Theory and practice of participation: civil society and EU development policy

Carbone, M. (2008) Theory and practice of participation: civil society and EU development policy. Perspectives on European Politics and Society, 9(2), pp. 241-255. (doi: 10.1080/15705850801999792)

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This paper investigates the role of civil society in EU development policy. The two key findings are that over the years European civil society has been increasingly marginalised in the planning and implementation of EU external assistance and that the practice of ensuring effective participation by Southern civil society in the programming process is far from optimal. The first part of the paper shows that the marginalisation of European civil society actors is due to the new emphasis on ownership of development by developing countries and is also a consequence of the process of devolution of management authority from Brussels to the external delegations. Moreover, while the interaction between European civil society actors and the European Commission has progressively become more difficult, their relations with European Parliament and a majority of the member states in the Council continue to be optimal. The second part of this paper concentrates on the involvement of Southern non-state actors in the programming process. While in theory the Cotonou Agreement provides a comprehensive framework for integrating civil society in the development process, the practice has been very different. Efforts have been made to involve as many actors as possible; nonetheless the overall quality of participation is not yet satisfying. An even more serious concern is that little progress has been achieved between the first (2002-2007) and the second (2008-2013) programming exercises.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Carbone, Professor Maurizio
Authors: Carbone, M.
Subjects:J Political Science > JZ International relations
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Perspectives on European Politics and Society
ISSN (Online):2374-5126
Published Online:25 April 2008

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