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The term Non State Actors (NSAs) is used by the EC to describe a range of organisations that bring together the principal, existing or emerging, structures of society outside the government and public administration.


NSAs are created voluntarily by citizens, their aim being to promote an issue or an interest, either general or specific. They are independent of the State and can be profit or non-profit-making organisations. NSAs is the broader concept that includesCSOs in all its forms according to national characteristics, as well as private sector and economic partners, (including trade unions) .

The most recent reference to NSAs is article 24.2 of the Development Co-operation Instrument (DCI):

“The non-State, non-profit making actors eligible for financial support under this Regulation operating on an independent and accountable basis include: non governmental organisations, organisations representing indigenous peoples, organisations representing national and/or ethnic minorities, local traders' associations and citizens' groups, cooperatives, trade unions, organisations representing economic and social interests, organisations fighting corruption and fraud and promoting good governance, civil rights organisations and organisations combating discrimination, local organisations (including networks) involved in decentralised regional cooperation and integration, consumer organisations, women's and youth organisations, teaching, cultural, research and scientific organisations, universities, churches and religious associations and communities, the media and any non governmental associations and independent foundations, including independent political foundations, likely to contribute to the implementation of the objectives of this Regulation ”