Promoting civic engagement beyond capital cities

Project description

Title: Strengthening civil society in the Eastern Partnership
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Eastern Partnership: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine​​​​​​​
Overall term: 2022 bis 2024


Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have joined the European Union’s Eastern Partnership. Civil society in these countries is demanding participation and citizen-oriented action from the state.

Nevertheless, democracy movements such as those in Ukraine in 2013 and 2014 and recently in Belarus show that many citizens are confronted with strict laws, state oppression and violence. Civic organisations in the capital cities have a much greater capacity to act than those in rural regions. However, the necessary resources are often unavailable in both cases. It is also difficult for them to independently represent the interests of their target groups.

Civic organisations play a key role in implementing the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and in developing a citizen-oriented society. However, in the countries of the Eastern Partnership, organisations committed to long-term and inclusive local development do not have sufficient institutional and implementation capacities, regional dialogue formats and external networking opportunities.


Local civil society has an influence on inclusive local development.


The project promotes capacity development in the areas of organisation and cooperation. At the same time, it enhances the expertise of experts and managers in civic organisations. This is achieved not only through training courses, but also through networking and the implementation of pilot measures.

In addition, strategic networks in the region make it possible to discuss common challenges and lessons learned. This supports networking, makes local perspectives and contributions visible, and thus aims to make an impact on society as a whole.

Last update: May 2022