The Role of Civil Society in EU Migration Policy: Perspectives on the European Union's Engagement in its Neighborhood
Civil society provides a crucial link between governments and the communities they represent—infusing policy processes with grassroots knowledge to which governments may not otherwise have access. In addition to the state, a panoply of others, from smugglers and diasporas to recruiters and employers, play a decisive role in where and how people decide to move.
While certain actors operate outside of legal channels, others—such as civil society and the private sector—are increasingly building formal and informal relationships with states.
As the European Union seeks to reach out to developing regions in its “neighborhood” of nearby countries, it has emphasized the importance of involving civil society in both agenda-setting and implementation. EU policymakers have yet to clearly articulate how this engagement might be structured. Some have made the argument that the European Union can engage in this process by establishing a framework for dialogue between state and civil society, and by building capacity via technical and programmatic support.
Specifically looking at the European Union’s efforts to engage with civil society, this report examines the benefits, challenges, and mechanisms to building meaningful dialogue and cooperation on migration and development.
II. Overview of Civil-Society Engagement in Migration
A. Benefits and Challenges of Engagement
B. Structure of Civil-Society Relationships with Government
III. Path Forward: New Means of Engagement