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Conflict and Fragility

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Strategizing EU engagement with Syrian diaspora CSO's

04 Oct 2021 - 16:39
Source: Syrians carry their belongings as they cross back into Syria at the Syrian-Turkish border crossing of Bab al-Hawa in Idlib province, Syria ©Reuters

This report was independently researched for the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and can be downloaded here.

Despite the defeat of most revolutionary forces in the field, the ‘battle’ for the political future of Syria is only beginning. Syrian diaspora CSOs can play a significant role in establishing conflict histories, governance capabilities and ideational narratives to the Assad regime. The increasing relevance of Western countries as operating bases offers especially European Union-based actors an opportunity to build a strong partnership with Syrian diaspora CSOs in the long term pursuit of a ‘meaningful political transition’. Realizing this potential requires a stark strategic shift in supporting Syrian CSOs from short term, project based and output focused subcontracting to long term, program oriented and capability focused partnerships.

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