Presided by the European Union Head of Delegation to Uganda, H.E Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, the European Union held on 24 January 2018, at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala, its bi-annual Structured Dialogue meeting with members of the Civil Society in Uganda. In attendance were representatives from the EU Member States and various CSO categories including individual NGOs, NGO platforms and networks, private sector associations, etc. The European Union's engagement with Civil Society is defined in the European Commission Communication of 2012 "The roots of democracy and sustainable development: Europe's engagement with Civil Society in External relations". This communication is translated into what we know as 'an EU-CSO roadmap' at the level of EU Delegations.
Yesterday's dialogue was unique as participants discussed the EU's future engagement with Civil Society in Uganda and considered an updated EU-CSO roadmap (strategy) to cover the period 2018 to 2021. Consultations for the roadmap updating process will continue until 30th January. A multitude of stakeholders will be consulted, including Government of Uganda and Development Partners. The Structured Dialogue meeting also tackled current issues impacting CSOs, including the changing space for civil society in Uganda. Several CSO representatives expressed concern that they perceived civic space as shrinking while confirming their commitment to work with Government on shared development objectives.
Ambassador Pacifici, reaffirmed the importance the European Union attaches to a vibrant civil society and underlined civil society's potential to contribute to democracy and sustainable and inclusive development.
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