EU-Funded Project Creates New Opportunities For Civil Society Organisations In Azerbaijan

EU-Funded Project Creates New Opportunities For Civil Society Organisations In Azerbaijan

The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are starting a new three-year project to support a modern, innovation-driven and sustainable civil society in Azerbaijan, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting AzerTac.

EU-funding of EUR 3 million will help increase civil society organisations’ (CSO) capacities to engage in policy-making processes, local development, and social innovation.

An online launch event of the EU funded project “Developing innovation-driven and sustainable civil society in Azerbaijan” brought together over 50 local civil society organisations, social enterprises and active community groups.

In his opening remarks, EU Ambassador to Azerbaijan Kestutis Jankauskas said that the EU continues to support its partner Azerbaijan in its modernisation efforts. “The EU experience shows that building modern society succeeds only when fully supporting the development of the human capital, enabling the civil society through social entrepreneurship and encouraging civil initiatives,” he noted.

“CSOs are powerful allies that can drive positive change and they can have a central role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We have seen that worldwide social entrepreneurship is playing a growing role in key development areas such as women’s empowerment, climate action, SME growth and helping the most vulnerable people cope with the COVID-19 pandemic – and we believe that this project will complement such ongoing efforts in Azerbaijan too,`” UNDP Resident Representative Alessandro Fracassetti said.

The three-year project, funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP, will help to increase civil society organisations (CSOs) capacities to engage in the policy-making processes and foster local development, also to build an enabling ecosystem and capacities for social entrepreneurship and social innovation. Project beneficiaries are CSOs and socially-oriented SMEs.