In an effort to create an open communication channel between policy makers and stakeholders, the European Commission (EC) has established the Civil Dialogue Groups (CDGs). The CDGs constitute consultation tools that help the European Commission shape its policy by providing direct, transparent and continuous feedback on agricultural and rural development policy issues. There are 13 CDGs covering multiple focused or generic topics of interest, for instance rural development, environment and climate change, income support and greening, milk, wine etc. They are comprised of non-governmental institutions and organizations from all over EU, meeting regularly and making all their proceeding publicly available (for further information click here).

This study was conducted in order to assess the function of the CDGs, identify strengths, weaknesses as well as potential routes of improvement for this initiative. It provides an impact assessment of the CDGs on the policy-making process so far, it analyses the way they work and their progress regarding the tasks prioritized by the EC. Finally, it also explores how the CDGs interact (or could interact) with other policy-making consultation tools.

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