detail - Multinational Development Policy Dialogue Brussels
Study and Information Program
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In democratizing countries, civil society should ideally function as a forum for active citizen engagement, underlining the principles of tolerance, of diversity and pluralism, mutual acceptance, willingness to compromise, trust, and cooperation.
Civil society organizations (CSOs) should serve as advocates, influencing government both to adopt positions supported by their members and to follow rules that facilitate open, free, and fair political debate and decisions. Thus, a crucial element of democratization is the creation of organizations that can act independently and confront the government, either to hold it to account or to influence policy. However, the ability to participate in social dialogue depends to a large extent on accessibility of information and accessibility of the dialogue itself.
Civil society organisations strive to ensure the accountability and responsiveness of government to the people but are often facing widespread and palpable distrust of governments. In the same sense, parliaments and political parties are engaging to a very limited extent with CSOs although the latter provide a rich pool of experience and knowledge and constitute an important transmitter to constituencies.
In addition, in states where service delivery capacity remains low, CSOs quite often step in and take on governmental functions thus loosing part of their own independence.
All in all, contacts between civil and political society are plentiful but still need to be further developed, and brought to a level of mutual understanding, trust and complementarity.
The dialogue programme for KAS partners from Afghanistan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam aims to allow the participants insights into European policy shaping processes. It provides the opportunity for representatives of selected think tanks and policy advisory bodies to engage with European think tanks and CSO platforms, political party representatives, Members of the European Parliament on the modus operandi for exchange existent in Europe. It creates a platform of exchange on political situations in the respective countries and allows representatives of the EU institutions to gain direct insights from a CSO perspective.
Dr. Hamidullah Noor Ebad, Director, National Centre for Policy Research (NCPR), Afghanistan
Khalid Bin Jaafar, Director, Institute for Policy Research (IPR), Malaysia
Khan Ahmed Goraya, Executive Director, Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS),
Assoc. Prof. Woothisarn Tanchai, Deputy Secretary-General, King Prajadhipok’s Institute (KPI), Thailand
Yosavadee Boonyakiat, Co-Director, Institute for Public Policy Studies, Thailand
Prof. Vu Thi Vinh, Vice General Secretary, Association of Cities of Vietnam (ACVN), Vietnam