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A constructive relationship between NGOs and governments is important!

At CINEFOGOs first final conference in Brussels 17-18 March prof. Erik Amnå discussed civil society’s role in promoting citizenship among non-EU citizens. His presentation was based on the report on Work package 10: Civil Society’s role in promoting citizenship among non-EU-citizens: “Good practices” from Sweden, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Italy by Erik Lundberg, Emanuela Bozzini, Pia Brundin & Erik Amnå.

Amnå noted that for the European Union as a whole, great attention has been put on civil Society to unravel challenges of integration. Among these challenges are discrimination and to provide access to public services such as health care, shelter and legal aid and equal and fair access to housing for immigrants - especially for non-EU immigrants who generally are more exposed to long-term unemployment, social exclusion, poorer working conditions and temporary work. In many cases, NGOs deliver these services. Erik Amnå said: “Our study presents various utilities delivered by successful NGO practices, and with reference to governments NGOs provide a watch dog function through advocacy and by representing citizens who are neither legally nor socially perceived as EU-citizens." Moreover, Amnå noted that NGOs play a significant role in opinion formation, review, critique, information etc. and hereby they make a bridge between various parts of the society. In conclusion Amnå suggested that governments at various levels have to keep the organizational diversity in mind in order to promote a constructive relationship with NGOs and at the same time NGOs have to create a relationship towards the national and local governments. In this way there will be a more productive relationship instead of locked relationships where states and NGOs get stuck on each other. If you are interested in hearing more about the topic, do not hesitate to contact scientific communications consultant Ellen-Kristina Kristensen on telephone number +45 4674 3307 or mail ellenk@ruc.dk Working paper and presentation are available to download from the CINEFOGO outcomes database: http://cinefogo.cuni.cz/index.php?&id_result=27211&l=0&w=15&id_out=761

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