Mizzima News October 24, 2014
EU Ambassador Roland Kobia (C) talks with civil society groups in Yangon to help the EU develop a roadmap for EU engagement with Myanmar. Photo: EU in Myanmar
Representatives of the European Union are consulting with members of Myanmar NGOs to see how the EU might best help support civil society.
In the first of four meetings, EU representatives met with members of over 80 civil society organisations in Yangon on October 22, will hold meetings in Mandalay on October 24 and Mawlamyine on November 10, and will hold another meeting in Yangon on November 14, according to a press release.
EU Ambassador Roland Kobia says he welcomes the progress that has been made in the growth of civil society in Myanmar and underlined its key role in the transition process.
“Politically and financially, the European Union can provide support, but the nature of that support – and the work that is done – must come from on the ground. We need to listen to the voices of the Myanmar people. Therefore, we want to talk to civil society directly, without going through anyone,” Mr Kobia said.
The EU says the consultations will be drawn together to build a comprehensive and inclusive strategy for EU engagement with civil society over the period 2014-2017, what the EU calls its “CSO Roadmap”.
The EU says the aim of the CSO Roadmap is to focus better on ways to empower civil society; to contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for civil society; and to strengthen the role of CSO’s in policy making, service-delivery, institutional reform and building transparency and accountability mechanisms.
Support to civil society is a key part of the EU’s engagement all over the world, and notably in Myanmar.