EU seeks to strengthen civil so­ci­ety in Myan­mar

Mizzima Business Weekly - - CONTENTS -

On 4 April 2019, EU Am­bas­sador Kris­tian Sch­midt launched the Euro­pean Strat­egy for a Strength­ened Part­ner­ship with Civil So­ci­ety in Myan­mar. The new strat­egy is a fol­low up to the “EU Roadmap for En­gage­ment with Civil So­ci­ety in Myan­mar (2014-2017)” and seeks to sup­port the cre­ation of an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for civil so­ci­ety to par­tic­i­pate in pol­i­cy­mak­ing and pol­icy im­ple­men­ta­tion pro­cesses at the lo­cal and na­tional lev­els, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment.

In his open­ing speech, Am­bas­sador Sch­midt said: “Myan­mar has taken a bold de­ci­sion to be­come a full democ­racy. To reach this am­bi­tious goal, sup­port from civil so­ci­ety is crit­i­cal. It al­lows the in­clu­sion of wider as­pi­ra­tions and en­sures that the voices and needs of the peo­ple are heard. For a coun­try with Myan­mar’s his­tory and cur­rent chal­lenges, it is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant to give civil so­ci­ety the nec­es­sary space to pro­mote equal­ity, jus­tice, fair­ness and peace.”

The Euro­pean Strat­egy for a Strength­ened Part­ner­ship with Civil So­ci­ety in Myan­mar will be im­ple­mented over the next two years. To this end, the Euro­pean Union will or­gan­ise Struc­tural Dia­logues in Yan­gon and var­i­ous re­gions in the coun­try Myan­mar, com­pile re­search on key is­sues raised by civil so­ci­ety, and pro­vide a com­mu­ni­ca­tion and outreach plat­form for civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions (CSOs), in­clud­ing a CSO news­let­ter and Face­book page.

The launch event brought to­gether over 120 rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Myan­mar civil so­ci­ety, in­clud­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions from dif­fer­ent re­gions in Myan­mar, as well as rep­re­sen­ta­tives of in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions and EU mem­ber states. Par­tic­i­pants re­viewed the cur­rent trends im­pact­ing civil so­ci­ety and ex­plored pos­si­ble next steps to over­come chal­lenges. The panel ses­sion fo­cused on nav­i­gat­ing the fu­ture, and the role of civil so­ci­ety in build­ing a democ­racy.

The EU is help­ing to strengthen Myan­mar's civil so­ci­ety. Photo: EPA

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