOs received support totalling more than TT$5 million to implement three projects. This is the first time that the Delegation will be engaging so many CSOs simultaneously and with such a large funding envelope. The three projects are:
These projects are being funded under two thematic budget line allocations which are geared towards supporting civil society actions - the Civil Society Organization/Local Authorities (CSO/LA) and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). The grant funding will not only be used to implement these specific programmes, but will also be used to build the capacity of the CSOs to implement sustainable actions over the longer term.