The Euro-Mediterranean civil society is not meant to substitute governments and to provide faltering services but to monitor policies and to watchdog rights. This is just one of the main findings of the 10th edition of the Euromed Survey on civil society and social movements in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
Up to 751 experts from the academic world and think tanks as well as actors from the institutional, political and civil society, from the 43 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region have responded to it. Experts, both from the academic world, think tanks and the media, represent 51% of the respondents, while 32% correspond to representatives of civil society (especially NGOs) and 17% to representatives of governmental institutions, EU institutions and other International organisations.
The survey, prepared by the IEMed annually since 2009, was focused this year on civil society. The survey had 21 questions divided into three main sections that cover various aspects related to civil society and social movements.
The descriptive report of the results and qualitative analyses are to be released soon but here are some main takeaways:
- What civil society is there for? Substituting government and providing services not provided adequately otherwise? NO. Monitoring policies and watchdogging rights? YES
- Climate change should be main priority of civil society in Europe. In South and East Mediterranean countries: Human rights, democracy and rule of law. But careful: Human rights, democracy and rule of law should definitely remain on civil society’s radar in Europe too.
- Public mobilisations remain the most efficient mean for civil society to achieve its objectives.
- Where is civil society facing the biggest obstacles? Syria, Egypt, Libya and Turkey. How about Europe? Hungary, Poland and Romania.
- The EU is the main source of foreign suport to civil society in Southern Mediterranean countries. Its role in this regard is assessed positively. According to the results of the survey the EU should support civil society in Egypt, Palestine and Syria as priorities.
According to Southern and Eastern Mediterranean respondents of the survey, foreign support to civil society comes mainly from:
- Answers from Tunisian respondents across the survey show distinct features from other respondents in the Southern Mediterranean: acute awareness of the importance of civil society in their country and acute sense that Tunisia offers an enabling environment for civil society.