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Promoting Civic Engagement and Youth Empowerment

Strengthening civil society in the Eastern Partnership

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Cofinancier

    European Commission, Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR)

  • Country
  • Overall term

    2022 to 2026

  • Other Stakeholders

    civil society organisations and groups in Armenia, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and Azerbaijan

  • Products and expertise

    Governance and democracy


Civil society organisations (CSOs) are pivotal in implementing the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and fostering a citizen-oriented society. However, in the Eastern Partnership (EaP), which comprises six countries in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus, CSOs often lack financial and human resources. They also have difficulties representing the interests of their target groups, especially in rural areas. In addition, there is a lack of institutional expertise and opportunities for dialogue and networking.

The participation of young people in particular is essential for democratic societies. In the countries of the EaP, however, there is often a lack of effort to involve them in policy-making. The European Union's ‘EU4Youth: Youth Engagement and Empowerment’ programme therefore focuses on the participation of young people in the EaP and supports with capacity building and reinforcing cooperation between countries.


CSOs drive inclusive local development. Young people in EaP countries have more influence on policy-making, with CSOs and state youth leaders enhancing dialogue at national and local level.

Project participants stand together for a photo.


The project supports local CSOs in three areas: building institutional skills, networking, and implementing projects and regional cooperation. To this end, it offers training courses, links CSOs at events and implements pilot projects.

Through ‘EU4Youth’, the project – which is co-financed by the European Commission – promotes youth participation in the EaP. To do so, it is expanding the dialogue between youth organisations and youth work institutions in the countries of the EaP.

Last update: December 2023

Additional information