The EU has said it wants to support a ‘civilian surge’ to improve human security and sustain a robust civil society presence in the Sahel – positioning itself as an important partner to civil society organisations in the region. But research by Security Policy Alternatives Network members Assitan Diallo and Delina Goxho has shown that the EU’s current funding mechanisms also often exclude Sahelian civil society organisations. In the report, members of organisations based in Mali and Niger explain how far the EU needs to go to meet its aspirations – and what needs to happen to ensure strong partnerships between donors, international NGOs and civil society in the region.