Friday, 25 July 2008

Call for NGO projects in Bulgaria

On 1 July, Bulgaria became the eleventh country to launch a fund for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with support from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The fund will be managed by the the Foundation for Local Government Reform in partnership with the Bulgarian Environmental Partnership Foundation

The NGO Fund in Bulgaria is part of the implementation of the EEA Financial Mechanism. The goal of the NGO Fund in Bulgaria is to strengthen civil society in the country by supporting projects under the priority areas described below. The main objective of the EEA Financial Mechanism is to support economic and social development of Bulgaria as a member of the European Economic Area in line with the national priorities and the agreements with the EU.

Under the present call, applicants can apply for funding for projects within the following priority areas:

  • Protection of the environment and promotion of sustainable development;
  • Provision and development of social services, such as in health and childcare;
  • Development of civil society and protection of human rights.
All Bulgarian NGOs functioning on a not for profit basis are eligible applicants, and projects that involve partners from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are encouraged.

Deadline for submission is: 15th October 2008

Find further information (including link to FAQs) at:
Download the call guidelines from:

Source: CONCORD EU Monitoring Newletter 25 July 2008

Quality of Aid in Poland: promoting good practices and Tanzanian expertise

Representatives of Polish NGOs working in developing countries met to discuss the ways to implement good practices contributing to good governance and enhancing participation and ownership of local societies.

The meeting was co organised by the AidWatch working group of the Polish NGO platform Grupa Zagranica and the Institute of Global Responsibility.

The main topics discussed at the meeting, were good governance, participation in the public space and access to information.

The discussion was preceded by the presentation of a report of the three Tanzania think-tanks Lawyers’ Environmental Action Team (LEAT), Agenda for Environment and Responsible Development and Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) based on the research and methodology used in the framework of the The Access Initiative (TAI).

The report contains several recommendations in relation to good governance and democratic transition in Tanzania such as:
  • transparent procedures to ensure accountability of the right to information
  • manual about rights to information and promoting civil rights
  • good documentation of the consultancy processes
  • increase in the participation in consultancy process
  • transparent procedures in dissemination of the information about sustainable development

The report is one of the outcomes of the project „The Access Initiative: Good Environmental Governance - a Prerequisite of Sustainable Development” that is run by the Hungarian organisation EMLA – Environmental Management and Law Association. The project is implemented in 5 new member states of the EU and presents the voice of the NGOs from the global South.

Several conclusions and proposals to improve Polish Aid were drawn during the meeting that include both recommendations towards the NGDOs and the strategy for Polish Official Development Assistance. The proposals focus on improving the consultations and ownership with local communities, procedures of needs assessment of the projects of the NGDOs and better research based on the local expertise. The representatives of the NGOs proposed to elaborate the strategies for Polish Aid in the recipients countries, especially in the priority countries as Tanzania, which could contribute to improve of the impact of aid in long-term.

The project TAI and Development is funded by the Presidency Fund.

Information provided by Kordian Kochanowicz, Institute of Global Responsibility (IGO),

Estonian NGOs joining efforts in „Global school" Internet portal

This summer a new internet portal ( was opened in Estonia. The portal brings together various Development Education (DE) materials in Estonian language which are targeted to schools, teachers and students. From the portal you can find background materials on different global issues as well as a variety of methodological materials: exercises, games, simulations and debates. Throung the webpage teachers can also find out information on upcoming events and trainings; take part in international campaigns or find partner schools in developing countries; as well as order films, exhibitions or voluntary speakers to their school.

„We felt that as we are working with the same issues and target group it is best that we join efforts and support each other", says Johanna Helin, coordinator of „Watch and Change" project by Jaan Tõnisson Institute, which is one of the main initiators of the joint portal. „Many times EU projects start their own portals which die out as the funding for the project stops. Making this together and with a wider scope and mandate than that of just one project, makes the portal more sustainable", she adds. Other EU-funded DE projects behind the portal are „Solidarity school" by Humana Estonia and „Estelle – sustainable consumerism" project by the Estonian Green Movement. Making of the portal has been supported by the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute.

Themes covered in the portal include North-South relations, fair trade, MDGs, women and development, sustainable and ethical consumerism, refugees and asylum seekers, migration and many other global issues. New themes and materials are added as soon as they are produced.

Find more information on the portal at or contact Johanna Helin, „Watch and Change" project coordinator, Jaan Tõnisson Institute,

Information provided by Johanna Helin, Jaan Tõnisson Institute

European Parliament adopts resolution on Enlargement

The European Parliament adopted a report on 10 July on the EU’s enlargement policy, written by MEP Elmar Brok (EPP-ED, Germany). The report encourages the EU to create something between the current Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and full EU membership.

MEPs see this happening to some extent with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) to the South and the ideas for an Eastern partnership that were suggested by Poland and Sweden and have been approved by the Council. During the discussion in the plenary however, Commissioner Rehn, the enlargement commissioner, rejected this idea as it risked creating doubts among those countries that are already on the path to accession.

The report calls for a balance within the EU’s enlargement strategy, reflecting Europe’s interests, political developments around the EU and its absorption capacities. It also underlines the importance of citizens’ support for enlargement, suggesting that any future enlargement be supported by a coordinated communication policy that tells citizens about the ‘political, economic, social and cultural benefits of enlargement’.

Full text of the report:

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

KARAT: Call for the submission of photographs for competition

The KARAT Coalition together with its partners has the pleasure to announce a call for the submission of photographs addressing the socio-economic situation of women from Albania, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The deadline for submission of photographs is October 15, 2008. The competition will lead to a series of exhibitions in various EU cities (Brussels, Warsaw, Berlin and Bratislava).

The competition is part of a large regional, development education project co-funded by the European Commission called “Through Their Eyes, Through Ours: Raising the public’s awareness about development problems faced by women from developing countries in the EU Eastern Neighbourhood, Balkans and Central Asia”. The project is implemented by KARAT Coalition in partnership with GenderMediaCaucasus Journalists' Association (Georgia), Permaculture and Peacebuilding Center Ppc Shtip (Macedonia), Slovak Centre for Communication and Development (Slovakia), Women in Development Europe - WIDE (Belgium) and WOMNET (Germany).

Find more details about the theme, the selection process and formal requirements on:

For more information about the competition or the project under which the exhibition is held (Through Their Eyes, Through Ours), please write to

Download the latest summer issue of KARAT News from:

Information provided by Marta Gontarska, KARAT Coalition

Tips and Tricks: "How to access European Community development co-operation funds"

The German Foundation for World Population (DSW) launched the 7th European edition of "Tips and Tricks", a manual on "How to access European Community development co-operation funds".

It is available to NGOs worldwide. The publication provides you with comprehensive information on how to draw on EC resources, available for Civil Society Organizations. Tips and Tricks "European Edition" reflects changes in the EC’s external aid and provides an overview of new programmes, selection criteria, application procedures and contact information.

Besides the European edition, you can also download the Ethiopian, Kenyan, Tanzanian and Ugandan versions of Tips & Tricks, focusing on the respective local funding environments.

Please click here to access Tips and Tricks (free download):

Visit the website of the German Foundation for World Population (DSW):

Information provided by Mirja Leibnitz, EuroNGOs Coordinator

Thursday, 24 July 2008

EC Application Training in Romania

In the end of May, Cypriot, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian, Maltese, Polish, Romanian and Slovak NGOs received an invitation letter from the EC to present their full applications as lead agencies within the thematic programme "Non state actors and Local Authorities" and thus have been invited to participate in the second stage of the Call for Proposals 2007 (following their successful concept notes in the first stage).

In this context, the Romanian platform FOND hosted the TRIALOG training on "how to write a full project proposal" in June, with participants from Cyprus and Romania.
After studying the guidelines of the Call, the group worked during 2 days in 40°C hot Bukarest – without aircondition facilities - and elaborated the different project proposals, logframes and the budgets, which have then been submitted to the EC before the deadline of July 15.

The EC announced that the evaluation of the full applications will be completed by mid October 2008 and results will become available then. Once again, TRIALOG keeps fingers cross for all projects presented with participation of new member states NGOs.

We would be grateful if you share the result of your application with us, please email to TRIALOG Capacity Building officer Petra Kreinecker:

Information provided by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG

Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood (EPAN) Working Group

CONCORD’s working group on enlargement, pre-accession and neighbourhood issues, also known as EPAN, has launched a process that should enable the group to make a well-informed contribution to a mid-term review of the EU’s neighbourhood partnership instrument, which is due to take place next year.

Members of the working group are disseminating a questionnaire among their partners in the neighbouring countries of Egypt and Ukraine to gather views and experiences of the European Union’s Neighbourhood policy (ENP) and the accompanying partnership instrument (ENPI).

It is hoped that these experiences will allow the group to analyse the information gathered and assess where improvements could be made in the future. The information will be gathered over the next couple of months, and a preliminary analysis will be available by the time of the working group’s next meeting in October.

Copies of the questionnaire and more information about the case studies can be requested from Rebecca Steel:

For more information on EPAN, please visit:

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Which mobility between neighbours? Quelle Mobilité entre Voisins?

This conference, organised by the Greens in the European Parliament, looked at the European Neighbourhood and asked what kind of mobility was being encouraged for citizens of those countries in and out of the EU. It took place on the first day of the French Presidency, which has the neighbourhood as a central focus of its term leading Europe.

MEPs and academics discussed the politically sensitive issues of migration, security and human rights with each other and a member of the European Commission, although the Council and Presidency representatives who were invited did not attend the conference. The group tackled the issue with relation to the eastern neighbourhood first, before turning to the Mediterranean countries, which are in the spotlight because of the French push for the Union for the Mediterranean.

The free movement of people is one of the fundamental freedoms of the EU, and the EC representative reassured the group that it would continue to be important, not just for EU citizens, but for citizens of the neighbourhood as well. Security is an area of concern when discussing migration issues, but all speakers agreed that these should not be seen as trade offs and need to be improved together.

A fuller report of the event is available from Rebecca Steel:
Information and contacts:

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Joint Committee Meeting on the EU and Development Policy

The European Parliament hosted a joint Development Committee meeting on 26 June, for members of the European Parliament and their counterparts from national parliaments. The committee focused on the EU’s development policy in general during the first part of the meeting; moving to discussions around the role parliaments can play in the Aid Effectiveness agenda in the context of policy coherence for development (PCD); and finally coming to the situation for new member states (NMS) in terms of EU development cooperation.

Speakers such as Commissioner Louis Michel and CONCORD director Olivier Consolo addressed the group, and a lively discussion was held on all topics covered by the agenda.

Concerning the new member states, MEP Danutė Budreikaitė presented the findings of her report on the topic, and underlined the lack of donor experience in these countries. She talked about their relative advantage when it comes to experience and shared history with the Western Balkans. Budreikaitė spoke about the lack of traditional links to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and highlighted the focus on good governance and human rights, rather than the general poverty reduction focus the rest of the EU seems to favour. When talking about the particular challenges NMS face, Budreikaitė mentioned the lack of centralised structures dealing with development cooperation; the NGOs that lack resources; the awareness raising that is needed among the general public and the weak coordination between different actors in the field.

MEP Filip Kaczmarek added to what Budreikaitė had said, by saying that the path the NMS are following is not always compatible with that of the rest of the EU where development cooperation is concerned. He underlined the problems linked to coordination, citing an example from Poland where Tanzania was chosen as a priority country one year, only for the Polish Embassy there to be closed the following year. One problem regarding the public, in his mind is the recognition of humanitarian aid compared to the incomprehension of development aid. Kaczmarek finished by saying that even in the NMS, development issues are hot topics, as they are linked to so many other burning issues like migration, human rights and the current food crisis.

A fuller report of the event is available from Rebecca Steel:
EP press release:

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Aug.31 - Sept.1, 2008: Bled Strategic Forum 2008 - Climate Change and Energy

The Centre for European Perspective in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia is organising the third Bled Strategic Forum annual conference entitled "Energy and Climate Change: Si.nergy for the Future", which will be held in Bled, Slovenia from 31 August to 1 September 2008.

The Conference will address soaring oil and gas prices, public concern over our dependence on imports of energy resources and the mounting evidence of global warming. The event will bring together high-level government representatives, politicians, EU officials, private sector leaders and representatives from think tanks and the non-governmental sector to examine possible synergy between energy security and care for the environment.

Last year, more than 400 prominent guests from 52 countries and 6 international organisations attended the Bled Strategic Forum and Bled will this year once again be in the international limelight with international political, economic, academic and civil society representatives engaging in a dialogue on the challenges of today.

The Bled Strategic Forum 2008 will be opened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dimitrij Rupel, who will be accompanied in the introductory leaders' panel, "Strategic Challenges of Climate Change and Energy Security", by Prime Minister Janez Janša, alongside other heads of state and government. Participation has already been confirmed by Latvian Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek, and the former Austrian Federal Chancellor, Wolfgang Schüssel. Many other distinguished guests are expected to take part in the conference as well.

The organisers kindly invite you to attend the conference. The deadline for applications to participate at the conference and to obtain accreditations for media representatives is 20 August. Since the preparation procedure for the conference is in progress, you are invited to consult regularly, which contains the updated information regarding the conference, including the programme and logistic details. For more information contact Ms Tina Ferle (e-mail:

Information provided by Tina Ferle, Centre for European Perspective

Aug.-Sept. 2008: International Peace and Development Trainings; Great Britain/Romania

The International Peace and Development Training Center (IPDCT) together with the Peace Action Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR) are announcing the schedule of Training Programmes for August and September 2008:
  • Systemic Peacebuilding: London, August 26th – 28th, 2008
  • Transformative Mediation: London, August 29th – 30th, 2008
  • Advanced Mediation and Peacebuilding: Cluj-Napoca, Romania, September 15th – 19th, 2008
  • Designing Peacebuilding Programmes, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, September 22nd-26th, 2008
The deadline for applications for the first two courses is August 15, 2008, for the courses in Romania between August 4 and August 31, depending on visa needs.

For more details, please visit
For additional information please write to

Information provided by Zsuzsanna Kacso, IPDTC,

Sept. 29-30, 2008: "Connecting the EU and Neighbouring countries", Zadar/Croatia

Following-up to the EU Neighbourhood Conference in April in Ljubljana (see April TIS) which resulted in the adoption of the Ljubljana declaration (, The European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) and the National Foundation for Civil Society Development (NFCSD) from Croatia are organising a conference on"Civil Society connecting the EU and neighbouring countries: 3 collaboration spaces for civil society development beyond EU borders". It will take place in Zadar, Croatia, between 29 and 30 September 2008.

The collaboration spaces will be organised around the following themes:
1. The Ljubljana declaration and beyond
2. Agenda for common problems and solutions for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from the EU Neighbourhood
3. Enhanced donor coordination for sustainable civil society development

The deadline for registration is 18 August 2008.

Find further information, the draft programme and registration form at:

Information provided by Elena Tegovska, ECAS, and Olivier Consolo, CONCORD.

Sept. 2008 - March 2009: International Civilian Peace Keeping/Peace Building Training Program

The Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR) announces training opportunities within the International Civilian Peace Keeping and Peace Building Training Program (IPT). IPT is a practically-oriented training program for experts of various professional background who work (or intend to work) as civilians in conflict regions – be it for international organizations like the UN or OSCE, or for governmental or non-governmental organizations. Participants come from all continents, as do trainers who are experts in their field with their own working experience in crisis regions.

Upcoming courses are:
Core Course: 28 September - 11 October 2008; Application Deadline: 1 August 2008
Women in Armed Conflict: 12 October - 24 October 2008; Application Deadline: 1 August 2008
Core Course: 1-14 March 2009; Application Deadline: 6 December 2008
Project Management: 15-27 March 2009; Application Deadline: 6 December 2008

Scholarships are available for applicants from non-OECD states.
For more information please visit:
For further details please contact Silvia Polster, ASPR,

Information provided by Michael Lidauer, Austrian Study Centre for Peace & Conflict Resolution

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Development Assistance Operators from the EU New Member States

Many European Union New Member States (NMS) have recently shifted from being recipients of development assistance to a role of international donors. The conference "Development Assistance Operators from the EU New Member States: Experiences, Trends and Challenges" was one of the events of the Slovenian Presidency of the European Union Council. It took place in Ljubljana from June 3 – 4, 2008 and was organised by the Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF), Centre for European Perspective (CEP), Foundation “TOGETHER” and International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF).

The aim was to examine the need of NMS to (re)design their development assistance policies and to explore best practices of institutional arrangements for the assistance implementation. The conference agenda also included discussion on sector and geographic advantages of Development Assistance Operators from NMS and their greatest challenge to design development cooperation with developing countries, especially with the least developed ones.

For more information please visit:
Download the final conference report from:


Oct. 2-3, 2008: The Interface between Population, Environment and Poverty Alleviation, Lyon

Equilibres & Population (E&P), the host of this year’s EuroNGOs conference and AGM, and the EuroNGOs secretariat are pleased to invite you to the 2008 EuroNGOs conference on “The Interface between Population, Environment and Poverty Alleviation - Possibilities and challenges for SRHR advocacy (Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights) against the background of ICPD (International Conference on Population and Development) and the MDGs (Millennium Development Gaols ), which will be held 2-3 October 2008 in Lyon, France.

The interest in environment and population issues is growing among donors, policy makers and the development cooperation community, and this interest could be an entry point for EuroNGOs members and partners to open up to and build alliances with other key development constituencies (especially environmental) advocating for the ICPD Programme of Action and the MDGs.

Hence, EuroNGOS conference 2008 will provide an overview of the current climate change and environment discussions in the framework of development policies and programming. It will focus on the respective challenges and opportunities for a rights-based European SRHR advocacy network, taking into mind that the linkages between population, poverty, the environment and climate change have already been made and the possibilites of mainstreaming climate change are already discussed among international as well as EU researchers and stakeholders.

Further information about the conference as well as a preliminary programme are available at

The deadline for registration is prolonged to: August 31, 2008

Information provided by Mirja Leibnitz, Coordinator EuroNGOs

Oct. 9-11, 2008: WIDE Conference ´Feminist Visions for a Just Europe´, The Hague

On 9 to 11 October, the WIDE (Women In Development Europe) Annual Conference 2008 entitled ´Feminist Visions for a Just Europe´ will take place in The Hague in the Netherlands.

This year´s conference will be hosted by WO=MEN, the Dutch Gender Platform, and is expected to convene at least 200 delegates representing the unique triangle of women living and working in the ´West, East and South´. Its general aim is to examine Europe´s role (and responsibilities) in the world, viewed through the lens of women´s rights and gender justice.

Each of the three conference days is structured to meet concrete goals:
Day 1: Feminisms in Europe Today ­Reflections
Day 2: Europe´s Role in the World through the Lens of Women´s Rights and Gender Justice ­ Challenges and Opportunities
Day 3: Building a Feminist Future through a Just Europe ­ Strategies and Alliances

For more information and the preliminary programme, please visit:

Read the latest WIDE newsletter with news from June at:


Development Education Summer School 2008

76 participants, from 39 different countries met in Kontakt der Kontinenenten in the Netherlands, from June 22 to June 29, for the 10th edition of the Development Education Summer School.

This year, the Summer School has been co-organised by DEEEP (Development Education Exchange in Europe Project) and COS Netherlands, on the behalf of the Dutch Platform. Participants, together with the facilitators and candides reflected on “how to put global poverty and social exclusion on the political agenda, through development education, advocacy, campaigning”.

Participants were divided into working groups, according to their interests and experience: that’s why 5 working groups were set up. The issue was faced at local, national and European level. In addition to the working groups, participants could chose to follow some thematic sessions, presented by experts coming mainly from international organisations. Just like last year’s Summer School, participants could also attend Open Space and Audiovisual spaces, where they could present some documentaries, methodologies used, or simply network and share useful information.

In order to break the ice among participants, a cultural evening was also organised: with a glass of ouzo, or a piece of dried mango, or cheese from Latvia, meeting other participants was much more easy. Although fun has always been present during the entire week, participants have not only partied! They produced some interesting material with regards to the electoral process. For instance, working group 3, focusing on the European level, simulated a CONCORD Campaign for the next 2009 EU elections. The outcomes of all the working groups were presented the last day, during the last plenary session.

All the material is now available on DEEEP website
The final evaluation and report of the summer school will also soon be available on the DEEEP website! For more information, contact Chiara Tripepi (DEEEP Information Officer):

Information provided by Chiara Tripepi, DEEEP Information Officer

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Nov. 4-9, 2008: UNITED Conference, Belgrade

UNITED is the largest pan-European anti-racist network of more than 560 organisations. The next UNITED Conference, entitled "Europe under Construction: Imagine our Future without Hate!" will take place on November 4-9, 2008, near Belgrade. The deadline for nominations is 5 September 2008.

There are great challenges in front of all of us. Europe is an old continent with a past full of conflict, still in the process to define its identity and shape its future. The aim of the conference is to strengthen the anti-racist movement in Europe, particularly in the Balkans, and to promote solidarity among civil society organisations. The conference will bring together around 70 NGO participants from different social, national, religious or other minority background, and offers the possibility to share visions of European past, present and future in working groups, strategy building workshops, presentations, political cafes, panel discussions, intercultural activities and many other occassions.

All information on the main themes of the conference and the e-nomination form can be found on the website

The conference is prepared by: Afro-Asian Community of Moldova (MD), Association of Recognized Refugees in Cyprus (CY), Civic Assistance Committee Refugees & Forced Migrants (RUS), Ethnicity Research Center (RS), MTP Oradea (RO), QUEERIA Center (RS), Master on Immigration Programme University of Venice (I) and UNITED for Intercultural Action; with the support of the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

Source: UNITED E-NEWS 04/07/08

The Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean

On 13 July 2008, President Nicholas Sarkozy of France hosted the Paris summit, at which the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean was launched.

Speaking in the European Parliament the following week, Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner spoke of the summit as “a great moment placing the Mediterranean at the heart of the debate” and stressed the excellent involvement of all summit participants, reflecting the need to “tackle common challenges together”. The commissioner talked about the importance of the commitments taken during the summit, which would contribute to peace, environmental conservation, energy security and employment, among other aspects.

French foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who also spoke before the foreign affairs committee at the European Parliament, said that the Union would build on the strong base the EU has already, thanks to the Barcelona process. He also talked about the importance of bringing in new ways of funding the multinational projects that will take place, and stressed the hope that is felt in relation to the region, as demonstrated by the solidarity and cooperation of the North and South sides of the Mediterranean Sea in the Union project.

The Union for the Mediterranean, an extension of the already existing but commonly regarded unsatisfactory Barcelona process, has focused renewed attention on the region. Plans include a co-presidency, high level meeting every two years, a secretariat to work on project administration, a permanent committee in Brussels, and large high profile projects that can easily be explained to European and Mediterranean citizens.

Human rights organisations have appealed to the heads of state and government who attended the launch not to be led purely by economic interests, but to take human rights violations committed by those in the Union into account. The three organisations claim the emphasis on economic projects “seriously misunderstands the aspirations of the people of the region who yearn for development as much as they yearn for the enjoyment of the fundamental freedoms they are denied.”

Joint Declaration of the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean:
Call on heads of states of the EU:

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Latest CONCORD and DEEEP newsletters

June is traditionally a very busy month for CONCORD. This year, the focus has been on the agenda to meet the Development Goals, the brain drain from the developing countries, the assessment of the Financial Regulation, the future of the European budget, the Development Education Summer School and CONCORD’s first General Assembly of the year.

Read more and download the CONCORD Flash Nr. 53 of June 2008 from:

Download the latest issue of the Development Education (DE) Times (Nr. 8; June/July 2008) from:

The content includes information on the June DE Summer School in the Netherlands, the Development education Forum spring meeting, the Ljubljana Conference on Inter-cultural dialogue and development education, the switch in the EU Presidency etc. The DE Times is published by DEEEP, the Development Education Exchange in Europe Project.

Sources: and information provided by Chiara Tripepi, DEEEP

Nov. 9-22, 2008: Students Workshop on Peace, Religion and Media; Iran

The First Students Workshop on Peace, Religion and Media will be held in Iran, from November 9th to 22nd, 2008 simultaneously with The Second International Conference on Religion and Media. It will provide a unique opportunity in a friendly environment for the young participants to explore the complicated relationship between religion and media and to enhance their knowledge and skills in redirecting the power of this relationship towards the positive aim of building a culture of peace.

Invited are young journalists, film and media activists, NGO workers, peace and human rights activists, community leaders and researchers who have at least a bachelor degree in related fields to apply for the workshop. All costs of the program in Iran (accommodation, food, local transport, etc) will be covered for participants but they are responsible for their own airfare.

Further information can be found at:

Information provided by Chiara Tripepi, DEEEP Information Officer and Mahdiye Tavakol, IRIB University, Tehran

Monday, 21 July 2008

EADI General Conference: Reports of sessions

500 participants and speakers attended the 12th EADI General Conference on “Global Governance and Sustainable Development” from 24 to 28 June 2008 in Geneva.

Reports of the sessions and interviews are available on the conference blog at

Source: EADI e-newsletter #3-2008 (July)

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Exploring the effectiveness of civil society organisations

On 29 and 30 June 2008, over 70 representatives from civil society organisations (CSOs) from all around the world met in Paris to discuss how to take forward a process through which they will take up the challenges to their effectiveness as development actors. The meeting was called by an interim Global Facilitation Group and organised by CONCORD together with its partner organisations.

The meeting was the first global gathering of the process and an opportunity for a wide range of CSO representatives to give their inputs and to develop a shared vision for the process. They, inter alia, agreed on the composition of the Global Facilitation Group – the body that will facilitate, represent and oversee the process up to December 2010 - as well as on some key guidance deemed crucial in attaining the expected results (among other things an agreement on common principles regarding CSO effectiveness).

The meeting is the first tangible result of a process that had been agreed by a number of CSO representatives during informal talks at the Ottawa International Forum on Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness in February this year. There, in a context of increasing pressure from official donors on CSOs to sign-up to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, they resolved to launch a global CSO-driven process towards agreeing on their own principles of effectiveness. Earlier, CSOs have welcomed the intention of signatories to the Paris Declaration to improve their effectiveness, but stated that the Declaration and its principles are not applicable as such to them.

The report of the meeting and a progress report that summarises the ambitions and cornerstones of the process will be available soon. A workshop to share the outcomes of Paris and discuss the process will be held during the CSO Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra (31 August – 1 September). CSO effectiveness will also be on the agenda of the subsequent Third High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (also to be held in Accra), in particular in round table number six of this event (“Role of Civil Society in Advancing Aid Effectiveness”).

For further information: or contact Franz Josef Berger:

Information provided by Agnes Philippart, CONCORD

European Blue Card risks increasing brain drain

By developing a so-called Blue Card, a system similar to the American Green Card, the European Union (EU) hopes to have found the solution for the growing shortage of highly skilled employees on the European labour market. The Blue Card will make it easier for highly skilled people from third countries, among which developing countries, to come to Europe for employment purposes. With the current Blue Card proposal, the EU risks to increase brain drain in essential development sectors such as education and health. The proposal therefore clashes with the objectives of the EU’s development policy.

The EU Coherence Programme, a joint initiative of the Evert Vermeer Foundation and CONCORD, finds it important that, before the Blue Card becomes effective, the EU takes a closer look at the possible negative consequences of highly skilled migration for the countries of origin.

Of course everybody has the right to migrate. Moreover, migration can have a positive impact on development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – especially when migrants return to their home countries with new skills and experience. Developing countries are however already suffering from a lack of highly skilled professionals in important development sectors. This labour shortage is a major obstacle for the achievement of the MDGs, one of the priorities of the EU’s development policy. The Blue Card proposal must therefore include stronger safeguards and guarantees in order to prevent brain drain.

In a new case study, focussing on the coherence between the EU’s migration and development policies, in relation to the Blue Card proposal specifically, the EU Coherence Programme highlights existing incoherencies and suggests several changes to the proposal, that are necessary to enhance coherence between the Blue Card proposal and the EU’s development objectives:

The EU Coherence Programme stresses the need for an effective code of conduct on ethical recruitment, in order to prevent active recruitment in developing countries in sectors suffering from a lack of human resources. This is especially necessary for the health sector. The code of conduct should be legally binding and include the practices of the private sector.

Furthermore, the EU Coherence Programme states the EU should provide adequate assistance to developing countries in order to address the internal push factors for migration. Also, the EU should provide concrete measures to stimulate (permanent) return of Blue Card holders, in order to prevent the negative impact on the source countries. If the EU attracts workers whose educations have been provided for by their home countries, countries of origin should be appropriately compensated for this provision of skills. Finally, the EU Coherence Programme states that the EU should encourage its Member States to strengthen their own national workforce policies, in order to become less dependent on foreign workers from third countries.

On Monday 23 June, the EU Coherence Programme organised an expert meeting on the possible impact – positive and negative – of the Blue Card proposal on developing countries. During this expert meeting, migration and development experts from the EU and developing countries discussed the proposal and tried to find solutions for the issues outlined above.

Linkt to the case study:
For futher information:,

Information provided by Agnes Philippart, CONCORD

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

European Consensus on Development available in EU languages

The “European Consensus on Development: the contribution of Development Education & Awareness Raising” is now available in most EU languages on the website of DG Development (DG DEV) of the European Commission.

Download your language version from:

Information provided by Sam Biesemans, Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Thursday, 10 July 2008

European NGOs condemn putting aid at the service of immigration control

While European and G8 countries are failing to deliver on their international aid commitments, European Development NGOs are deeply concerned about linking immigration control and development cooperation.

On 7 and 8 July 2008, the French Presidency presented a draft European pact on immigration and asylum to its partners at the informal meeting of Justice and home affairs Ministers in Cannes. This draft Pact suggests migration should become an important element in all External Relations of the Member States. It invites Member States to conclude agreements with countries of origin or transit on migration and development.

“These agreements, which bring the fight against illegal immigration and development under the same framework, have allowed France and a few other OECD members to use aid to put pressure on developing countries when negotiating tough readmission agreements. Generalising this negotiation tactic at European level could be very damaging for developing countries” explains Vice-Chair of Coordination SUD, the French national NGO platform, responsible for European issues.

“Linking development policies and migration presents clear risks of undermining the focus on the eradication of poverty and inequalities in the poorest countries. Europe cannot tie the allocation of aid to developing countries to progress on legal or illegal migration and readmission. Whilst European Member States may sign agreements on migration with third countries, these should not become conditions for development cooperation” says Olivier Consolo, Director of CONCORD, the European confederation of relief and development NGOs.

European Development NGOs call for aid programs to retain poverty eradication and sustainable development as primary objectives, in line with the European Consensus on Development and the Maastricht Treaty. While many countries of origin for migration flows are currently suffering from food shortage, European aid must support essential social services, agricultural development and poverty eradication rather than the capacity of these countries to control their potential migrants. Aid must not be retargeted on the fight against “illegal immigration” in countries of origin and transit.

Contact: Melis Alguadis

Further reading:
CONCORD Aidwatch report and press release on the reality of the aid delivered by the European Union and its Member States: 5-2008:;
Official results of the informal meeting of the justice and home affairs ministers - French Presidency website :
Pictures about migration on:

Information provided by Agnes Philippart, CONCORD