Civil society is granted an important role under the European Union’s new strategy for Neighborhood. As part of this, the European Commission adopted the “Neighborhood Civil Society Facility” Program in September 2011, for an amount of 22 million Euros for the countries that benefit from the Neighborhood policy. Out this amount, 11 million Euros is to go to southern Neighborhood.

The program is designed to work to (i) strengthen the role and the involvement of non-State actors in the promotion of national reforms and the monitoring of public policies; (ii) strengthen non-State actors through support to national and regional projects; and (iii) promote the involvement of non-State actors in the implementation of bilateral programs and dialog between the European Union and the partner countries.

Louis Berger, acting as lead of a consortium with Proman and bmh Coach, was selected to provide ongoing technical assistance to the European Union Delegation in Morocco in setting up the Facility in the country (PS381). It will support the Delegation in its functions and the performance of its tasks while providing specific technical expertise. The technical assistance team will include two permanent experts (a training and capacity-building expert who also serves a team leader and a dialog and networking expert) as well as a pool of short-term experts. This team will allow for (i) building the capacities of civil society actors; (ii) promoting dialog between civil society actors, public authorities and the European Union Delegation; (iii) networking CSOs and sharing good practices; (iv) supporting CSOs’ internal and external communication; and (V) mapping the Moroccan CSO sector. The project will run for 30 months starting on February 2013.