When the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was designed in the early 2000s, there was little on the plate for the European Union’s (EU) engagement with civil society. There were separate budget lines to support local and international civil society organisations in their efforts to promote human rights and sustainable development in the neighbouring countries, but the ENP was mainly designed as an instrument for the EU’s relations with governments. However, the EU gradually started to put a greater focus on civil society under the ENP. A number of factors contributed to this. First, there was a turn towards civil society participation in the EU’s internal governance (Saurugger 2010). Second, top-down Europeanisation through institutional convergence in neighbouring countries was unsuccessful in the absence of a membership perspective (Börzel 2011), and even in countries aspiring to EU membership, like Ukraine, the EU needed to empower other actors beyond the ruling class to promote reforms (Wolczuk 2009). Third, civil societies increasingly raised their voices as agents of change, through a series of protests against fraudulent elections in the East and an unexpected outbreak of popular discontent against the authoritarian, state-centric rule in the South, widely known as the Arab uprisings.