Monday, 29 September 2008

October 17, 2008: Development Day in Slovakia

On the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty the Slovak Non-Governmental Development Organizations Platform (MVRO) will organize an International Development Day on October 17, 2008 in Bratislava, in the premises of the University Library, Venturska 11.

Like last year, the event will be an interactive discussion about topics related to the system of Official Development Assistance. Existing experience of Slovak, Austrian or African organizations actively involved in development cooperation will form the main basis of discussions; together with the upcoming steps, which are necessary to reach the Millennium Development Goals.

The programme is composed of an official part and parallel events (such as an exhibition, fair trade stands and a cultural programme).

Two Round table discussions will be focused on the Global Dimension of Development Cooperation with speakers and representatives of international development cooperation beneficiary countries such as Kenya, NGO representatives from Slovakia, Belgium and Austria and representatives of University. One round table will deal with topics such as: “Positive and Negative effects of Globalization and its impact on developing and developed countries”, “Fair Trade, contribution of agriculture in the fight against poverty”, “Aid Effectiveness, fight against corruption”. The second round table will focus on Slovak Development Aid.

Find further information on the speakers and the programme in the following MVRO document:

For further details and information how to register for the event, please contact Eva Havelkova at

Information provided by Eva Havelková, Slovak NGDO platform MVRO

Austrian NGO searching for project partners

The Austrian organisation "Volkshilfe" – a welfare organisation focusing on social services – is preparing a regional program for Western Balkan countries and is searching for local partner NGOs from Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Macedonia.

Objective of the program: Improvement of employability to alleviate poverty

For further information incl. profile for local partner organisations, please read:

Interested organisations should contact Gundi Dick ( or Heide Mitsche ( by end of September 2008.

Stand-Up and Speak Out Against Poverty

8 Millennium Development Goals - 7 years left to reach the promised targets - A Maltese -and international - call to Stand-Up and Speak Out - 1 minute is all it takes

In October, 2007, more than 43 million people around the world acted out in solidarity against global poverty by standing up and speaking out; 15,497 out of the global figure were people who stood up in Malta. This action was not just a means of breaking a world record but rather a means of delivering one powerful message to governments around the world to keep their promises referred to as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (For more info on the MDGs, see:

We have reached the halfway mark to 2015. There has been some progress, but there is still a long way to go. We need to take urgent and inspired action now, to remind our governments we expect them to deliver.

Stand Up, Take Action 2008 will be held over a three day period from October 17th -19th. By starting on a Friday and concluding on a Sunday, everyone, whether at home, at work, at school, university or in a place of worship will have the chance to take part.

All it takes is 1 minute to stand-up as a group or individually between the aforementioned dates. It is encouraged that some reflections on poverty or any of the MDGs are shared during this minute. After the stand-up has been performed, one can report the number of people who took part in the activity in Malta to

The following format could be used:
Name of Individual/Organisation:
Number of People who stood up against poverty in your group:
Photos by email are also highly encouraged.

This campaign is being promoted nationally by SKOP - The National Platform of Maltese NGDOs ( in collaboration with STOPoverty! Neqirdu l-faqar! ( and worldwide by the GCAP internation (Global Call to Action Against Poverty -

Check out the activities in your respective country.

For more information you can contact the SKOP secretariat by email: or

Information provided by Angie Farrugia, Maltese NGDO platform SKOP

Thursday, 25 September 2008

EC Annual Action Plan 2008: Implications for NMS

The thematic programme “Non State Actors and Local Authorities in Development”, which succeeded the former budget lines “NGO Co-financing” and “Decentralised Co-operation”, aims at supporting small scale initiatives proposed and/or carried out by civil society organisations and/or local authorities from the European Union and partner countries in the area of development. The programme´s three main objectives are to support

  1. development actions to be implemented by non state actors or local authorities in close cooperation with the local communities and most vulnerable population groups, aiming at promoting an inclusive and empowered society in partner countries

  2. actions in the EU and acceding countries aiming at raising public awareness of development issues and promoting education for development (DE) to mobilise greater public support against poverty reduction

  3. actions aiming at achieving more efficient cooperation, facilitating structured dialogue in the area of development.

The recently approved Annual Action Plan (AAP) 2008 is, after the “Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in development – NSA-LA Strategy Paper 2007 – 2010" the basic document for the EC to detail the conditions of the guidelines for the different Call for Proposals within EC financing instruments.

What´s new in comparison to the last AAP 2007?
After a lot of lobbying work done by the CONCORD Working Group on Funding for Development and Relief (FDR) during the last year and thanks to the input of different actors, the EC added 10 more countries to the list of countries covered by the new programme (Cape Vert, Djibouti, Haiti, Liberia, Mauritania, Solomon Islands, Togo, Afghanistan, Morocco and Tunisia), while Malawi is not on the list any more.

The implementation of the thematic programme is this time foreseen biyearly - which means that the 2008 and the 2009 budgets will be combined and Calls for Proposals will be published only every two years.

What is the same as in the previous AAP with regard to New Member States?
In the thematic programme on Development Education (see 2nd objective above), the actions proposed by organisations from the 12 New Member States are favoured: the rate of EC co-financing can reach up to 90% of the action's budget and the EC grant can be lower than for old member states , namely EUR 25.000,-. It seems that also some other eligibility criteria will be kept as smooth as in the last Development Education Call 2007.

Note that the Calls will be launched already in November/December 2008!
The EC is currently preparing the launch of 5 Calls for Proposals (In-country Actions, Multi-country actions NSA, Multi-country actions LA, Development Education, Networking), while at the same time 70 EC delegations are working to launch their local calls. An overview of all the centralised and local NSA and LA calls and their main objectives will be published on the EuropeAid website by the end of September. Check out: (Download the AAP 2008 from the same link.)

According to information given by the EC, the Calls will be opened in November/December 2008 and “the spirit of the calls will be the same” with only slight adoptions and adjustments which will be made within the Guidelines of the Calls.

Information provided by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG

Island-wide Cyprus Development Platform

After 34 years of a divided island, at the beginning of September, the leaders of both sides of Cyprus met to start talks on reunifying their country.

The last time such talks were held, they collapsed after Greek Cypriot voters refused to accept a UN-negotiated plan of reunification. This time, hopes are higher because of the good personal relationship between the leaders of the two sides (who share a trade union background) and encouraging signs that they are both committed to the success of the talks.

Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat was in Brussels just before the talks officially started. He said ‘all the elements of the Cyprus problem are known, so it is possible to solve [it]’ at the latest ‘before the election of the European Parliament, meaning June 2009.’ The reunification of Cyprus would be positive for the EU, added Mr Talat, as ‘ending this problem would contribute to the very meaning of the EU and European integration.’

The Greek Cypriot leader, Dimitris Christofias, came to power last February vowing to settle the dispute, and still has a 70 percent approval rating. The main issues of dispute include the degree of centralisation that should be agreed on in a new federation, property rights for Cypriots displaced when the island was first divided, and intervention rights for Greece and Turkey.

In this atmosphere of renewed political belief in the island’s reunification, TRIALOG was pleased to facilitate the creation of a meta-platform, bringing together development NGOs from both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot parts of the country. It is hoped that the meta-platform will help to foster a civil society that bridges the societal divide and works together to meet its goals more effectively.
At the meta-platform building event which TRIALOG held on September 18, 2008 in the 'buffer zone' in Nicosia, 7 Turkish- and 7 Greek-Cypriot NGOs carried on the negotiations started in February 2006 during the first TRIALOG Platform-Building Seminar in Cyprus, with the aim to establish an umbrella of the 2 already existing and registered co-ordination bodies (see also article: Cyprus News: NGDO platform in the South registered).

Already at the very beginning, a lot of extremely positive assumptions and expectations made clear, that there´s no obstacle any more to create such a “Meta-Platform”; after 7 hours of intensive discussions on the nature of such a cross-border platform, a common structure with 3 subgroups on Development Education and Awareness Raising (DE/AR), on Civil Society Strengthening and on Policy was defined.

The DE/AR subgroup will already start functioning in October with a phone conference. Also the coordinators of the two regional platforms committed to continue to work together and to prepare decisions of their boards/general assamblies by November, which will as a next step allow to write the letter to CONCORD asking for membership of the new island-wide platform in the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development.

Information provided by Rebecca Steel and Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG

First island-wide TRIALOG training in Nikosia, Cyprus

While on a very high political level a Cypriot solution - pushed from the leaders of both groups, Mehmet Ali Talat and Dimitris Christofias - seems closer than never (see also article "Island-wide Cyprus Development Platform"), TRIALOG reached to bring NGO representatives from both still separated parts of the country together for a common 2-day training on September 16-17, in order to strengthen partnerships between Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) especially regarding the topic of international development. This island-wide TRIALOG training focussed on the topic of “Public Awareness Raising and Development Education”.

Not only the new positive political atmosphere laid the ground for the training, but also the fact that TRIALOG discovered a passage in the text of an official EC-document which states that, in line with the Protocol 10 of the Accession Treaty 2003 (see below), Turkish Cypriots are EU citizens. While we are still waiting for a written and formal confirmation from the EC that this would mean eligibility for Turkish Cypriot CSOs in EC calls, we held our training with the aim to already inform NGOs about the area of Development Education and Awareness Raising (DE/AR) in Europe, about the situation of so called developing countries and last but not least about funding possibilities for Cypriot CSOs. At the same time the training created an open space for new partnerships and for common project ideas in DE/AR between Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot NG(D)Os.

32 participants – 14 representatives from 9 Turkish-Cypriot and 18 from Greek-Cypriot NGOs followed the invitation to the training, which on the first day took place in the South and on the second day in the North. Although not all participants participated during both days on both locations as their very personal family histories still prevent some of them to cross the border physically, it needs to be stressed that all participants worked together in a very open and positive atmosphere.

At the end of the 2 days, eight common topics and projects have been defined and further meetings and telephone conferences fixed. It was decided to develop some of the different ideas into three project proposals to be submitted within the next EC Call for Proposals in DE/AR, which is expected to be launched in November/December 2008.

Additionally, 5 NGOs showed interest to approach TRIALOG in the next few weeks to post their partner searches for joint projects and to identify partner NGOs and/or lead agencies on an European level to develop common actions on DE/AR in Cyprus.

For more information on the training please contact TRIALOG Capacity Building Officer Petra Kreinecker at

Text passage from the Protocol 10 of the Accession Treaty 2003: "The whole of the island is considered to be part of the EU. However, in the northern part of the island, in the areas in which the Government of Cyprus does not exercise effective control, EU legislation is suspended. This means for example that these areas are outside the customs and fiscal territory of the EU. However, the suspension does not affect the personal rights of Turkish Cypriots as EU citizens. They are citizens of a Member State, the Republic of Cyprus, even though they may live in the areas not under government control."

Information provided by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Cyprus News: NGDO Platform in the South registered

In 2006 the Cyprus Non Governmental Development Organisations (NGDO) Platform was informally established with the mission to bring together NGOs working on international development, development education and development cooperation, to improve the effectiveness of their work and advocacy. In July 2008, the efforts of the past years brought the desired result: The NGDO Platform “The Development” became a registered entity in Southern Cyprus with a Constitution and a temporary Board of Directors.

The priorities of the Cyprus NGDO Platform are the following:
  • Raise awareness among Cypriots on issues related to international development, poverty, development education, development cooperation, human rights, health, and the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
  • Support its members to engage in development education projects
  • Support the distribution of information to all NGDOs
  • Engage in advocacy and lobbying with relevant authorities in Cyprus, EU, and internationally
  • Provide opportunities for capacity building activities for its members and affiliates
  • Promote the information and knowledge exchange via internships and other means
  • Represent the interests of Cypriot NGDOs in local, national, governmental, European and international fora

The NGDO Platform (with 7 member NGOs) took on the responsibility to prepare Cyprus input in the AidWatch Report as well as the promotion of the Report in the Media and the Key Players in Development issues in Cyprus.

At the same time, a few years ago, an NGO Network (with 9 member NGOs) was established (and registered) in the North, with similar priorities as these priorities were decided upon in common meetings in the past.

The Platform and the Network members have already participated in a number of events, seminars and conferences and succeeded to implement projects in cooperation with other European partners.

The European Development Days in 2007 offered a unique opportunity for participation at a very significant event. Members of the NGDO Platform participated in the official Cyprus delegation. The whole experience gave the opportunity to bring close the governmental agencies and the NGOs and to develop a better understanding and appreciation of each others role in the development arena.

Recently, the Greek Cypriot Platform and the Turkish Cypriot Network members got together to a 'Meta – Platform seminar' that TRIALOG organised in Cyprus and established the all-island Cyprus Development Platform (see article Island-wide Cyprus Development Platform).

Information provided by Despo Hadjiloizou, Cyprus Family Planning Association

EPAN meets in October

The next Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood (EPAN) working group meeting will be held in the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, on 14 and 15 October 2008.

The agenda covers the wide range of issues the group is currently working on. The case studies looking at ENP (European Neighbourhood Policy) and ENPI (European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument) implementation in two neighbourhood countries, Egypt and Ukraine, are almost complete; the lobbying work with the EC to improve Civil Society Organisations (CSO) access to IPA funds is gearing up, and a host of other work is being coordinated, such as lobbying on unfair EC regulations restricting Belarusian CSO access to EC funds; preparing for the European elections next year and contributing to CONCORD’s strategic planning for the upcoming years.

Representatives from Old EU Member States (OMS), New Member States (NMS) and Candidates Countries (CC) all take part in the working group, which meets twice a year and is convened by TRIALOG. If you are interested in becoming involved in the working group, please contact the TRIALOG Policy Officer in Brussels: Rebecca Steel,

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Two new interns in Brussels office

For the next few months, TRIALOG's Brussels office has two new interns; Masa Lekic from Montenegro, and Anna Marti from Spain.

Masa has been studying International Affairs at Vesalius college in Brussels for a year and a half, and is particularly interested in Montenegrin politics, with a focus on its future integration into the European Union. This is what drew her to Brussels originally, and now she is busy researching a report for TRIALOG about civil society in her home country. She is particularly interested in the extent to which civil society is informed about EU policies, what their attitudes towards membership are, and how aware they are about development issues. Her research is boosted by her past experience volunteering with a number of NGOs in Montenegro, which has given her an insight into civil society in the country, and provided her with contacts that should strengthen her report.

Anna has been working with the CONCORD Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood (EPAN) working group, which TRIALOG convenes, on a project about the EU's Neighbourhood Policy since June. The group is preparing to contribute to the mid term review of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument, the funding mechanism for the neighbourhood countries, in 2009. Anna is researching the situation in Egypt and Ukraine, both neighbourhood countries but from different regions. She went on a study visit to Egypt, where she was able to interview the representatives of CSOs, and is gathering information about attitudes towards the EU policy, the extent to which it is understood and used, and impressions of the situations in each country for civil society. Once the information has been gathered, the case studies will be used in the group's lobbying work to improve policy, as well as the official mid term review of the instrument.

Information provided by Masa Lekic and Anna Marti, TRIALOG

Eastern Partnership

The Eastern Partnership, a Polish-Swedish proposal put forward to balance the Union for the Mediterranean in neighbouring countries to the East of the EU’s borders, was the central theme of a conference organised by the Konrad Adenauer think tank in Brussels mid September.

Gunnar Wiegand from the European Commission (director for Eastern Europe, Southern Caucasus and Central Asia) suggested that the experience of the Western Balkans with its regional free trade area could inspire the EU’s ‘Eastern Partnership’. He said that such experience showed that ‘countries which perhaps didn’t work so well together in the past, will do so in specific areas.’

The conflict in Georgia has helped to speed up the EC’s drafting of the eastern policy despite the ‘substantial political resistance’ from some EU member states on issues such as visa facilitation agreements with Ukraine.

The chair of the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Polish MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, pointed out that the funding for the region (€2 billion is available for the entire neighbourhood region) is currently ‘insufficient’. He underlined the need for the EU to anticipate, rather than simply react to, situations resulting from frozen conflicts in the area by, for example, supporting better infrastructure and implementing other ‘pragmatic’ solutions.


Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

French Presidency: NGO Manifesto

Following Slovenia in the first half of 2008, France is holding the EU Presidency from July to December 2008.

Parallel to governmental acitivities, the French NGDO platform "Coordination SUD" developed a program with advocacy actions, seminars and a manifesto. With the slogan "Get Europe to make sense: fair and responsible", Coordination SUD’s program aims at enhancing public debates on Europe’s relations with countries from the South.

The NGO's recommendations for the Presidency are summarized in the Manifesto. Download it from:

The main themes of the NGO presidency program (see also June TIS: are: Financing for development, Agriculture & Trade, Climate change, Citizens & Europe and the Africa-Europe partnership. Seminars related to the first 3 topics as well as a contest in journalism and cartoons already took place between July and September 2008.

For more information on upcoming events and seminar reports please visit or contact Florent Sebban ( and Florence McBain (


EU Relations with Belarus thawing?

The European Union has started moving towards establishing a new relationship with Belarus. The European Commission (EC) started the trend, with a proposal to invite Belarusian foreign minister Sergei Martinov to a high-level meeting, although this was then reduced to an invitation to gatherings on the margins of the Foreign Ministers’ Council meeting in the middle of September.

These moves come in the month that followed the release of three political prisoners in the eastern European dictatorship.

The Council conclusions on Belarus noted the prisoners’ release with satisfaction, stating that this was regarded as ‘a significant step towards the adoption by Belarus of the fundamental values of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law, and that this was a precondition for the European Union’s reviewing the restrictive measures currently applying to certain leading figures in Belarus.’

But this optimism was not echoed by all. Opposition leader Alexander Kazulin held meetings in the European Parliament in the same week as the Council meeting, and warned Europeans that ‘there have been no important changes concerning the democratisation of Belarus.’

Kazulin was one of the political prisoners freed, after being locked up for two and a half years. He lamented the continued lack of free and fair elections in the country, saying that his own daughter was bound to be unsuccessful in her bid to run for parliament ‘because of her last name’.

The CONCORD working group on Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood (EPAN) has just sent a letter to the EC concerning the barriers erected by the EC’s Non State Actors and Local Authorities (NSA-LA) budget line to Civil Society Organisations in Belarus. If you would like more information about this letter please contact TRIALOG’s policy officer Rebecca Steel (


Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Macedonia moving closer to EU membership?

Ivica Bocevski, the Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister, visited Brussels at the beginning of September. He gave his views on Macedonia’s future in the EU and NATO, the disagreement with Greece over his country’s name, and the effect the conflict in Georgia could have in his country.

After a ‘horrible 20th century’, in which the country suffered conflicts, ethnic cleansing and the denial of its national identity, it has become a stabilising force in the region. Two of the country’s most important aims since the adoption of its constitution in 1991 have been membership of the EU and NATO, although EU prospects are currently marred by a dispute about the country’s official name.

Currently, the full official name of the state is the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, but the hope is that it will be possible to use the shorter, simpler ‘Macedonia’. Greece objects to this because it has a region of the same name. Bocevski stated that Greece has not shown the willing shown by the Macedonians themselves to resolve the issue, quoting high level meetings in Macedonia for the UN mediator, compared to informal gatherings in Greece.

The country has been a candidate country since 2005, but accession negotiations have not yet begun. This is in sharp contrast to Croatia, which started accession negotiations already in 2005 and hopes to finish accession negotiations in the next few months and become an official accession country (and thus enter into membership negotiations).

When referring to the recent conflict in Georgia, the Deputy Prime Minister said that the war could have two possible effects on Macedonia: encouraging the country to move towards integration with the EU, or the opposite; encouraging other options for Macedonia’s future to be considered.

TRIALOG will hold a first training for Macedonian NGOs in October. It will focus on development education and funding opportunities for Macedonian organisations within the EC context (see "Events").


Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Results of the SLOGA presidency project

In the framework of the Slovenian EU Presidency (Jan.-June 2008), the Slovenian platform SLOGA in cooperation with the Slovenian NGDOs has implemented a development education campaign, entitled »You too are part of this world«.

The aim of the project was to raise awareness among the Slovenian citizens and policy-makers about some relevant development issues. The topics, which were discussed within several working groups were: development education, migration, climate changes, unaccompained children, girls and women as victims of armed conflicts, intergenerational dialogue and aid effectiveness.

The peak of the project was an international conference titled »Intercultural dialogue in development education – contribution to development education and awareness raising«. The main result of the conference was the approval of the next mandate for the European multistakeholder group, coordinated by CONCORD, which aims at starting the process of implementation of the European Development Education Consensus.

Following the conclusions of the conference, the SLOGA development education working group was encouraged to continue with the process of formulating the national development education strategy. In September 2008, the SLOGA working group organized a national workshop for officials of the relevant ministries (Ministry of environment, Ministry of education, MFA and Ministry of finances) and for NGOs, in order to present the draft NGDO development education strategy and to plan the next steps for its preparation and adoption on national level. The NGDO initiative was well accepted therefore the working group is planning to prepare a new draft strategy paper to consult strategically with the relevant ministries by end November 2008.

The main added value of the SLOGA presidency project was twofold:
- SLOGA managed to link NGOs active in different thematic fields with development NGOs and development issues,
- SLOGA has gained credibility in the dialogue with the government.

Find more information about the SLOGA presidency project and about its results at the SLOGA web portals: and

Information provided by Marjan Huc, Slovenian NGDO platform SLOGA

Serbia: Next Year’s EU Candidate?

Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, said at the beginning of September that it would be possible for Serbia to become an EU candidate country as early as next year, if it fulfils the necessary conditions.

Barroso said that the two had ‘reviewed the state of relations between the EU and Serbia and reiterated [their] joint commitment to advance Serbia's European perspective based on shared values’. He made it clear though that the process could not be a calendar-driven process, but should be a reform-driven one.

Boris Tadic, the country’s President, was in Brussels and confirmed his commitment to carrying out the necessary reforms so that Serbia could get on the official path to the EU ‘as soon as possible’.

In the past, Serbian officials have suggested that the country could become an EU member as early as 2014, but the EU has made it clear that economic and political reforms are still needed. There is the additional requirement of full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Mr Barroso referred to the arrest of the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in July as a ‘historic moment’ for Serbia, bringing it closer to its EU ambitions, but other suspected war criminals are still on the run.

The Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) that was signed with Serbia this year sent a political message to the country, just before elections that were considered decisive for its EU future. The document has not been implemented yet however, and will not be until Belgrade’s cooperation with the war crimes tribunal is judged sufficient.


Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

New website on civil society aid effectiveness

Civil society organisations (CSOs) have a crucial role in the development process as innovative agents of change and social transformation. CSOs have acknowledged their obligation to take forward and lead a process to improve their own effectiveness as development actors.

The secretariat of the Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness is currently hosted by CONCORD, the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development.

Discover the new website on the effectiveness of civil organisations working in Development at:

Source: CONCORD Member to Member newsletter, issue 12/9/2008

Open positions in the Czech NGO People in Need

People in Need (PIN), a Czech humanitarian and development NGO, invites candidates for the following three positions (use the links below for more information):

Head of Mission, Afghanistan,
Civil Engineer for Angola,
Livelihoods Program Officer for Afghanistan,

Information provided by Dana Kočová, People in Need,

Czech ADRA project in Kenya

“All the time we had something to do; medicine is a mixture of everything in this place,” says Michal, one of the group of Czech medical students who spent August in the Kenyan village Itibo, the place where the humanitarian organization ADRA has been realizing the project “Reconstruction of the policlinic and maternity” since 2006. Nowadays the policlinic serves 200.000 people from the wide neighborhood.

The Czech students came to Kenya to get in touch with medication in difficult conditions and with 'exotic' diseases. “We had to deal with malaria, typhus or AIDS,” continues Michal, “and we had to dress lots of wounds because the branches of tea plants are surprisingly sharp and children fall on it surprisingly often. And we also cleaned lots of infected injuries because native people tend to let their wounds rot and come to us as late as the antibiotics are needed. From time to time there was something serious so once in two days in average we took a patient to the local hospital. For example I remember a pregnant girl in sixth month, she was in pain and she had been bleeding for a month before she came to us.”

Besides professional abilities the students gained personal experience of living in African society (from witnessing the situation in families to experiencing the African bureaucracy).

This stay of Czech medics was only the first part of the new phase of the project „Reconstruction of policlinic and maternity“. Other groups of students should follow to deepen the cooperation and exchange between the policlinic in Itibo and Czech doctors, for both sides to benefit and learn from each other.

For more information please contact Stepan Kucera, ADRA Czech Republic,

Information provided by Stepan Kucera, ADRA Czech Republic

Oct. 21-22, 2008: TRIALOG training in Macedonia

For the first time, TRIALOG will hold a general training on funding opportunities within the EC-context, on "Development Education" and on the Budget-line "Non State Actors - Local Authorities" in Macedonia - especially with the focus on the possible engagement of Macedonian organizations, in view of Macedonia being a candidate country.

(Development) NGOs from Macedonia interested in the training, please contact Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG Capacity Building Officer, at

Oct. 30, 2008: Conference "World views on Europe" France

Following the global meeting of national NGDO platforms between October 27-29, Coordination SUD and CONCORD are inviting to the Conference "World views on Europe" which will take place on October 30 and will be hosted by Coordination SUD during the French Presidency of the EU (see also the article "French Presidency: NGO Manifesto").

The conference will aim at gathering views from NGOs, academics, journalists and decision makers outside and inside Europe on what Europe should do in the next 10 to 20 years. A set of demands to the international community will be presented at the end of that day.

Find further information about the French presidency events at:

For any further questions, please contact Florent Sebban ( and Florence McBain (

Information provided by Coordination SUD

Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 2008: Black Sea NGO Forum "Time To Meet!" Bucharest

The Federation of Romanian Development NGOs (FOND) is announcing the launching of the Black Sea NGO Forum: "Time to Meet". The Forum will be held on October 31 – November 2, 2008 in Bucharest, Romania. It will be the start of an annual tradition bringing together NGOs from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Romania and (other) EU member states active in the wider Black Sea region. Over 100 NGOs will participate in the Forum.

The event is organized in cooperation with organizations from Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Russia, and in partnership with the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation and UNDP Romania.

The aim of this event is to increase the level of dialogue and coordination among NGOs in the wider Black Sea region as well as to strengthen the advocacy capacity of NGOs in the Black Sea region in order to influence development strategies in the region. The forum will not be just another seminar about the Black Sea region, but rather refined interaction between key civic leaders from the region, led and owned by the countries in the region with the support and contribution of the European and Euro-Atlantic community. The forum will focus on creating a pool of concrete projects and on proposing concrete recommendations for regional NGOs and donors in order to increase the number and quality of regional partnerships and projects.

The programme will include:

  • Presentations of the state of affairs of the NGO sector in the region; perspectives of NGO regional cooperation; programmes and financial support for civil society initiatives in the Black Sea region;
  • Three panels focused on a cross-cutting issue "Challenges and opportunities for NGO cooperation in the Black Sea region", with presentations and discussions of the state of affairs in three broad fields:
    - Social Justice and Human Rights
    - Democracy and Good Governance
    - Environment
    The presentations in each of the panels will try to provide answers to the following questions:
    - What are the needs, challenges and expertise of NGOs in the region?
    - What are the main obstacles that affect NGO regional cooperation?
    - What are the solutions that have yielded positive results so far?
    - What are the lessons learnt that can contribute to the success of regional NGO projects?
    - What is the NGO perspective? What is the donor perspective?
  • Partnership fair. Over 100 participants will come together to exchange experiences, to find partners for their project ideas and to elaborate project concepts in the field of social justice, human rights, democratization and good governance, sustainable development. A portfolio of concept proposals will be presented to the donors in the region.

More information on the Forum and the final agenda of the event will be available by October 1, 2008, on

The working language of the Forum is English. Additionally Russian translation will be available.

The organizers will arrange and cover costs for travel, accommodation and meals for the participants from the following countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia.

Participants from the EU can still register, by 15 October.

For any other questions and details, please contact us at

The Secretariat of the Forum is currently ensured by the Civil Society Development Foundation (FDSC) ,

Information provided by Valentin Burada,

Nov. 11-16, 2008: GLEN European Global Education Days

A special GLEN seminar - the European Global Education Days (EGEDs) will take place from November 11-16 in South-West-Germany and Strasbourg, France.

What are the European Global Education Days (EGEDs)

The EGEDs (financed by the “Europe for Citizens” Programme) are GLENs main Global Education event this year. It is the time to evaluate GLEN's various Global Education activities, to further develop GLEN's Global Education concept together with different experts, to plan and network for future actions and last but not least to celebrate 5 years anniversary of GLEN.

What actually is GLEN

GLEN is a joint non-profit, politically independent initiative of twelve organizations from the European Union. It aims at contributing to a better understanding of global interdependencies, fair and sustainable ways of living, to a responsible development policy and to North-South relations based upon equal partnership and mutual respect. GLEN intends to acheive its goals by enabling young people to spend three months internships in African and Asian NGOs and to get involved in active realization of Global Education activities after their return back to Europe.

Where do the European Global Education Days take place

The main days of the seminar, 11-15th of November, will take place in Berschweiler-Marpingen, South-West-Germany, ca. 30 km from Saarbrücken and the border to France. At the 15th of November the whole group will move to Strasbourg, France, for one more day in order to participate at the European Development Days, hosted by the European Comission ( results of five years‘ inlvolvement in Global Education in Europe will be shown and accompanied by several street actions and exhibitions in the centre of Strasbourg.

Who can take part

Every former GLEN participant or a friend of GLEN interested in Global Education is invited to apply! The Call of participation will go out in the end of September. Applicants should be interested and experienced in Global Education, or, even better, participate in their local GLEN partner organisations' Global Education actions that take place in October and November this year. (For more information how to get involved in these actions contact your local GLEN coordinator- a list of coordinators is available at the GLEN website - or contact the EGED team; see below)

For further information about the EGEDs please have a look at the GLEN website: or contact the EGED team: Lukas Policar and Monika Matus

Information provided by Laure Heinrich, ASA-Programme, and Monika Matus, EGED team

Bosnia and Herzegovina - on the way towards EU integration?

The international high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Miroslav Lajcak, was in the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee at the beginning of September, talking about the need for the EU to show ‘leadership and strategic reasoning’ when dealing with BiH’s transition to become a viable state.

The security situation in Bosnia is stable, but the country is still facing numerous political challenges that need the EU’s support to solve, according to the Slovakian diplomat.

In the country itself, support for EU membership is as high as 80 percent, and a Stabilisation and Association Agreement was signed last June. But the country still faces large-scale corruption and organised crime as well as economic and political problems.

Mr Lajcak said ‘it had been our hope that the process of European integration would sideline the national issues of conflict, but it hasn’t happened.’ The conflict relates to issues between the two entities within the country; the Croatian-Muslim Federation and the Republika Srpska, each of which has ‘different and competing visions of the past and the future of the country’.

EU Observer: EU must demonstrate ‘leadership’ in Bosnia

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Monday, 22 September 2008

Publications on Circular Migration

The Euro-Mediterranean Consortium for Applied Research on International Migration (CARIM) has published more than 30 papers as a result of a research into Circular Migration in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries.

The research papers are available at:

Information provided by CARIM Project, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies,

Disappointing EU Summit for Ukraine

Leaders from the EU and Ukraine unveiled plans for a new bilateral agreement on 9 September, amid reports that Ukrainian diplomats were disappointed at not being given an EU membership perspective.

The plans include a future Association Agreement, which will deepen trade relations, strengthen judicial cooperation and start talks on visa-free travel to the EU. It will not be signed until 2009 or even 2010.

The European delegation at the meeting, which included French President Nicholas Sarkozy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Commissioner for External Relation and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner met Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko. They ‘recognised that Ukraine as a European country shares a common history and common values with the countries of the European Union’, but refused to make political commitments in favour of the country’s accession to the EU.

The discussions were held in an atmosphere of conflict between the Ukrainian President and Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko; and disagreements between EU states about how clearly to outline Ukraine’s EU membership prospects.

The Ukrainian President stressed the positive steps the summit had achieved, saying, ‘today we started a very ambitious plan that will with time lead us to victory. Today we received the qualification of a European country.’

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Friday, 5 September 2008

Summer University about development, participation and active citizenship in Hungary

The NGO Védegylet (Protect the Future) organised a summer university in Hungary between 16-20, July, 2008. The university focused on development issues clastered around topics of climate, welfare and food & agriculture. Besides, there was a further classification in the form of thematic days - 'day of economics', 'day of environment' and 'day of participation' - which gave a focus to each topic. The programme offered great choice for participants since 3-4 seminars and workshops ran at the same time.

The summer university gave a good mixture of theory and practice, all in a very relaxed atmosphere in a naturally protected area close to Budapest. Resource persons came from Germany (Peter Wahl, Peter Fuchs), the UK (Patrick Mulvány, Ervin Menyhárt, Joe Greenwood, Alex Wood), from Austria (Heike Schiebeck, Dieter A. Behr, Lisa Bolyos), Belgium (Marta Ruiz) and there were also many participants from neighbouring countries (Romania, Czech Republic, Poland, Croatia, Bulgaria, Serbia) and from „Southern” countries (Kenya, Ethiopia, Mongolia, China, etc.) who were temporarily studying at the University of Economy in Budapest.

Apart from the foreign guests, a lot of Hungarian NGOs and active local groups (local food sovereignity networks, climate friendly communities, Independent Ecological Centre) were represented and many other Hungarian citizens participated, mostly young adults and university students. Discussions were involving the audience; all seminars and workshops were interactive and the participants were eager to participate, to question and to make comments. This was an especially important dimension of the summer unviersity since first and foremost it was designed to be a training for activism for people who are interested in the work of civil society but haven’t yet get involved in it. One could happily see during the summer camp that the 110 participants, half of which were so far not involved in the civil society, were willing to participate actively and to get familiar with the representatives of NGOs, local groups and with their work. Many expressed their willingness to get more involved in such ativities in the future.

The unique and precious atmosphere made the summer university an unforgettable event for the organisers and a lot of participants.

Read more on the summer university incl. the cultural programme in a longer report from Reka Hunyadi, the main organiser from Védegylet - Link:

For further information please check out the website which is continuously up-dated with materials of the summer university.

Information provided by Réka Hunyadi, Vedegylet