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Civil Society and NGOs' Roles in ESDP Operations

Daniela Irrera, Joint paper with Fulvio Attinà

The differentiated structure of the interests represented by the civil society groups and NGOs, as well as the increasing demand for wider popular participation in the civil matters, are imposing on the EU the need to overcome the model of consultation and develop a more effective and integrated system. This is affecting also a sensitive issue like Defence Policy, in which NGOs, in particular, represent several interests pertaining to human development and are able to manage relations with various sectors in a sort of civil dialogue. The paper aims at analyzing the increasing engagement of NGOs, within and in relation to the EU, in the framework of CFSP/ESDP, and in responding to composite humanitarian emergencies. The paper is based on the survey research, conducted in November 2009, of 20 humanitarian NGOs and 5 networks of NGOs based in Geneva and Brussels, and active in the field of humanitarian assistance, peace-building, and conflict transformation and mediation. Data confirm the hypothesis that that there is a significant relation between NGOs and the EU institutions responsible for security and foreign policy, and that humanitarian civil society groups have an important role in European humanitarian intervention.

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