Development Policy and Practice

Re-balancing the European Union security and economic interests with its development policy objectives and its values of democracy, solidarity and respect for human rights is a major challenge for the coming years. The issue is not only about policy coherence for sustainable development but also about using EU financial resources and cooperation instruments for the right purpose and with the right impact in a political context dominated by an economic crisis agenda, global competition for natural resources and land, growing inequalities and shrinking space for civil society.

Building on evidence from its members, ACT Alliance EU aims at influencing EU policy making, legislation and practice which impact on human rights, equality and inclusiveness, particularly for women and girls and the implementation of the sustainable development goals so that all people can realise their full potential and enjoy their rights protected by international law, conventions and norms.


In a changing development cooperation context where private sector is called to play a greater role through public-private partnerships and and where large scale programmes are prioritised, the role of civil society in the democratic governance and accountability of development processes and cooperation is more important than ever. It is essential to preserve the space for civil society organisations and churches to sustain their role as development actors in their own right, not only in solidarity with poor and marginalised populations but also as a main asset to make policies more effective and just, development more equitable and sustainable, governments and business more accountable and societies more peaceful and safe.

ACT Alliance EU works to ensure that EU development policies and cooperation instruments promote and support the multiple roles of civil society. We call on EU and MS to take action in view of promoting and defending CS political and operational space and to support and finance a strong role for CS in the designing, implementation and monitoring of SDGs action plans in Europe and partner countries.

In that view we advocate in particular for permanent and qualitative political and policy dialogue mechanisms between CSOs and the EU institutions including at EU delegations level.

Featured Resources

New ACT Alliance - IDS report on the implications of civic space for the SDGs

This report that was commissioned by the ACT Alliance from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS, Sussex), analyses... Read More

How to strengthen Civil Society space and participation in future EU-ACP relations

In a context of growing criticism and restriction of civil society action in all parts of the world it is essential for... Read More

Promoting Civic space in EU external action

ACT Alliance EU and its members contributed to a new paper by CONCORD that looks at the key components of the enabling e... Read More

CONCORD EU Delegations report 2017

The 2017 EU Delegations report aims to assess, from a CSO perspective, how EUDs support an enabling environment for civi... Read More

ACT EU and EMHRN Letter to Member States on shrinking space for civil society in Israel and Palestine

ACT Alliance EU and EMHRN call on the EU react to the increasingly hostile public and political climate towards anti-o... Read More

Civil society contributions to realizing the 2030 agenda for sustainable development

This paper provides recommendations for EU and MS to support the CSOs roles as analysts and advocates on strategies, pol... Read More


Shrinking space: 27 NGOs write to Commissioner Jourová on Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs)

ACT Alliance EU joined 26 other organisations in writing to Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Tra... Read More

Video from ACT Alliance Consultation on Space for Civil Society in Africa

The UN Special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai and a number of C... Read More

Analysis of 6 EU country roadmaps for engagement with CS and recommendations for the future

The paper presents a desk anlysis of 6 country roadmaps and makes recommendations for their future implementation and re... Read More