Stabilization via change? The European Union’s support for human rights advocacy in Lebanon
EU SUPPORT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS IN THE CONTEXT OF THE EUROPEAN NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICY IN LEBANON
Civil society is identified as a key partner for the European Union (EU) and receiver of financial support in the European Neighbourhood Policy, as civil society is closest to the citizen’s needs, for example in terms of human rights. However, the existing body of research questions whether such aspirations for human rights are compatible with the EU’s main priority in neighbourhood, stabilization. To investigate how this alleged contradiction affects the de facto support for pro-democratic civil society organizations, this research focuses on the question “What are the means of the European Neighbourhood Policy to support Lebanese Human Rights Organizations in their advocacy for Human Rights and Democracy in Lebanon?” Interviews with local experts show that the EU Delegation is striving to cooperate closely with civil society actors to support their human rights advocacy but is limited in their capacity to provide funding to HROs due to a shift of priorities in the newest Single Support Framework (SSF). A comparison of the SSF from before and after stabilization became the main priority, confirms this finding.