Assessing the Counter-Productive Potential of Foreign Support of CSOs in the Euro-Mediterranean Region

In his qualitive analysis “Assessing the Counter-Productive Potencial of Foreign Support of Civil Society Organisations in the Euro-Mediterranean Region” of the printed version of the Survey, Zaid Eyadat (Prof. Director of the Center for Strategic Studies. University of Jordan) reflects on the fact that many people in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries see neoliberal NGOization of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) with distinct distrust and a reflection of geo-political dynamics.

Council of Europe seminar to enhance support to local youth engagement in peace processes in the Euro-Med region. Council of Europe

These are some ideas of his analysis worth highlighting:

  • Targeted funding to small, local social movements is needed as opposed to global Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that will likely implement an ineffectively broad strategy marshalled by economic concerns.
  • The nomenclature of “civil society” is necessary to understand the malevolent perception of foreign support for civil society in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region.
  • NGOisation” of civil society is the shift from loosely organised and broadly mobilising social movements to a more professionalised, vertically structured NGOs.
  • The growth of NGOs as the main strand of CSOs ends up legitimising a version of civil society that loses its ability to criticise the state.ç
  • It is necessary to Increase monitoring of the political orientation of civil societies, free from “troublesome” ideological concerns.

The publication of the Euromed Survey 2019 includes a descriptive report of the results and analysis articles by experts such as Intissar KherigiRichard Youngs, Senior Fellow (Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program, Carnegie Europe); Itxaso Domínguez Middle East & Maghreb Coordinator (Fundación Alternativas); Jerzy Pomianowki, Executive Director (European Endowment for Democracy EED-Brussels); Aziza Moneer (PhD. Visiting Research Fellow, Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden); Zaid Eyadat (Prof. Director of the Center for Strategic Studies. University of Jordan).

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