Irish NGOs Welcome EU Support to Civil Society Organisations

Irish NGOs have welcomed the recent announcement by European governments that they would renew their support to civil society organisations working in developing countries.

EU recognises NGOs are essential to ending global poverty and tackling climate change

Forged at last week's Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, European ministers emphasised that nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) are a key element in ensuring that government policies are more effective in creating growth that is equitable and inclusive.
 
Welcoming the announcement, Hans Zomer, Director of Dóchas, the Irish Association of Development NGOs, said, “This announcement by European ministers confirms that NGOs have a key role in tackling global poverty and ensuring human rights. This agreement comes at a time following the Arab 
Spring, which showed the importance of people’s movements in opening up space for societies to flourish.”
 
“The EU is saying loud and clear that NGOs and wider civil society have a right to participate in shaping government policies, laws and services that affect them,” continued Zomer.
 
To coincide with Ireland’s up-coming presidency of the EU, Dóchas recently launched ‘The World We Want’ campaign in order to create an opportunity for Irish civil society to support EU efforts to negotiate a new global deal to combat poverty and climate change.
 
“In September 2013, the UN will agree a new recipe for sustainable development for all. 2013 is also European Year of the Citizen. EU member states now need to apply the principles contained in [last week's] agreement to the way they work with citizens’ groups at home, and abroad,” said 
Zomer.
 
“We believe the experiences and values of Ireland’s civil society organisations could be a rich source of inspiration for new thinking and new priorities for Ireland’s own future and our role in the EU Presidency,” Zomer concluded.