Wednesday, 26 November 2008

TRIALOG at the European Development Days

The European Development Days were held for the third year running in the middle of November (15-17), this time in Strasbourg, France. The event brought together thousands of development actors, from presidents of developing countries, to individual teachers, including ministries, NGOs, regional authorities, European institutions and interested citizens.

TRIALOG’s director, Christine Bedoya, was part of the official programme, presenting the results of a side event organised in cooperation with HUMANIS, a regional Strasbourg platform of development NGOs. The workshop looked at the ways platforms and individual NGOs from old and new EU member states work together.

Participants heard from representatives of the Latvian, Slovakian, Romanian and Maltese NDGO platforms, as well as a regional platform from France. Main ideas included how new member states should partner up with older member states and developing countries for real cooperation, ensuring the flow of information between all three partners and moving away from the teacher-student model. Speakers gave examples of concrete projects where countries worked together successfully, such as the Regional Partnership Programme, which involved Austria and its four neighbouring new member states the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia. The group also discussed the benefits of new member states’ platforms being full of young enthusiastic people who are very motivated to work in this field and the opportunities offered by ‘new’ subjects such as fair trade and responsible tourism.

The results of the workshop and parallel workshops moderated by Coordination Sud and CONCORD were presented at a well-attended meeting on the second day of the Development Days. The event was also an opportunity to present TRIALOG and its work to a new group of development actors.

Find a summary of the HUMANIS event on the European Development Days' website: The full report will be available from HUMANIS in the near future. Please contact for copies. The text of Christine’s presentation can be downloaded from

For more information on the third edition of the European Development Days, please visit

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

New annual TRIALOG bulletin published

The Bulletin on EU Enlargement and NGDOs is an annual printed TRIALOG publication. This year's issue is out now and reports about the Prague conference and debates that continue beyond the conference; the focus is on voices from new member states and the EU neighbourhood. Read also about the upcoming Czech presidency programme priorities of FoRS.

This year's content:

  • Editorial: Civil society on the right track to handle global problems?
  • After the Prague development conference: Paradigm change inevitable
  • South-East cooperation: A new member state perspective
  • CONCORD strategy: Putting politics back into development
  • Key note speeches of the 2008 Prague conference: Are we on the right track? Paradigm review by civil society organisations (CSOs) as development actors
  • Macedonia on the way into the EU: The challenge of development cooperation
  • Civil society development in Moldova: The role of the EU
  • The Mediterranean region: Time for new mindsets to solve problems
  • TRIALOG: Structure and activities
  • FoRS for civil society development effectiveness: Programme of the Czech NGDO platform for the EU presidency 2009

Download the TRIALOG Bulletin 2008 from:
Direct link:
Write to to order a hardcopy; please indicate your name, organisation and postal address.

Black Sea NGO Forum 2008 in Bucharest

The Romanian Development NGOs Platform (FOND) organised between the 31st of October and 2nd November 2008, the Black Sea NGO Forum - “Time to Meet” in Bucharest, Romania.

The Forum gathered more than 220 participants representing over 100 NGOs from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belorussia, Georgia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania and other EU member states active in the wider Black Sea region. The event was organised in partnership with the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation and UNDP Romania in the framework of the Black Sea Synergy.

The aim of this event was 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 organisers envisioned this forum as an opportunity for creating a pool of concrete projects and proposing concrete recommendations for regional NGOs and donors in order to increase the number and quality of regional partnerships and projects.

The programme included:
  • 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.
  • Partnership fair to exchange experiences, to find partners for their project ideas and to elaborate project concepts in the field of social justice, human rights, democratisation and good governance, sustainable development. A portfolio of concept proposals will be presented to the donors in the region.

TRIALOG Director Christine Bedoya introduced the TRIALOG project as an example of good practice in creating capacity for NGO cooperation and exchange in the EU new member states and accession countries.

For more details on the Black Sea NGO Forum please visit:

Fotos: Civil Society Development Foundation

Information provided by Adela Rusu, Romanian NGDO Platform FOND

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

EP seminar on development cooperation challenges for new member states

The European parliamentary group ALDE (the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) held a seminar on 12 November 2008. The meeting followed up the EP report written by Lithuanian MEP Danute Budreikaite earlier in the year on the challenges for new member states (see link below), and featured speakers from the national and European parliaments, the European Commission, CONCORD and the media.

Annamaria Kekesi, a board member from the Hungarian platform, was at the seminar representing CONCORD. She introduced the confederation and described the close contact with TRIALOG in relation to supporting the particular challenges new member states face in the field of development cooperation. She supported the conclusions that were made in the report and focused on four main challenges facing new member states: restricted capacity; low levels of awareness; limited national budgets and the lack of diverse funding for civil society organisations (CSOs) and platforms.

The presentation ended with an appeal to members of the ALDE party to provide support and political will needed to strengthen the role of CSOs in the newer EU member states. Annamaria asked that the MEPs support giving opportunities to organisations from new member states such as through weaker eligibility criteria for funding, and amounts directed specifically at them.

She also restated the important role CSOs play as development actors, highlighting their importance in development education and awareness raising and encouraging their inclusion in development policy making and programming, as well as the implementation of development projects.

Full text of the speech given by Annamaria Kekesi at the ALDE seminar:
EP resolution on "The challenge of EU Development Cooperation Policy for the new Member States" (adopted in March 2008):
European Parliament:
ALDE political group:

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Training in Lithuania: Mental Health and Development Education?

The Global Initiative of Psychiatry (GIP) invited TRIALOG for a 2day training in November 11-12 to Vilnius (Lithuania). Topics included the EU-strategy 2007 – 2010 for the Thematic Programme Non-State Actors and Local Authorities, the Annual Action Plan 2008 and the expected Call for Proposal on Development Education and Awareness Raising in Europe. The training was open to other Lithuanian NGOs as well.

12 participants from two networks working on the issue of mental health problems as well as in the field of intellectual disabilities, tried to interlink the topic of disabilities in developing countries with their regional focus on Georgia, Moldova and the Caucasus Region, in order to elaborate concrete projects to raise awareness in Lithuania and other European countries.

As a result of the training, aims and goals, indicators and assumptions of future awareness raising projects have been elaborated and formulated. Apart from this outcome, the group had interesting and challenging discussions on the whole dimension of mental health problems: on definitions, on where they start and how they are able to influence the development of a society – especially where mental health problems are combined with HIV/Aids. It seems much more "accepted", if health related problems are clearly related with traumatic experiences – with the consequences of war, natural disasters, violations. But even then, the affected persons are mostly excluded from their families and their societies.

A second training together with GIP will take place in December 4-5, 2008 in Sofia, in cooperation with the Bulgarian platform on international development and its member NGOs.

Information provided by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG

Provisional results of last EC development education call

The statistics from the EC on the results of the 2007 Call in Development Education (ED) within the budget line 21-02-03 are now available. Note that it is provisional data and some changes are still possible. The final results of approved projects and further analyses will become available in the beginning of 2009.

The preliminary EC data already shows that new member states (NMS) NGOs have participated much more as partners than as applicants. Only 3 project contracts will be signed by NMS organisations from Malta, Poland and Slovakia. That seems few, but when we look at the whole picture, all NMS are well represented as European partners in the selected projects: in total 59 NMS organisations will be partners in projects led by old member states NGOs: Bulgaria (11), Cyprus (1), Czech Republic (8), Estonia (5), Hungary, (6), Latvia (1), Lithuania (2), Malta (5), Poland (5), Romania (8), Slovakia (4) and Slovenia (3).

During the previous ED Call for Proposals 2006, NMS have been prioritised by smoother criteria and by the provision of an extra-budget. This time, during the CfP 2007, some smoother criteria were kept, but the NMS had to compete with the very experienced NGOs from OMS within one budget. This might be one of the reasons for the small number of lead agencies from NMS. Another reason seems to be the fact, that bigger NMS NGOs haven´t submitted projects this year as they signed contracts for their successful projects of the previous call only in December 2007 and have started to implement their projects in the beginning of 2008.

Download the preliminary results of the 2007 ED call from:

The next Call for Proposals 2008 is expected to be launched at the beginning of December 2008. Rumours say that this time the EC will give the NGOs a 60 days preparation time (instead of 45days) until the deadline for the Concept Note, in view of the Christmas and New Years break. It is foreseen, that – according to the Annual Action Plan 2008 – the EC will include in the upcoming Call for Proposals 2008 the budgets of 2 years - 2008 and 2009. This means that more money will be available for the upcoming Call, but it also implies that the following Call for Proposals will be published not earlier than in summer 2010!

Information provided by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG, on basis of information from EuropeAid

NGDO platform BPID – Bulgarian “Yes” to Development

Not so long ago, even before becoming a “new kid on the block”, i.e. newest EU member together with Romania, in Bulgaria there was already thinking and speaking concerning its future responsibilities in the development field. So in 2006, thanks to TRIALOG and CONCORD the development NGOs in the country started spelling the new vocabulary and discovering what was it all about. At that very moment the administration was not considering yet its future policy in this field, not to talk about drawing action plans, programmes etc. Everything started really shy and silent – Bulgaria was still getting massive support from abroad and it was really hard to imagine how in a year or two it was about to donate itself to other countries…

In the end of 2008, the situation looks quite different. The state already has its National Strategy, the MFA is creating a task force to deal with these important obligations, there is a constant dialogue with all major actors. Moreover – Bulgaria is already thinking of bigger commitments, adding in the near future more target countries to the initially defined Serbia, Macedonia, Georgia, Armenia and Moldova. Civil society is as well advancing, probably with lower speed one would expect. But still – the Bulgarian Platform on International Development (BPID) is just about to emerge as a formal structure. Its strategy for 2008-2011 is in place; its representatives are having active dialogue with state institutions. The successful implementation of a Presidency Fund project, aiming at formal structuring of BPID is another substantial impetus to the process. The project is getting implemented in partnership with the Austrian Platform and in cooperation with TRIALOG. Upon its completion, Bulgaria would have its active platform, which currently consists of 10-15 active member NGOs. Who claims, Bulgaria is not saying “Yes” to the international development yet?

As a next step, TRIALOG will hold a training on “Development Education and Awareness Raising” in Sofia on December 4-5, 2008, with the aim to prepare NGOs to actively participate in the upcoming EC development education call for proposals.

For more information on BPID, please contact Dimitar Sotirov, Project Manager of the Bulgarian Presidency Fund Project,
Fotos: Platform Strategy Meeting, October 2008

Information provided by Dimitar Sotirov, Bulgarian Platform on International Development

Lithuanian Kolping Society organised conference on volunteering

On the 14th of November 2008, the Lithuanian Kolping Society organised the conference „Volunteering teaches us to Be Tolerant“ in order to commemorate the International Tolerance Day and the European development days.

The goal of the conference was to introduce people to the possibilities of volunteering in developing countries, to foster discussion on tolerance and its lack in Lithuanian society. With this event, the Lithuanian Kolping Society also wanted to gain publicity for the European Development Days that took place in Stasbourg on November 15-17.

In the morning of the conference, young people near the Kolping house distributed several hundreds of special badges to the passers-by in order to draw their attention to the subject. The participants of the conference listened to the presentations about tolerance and development education as well as to information about the GLEN programme and presentations prepared by volunteers. Augustas Kligys and Dovile Sinkuniene shared their personal experience of volunteering in Africa, Ethiopia. At the end of the conference the participants actively discussed in groups.

Since 2005 the Lithuanian Kolping society has been partner of GLEN in Lithuania. GLEN ( is a global education network for young Europeans that consists of nongovernmental organizations from 12 European Union countries: Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Malta, France, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Germany. Through this project, every year several young people go as volunteers to developing countries.

For several years, the Lithuanian Kolping society has been organizing seminars and conferences in the field of development cooperation and education as well as volunteering. Many people of different age, different professions and from different parts of Lithuania have already participated in these events. The recent conference was supported by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and InWEnt.

For more information, please contact Lina Kalibataitė, National Secretary of Lithuanian Kolping Society,

Information provided by Ruta Kazlauskaite, Lithuanian Kolping Society

Czech NGDOs learning on policy from their Irish and British colleagues

In September, the Czech NGDO platform FoRS organised two key capacity building activities within the project “Starting Up Policy Activities of the Czech NGDOs Platform” supported by the Presidency Fund ( The partners in the project are the Irish platform Dóchas and the British platform BOND.

The first event was a study trip of the FoRS extended policy team to the Irish platform Dóchas. The Irish colleagues prepared intensive five days with an extensive programme in a very professional way. The FoRS policy team could get a solid overview on the activities of Dóchas, its relations with member organisations and institutional partners, as well as good tips and tricks on how to develop network. The FoRS policy team could also get into more in-depth discussions on organisational structures within Dóchas member organisations (Concern, Trócaire, World Vision, Comhlámh), and on various models of internal coordination between policy and other departments. The meetings arranged for FoRS covered a wide range of Dóchas partners – among the key ones Irish Aid (Civil Society Unit, DE Unit, EU Unit), Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Friends of the Earth or Gender Based Violence Consortium. The FoRS team also spent informal evenings with the Irish minister for Development and the participants of the CONCORD Board meeting.

In the following week, the FoRS Policy Officer went for an internship to the British platform BOND where she could learn more about the EU development policy from the perspective of the national platform and engage in the work of the BOND Advocacy team. She also worked together with the BOND EU Policy Officer in London and Brussels.

Overall, these events were a remarkable impetus for FoRS. The project enables FoRS to develop more structured and institutionalised policy work with the engagement of its member organisations, which is the crucial basement not only for the coming Czech EU Presidency, but much beyond.

Information provided by Jana Krczmarova, FoRS Secretariat Director,

"FDR Tea Party" for new member states in the European Commission

Prior to each meeting of the CONCORD Working Group FDR (Funding for Development and Relief), TRIALOG organises the "Tea Party" for new member states (NMS) representatives in this working group, in order to prepare them to the topics of the meeting agenda and empower them to participate actively in the group's work.

The recent FDR Tea-Party for NMS took place in the EC on November 18, the day before the official FDR meeting in Brussels. Representatives of the NGDO platforms from Cyprus, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovenia participated.

The group had the chance to meet the two persons in charge of NMS development education projects in the EC: Nicoletta Pusterla (responsible for BG, EE, LT, LV, SI, RO) and her new colleague Maria Gonzalez Mata (responsible for CY, CZ, HU, MT, SK, PL), who recently came back from the delegation in Paraguay, to join the team of Carlos Cardao, Head of Sector "Non State Actors and Local Authorities" in Unit AIDCO F3.

The first part of the meeting with EC representatives was an up-date on the thematic programme "Non-State Actors and Local Authorities (NSA-LA)"; and the group received information about the results of the last Call for Proposals (CfP) on Development Education and Awareness Raising. The session was followed by a discussion and a short presentation of the general external evaluation of the entire 10-years programme of development education actions, funded by the EC between 1998 and 2007 (under the Budget Line "Co-financing with NGO").

During the second part of the Tea Party, the new member states FDR representatives met the former chair of FDR, Maria Winnubst, who left the NGO world and is now working as Desk Officer for Kenya in EuropeAid. She gave an interesting insight and the possibility to discuss the changing dynamic of funding from the Commission like the increasing flow of money through budget support and UN-channels. Working in the EC allowed her also to have a critical view on the work done by FDR and she recommended the NMS not to focus in their lobby work only on the thematic programme NSA-LA, but to broaden the view to geographical programmes and to re-think their own financial strategies. "Get out of the box" was her impulsive and emotional invitation, which she gave us to take along with us, when we had already took one more hour of her time as originally planned… The participants received a lot of input to bring back to their national platforms and to reflect and work on until the next Tea Party and FDR meeting.

Information provided by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG

4th Austrian Development Conference: "Environment – Growth – Development"

For the first time, the 4th Austrian Development Conference in Innsbruck (November 14-16, 2008) brought together actors from the environmental and the development sector to a common conference. Key-speakers came from the South and participants from Austria and some neighbouring countries; among them students, researchers, NGO-representatives, social entrepreneurs, politicians and official representatives from the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).

TRIALOG moderated the Forum "Down to Earth" on organic agriculture with speakers from Hungary, Uganda and Austria; it followed up on a related conference held last May in Kampala (Uganda). The Forum was strongly related with the Food (Price) Crisis and tried to answer the big question, if "organic farming could feed the world". The Forum was one of two fora with invited key speakers and took place in addition to 10 other topic-related workshops, ranging from the "theatre of the oppressed" to "political ecology" and the "Ilisu retaining dam in Turkey".

The African speaker Fred Kabuye (Africa 2000 Network) had in his "baggage" a "Message to Austria" from Ugandan small scale farmers, saying that they would like to produce for the world market. The concepts of organic farming in Hungary (presented by Agnés Gagyi, National Institute of Minority Rights), Austria and Ecuador (presented by Petra Koppensteiner, HORIZONT3000) showed a more "lifestyle oriented" approach of consumers - favoring seasonal orientation and concentration on local markets as a big value. The discussion was completed with bringing in the human right for food (presented by Gertrude Klaffenböck, FIAN) and a scientific approach, presented by Michael Hauser (Research on Development at the Austrian University of Agriculture), who underlined the necessity of intensifying the organic agri-"culture" systems with appropriated approaches, to be able to respond to the necessities of growing populations in the future.

At the end, the forum participants together with the 5 speakers, elaborated a "Message to Uganda", following the approach that the European NGOs should support the Southern small scale farmers in the participatory elaboration of own African concepts by providing best practises from other world regions. Additionally, the group was clear, that the European NGOs have to pressure their national governments with advocacy work to achieve structural changes in the relations between North and South.

More information and the conference documentation will become available on the website of the main organiser "Paulo Freire Zentrum":

Information provided by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG

Monday, 24 November 2008

EC Enlargement Strategy and Progress Reports 2008

On 5 November 2008 the Commission adopted its annual strategy document explaining its policy on EU enlargement. The document includes also a summary of the progress made over the last twelve months by each candidate and potential candidate: Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, as well as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo (under UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99).

Furthermore, the 2008 progress reports were published on the same date, where the Commission services monitor and assess the achievements of each of the candidate and potential candidates over the last year.

The progress reports on Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey assess the "development policy and humanitarian aid" of each of the three candidate countries as part of the External Relations chapter 30.

The Croatian report states: "Some progress can be reported on development policy and humanitarian aid. A new department responsible for developmental cooperation was established within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integrations in November 2007. Croatia currently does not collect statistics on development and humanitarian aid in line with OECD/ODA standards, however, progress has been made towards meeting the standard. Croatia will need to establish the required legal framework in this area. Generally, preparations in this area are well advanced." However, the chapter concludes that "Continued efforts are also needed in the areas of development policy and humanitarian aid."

The Macedonian report has "no progress to report in the areas of development policy and humanitarian aid." The conclusion of the external relations chapter states that "The institutional capacity is not yet sufficient, especially in the areas of development policy and humanitarian aid."
Some progress has been made in Turkey in the field of development policy and humanitarian aid. According to the report, "Turkey granted some 602 million USD of official development aid in 2007. Turkey’s level of alignment remains satisfactory in this field."

For more information, download the Enlargement Strategy 2008-2009 and the country Progress Reports from:


Thursday, 20 November 2008

EuroMed Civil Forum

The EuroMed Civil Forum brought together civil society from countries around the Mediterranean, to discuss the future of the region. They met in Marseille from 31st October to 2nd November and presented their final declaration, including concrete recommendations and proposals, to the EuroMed ministerial conference on 3rd and 4th November 2008.

The declaration “Moving and Living together in the EuroMed space”, reaffirms the importance of properly functioning civil society and the essential element of peace for stability and democracy. It also highlights the positive benefits of migration, comparing this to the 'fortress Europe' stance of the EU and its member states.

The statement ends with 8 proposals for the EuroMed community. These call for the end to short-stay visas; and demand that all relevant international conventions be ratified, and human rights be respected. They call for the organisation of a follow up conference in 2009, and cover issues such as education, gender equality and environmental concerns. The community is asked to readdress the social and economic agenda in the region, and take migration into account in a measured way. Those in power are also invited to let civil society and independent and alternative media play a full role in the region.

More information about the EuroMed Platform and the Civil Forum can be found at
The text of the final declaration is available at

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

The FEST project took NGOs to Brussels

From the 8th-10th of October, 25 persons from Estonian, Finnish and Swedish NGOs had the opportunity to visit Brussels and meet some of the numerous actors in the EU development policy process.

This study visit was the last one out of the 3 study trips organised by the „FEST“ project – an EU-funded co-operation initiative between Finland, Estonia and Sweden, designed to build the development NGOs’ capacity to participate in the formulation and implementation of EU development policies.

During three days, Nordic NGOs met with the EU institutions (the European Parliament and the Commission) and selected European NGOs (Concord Europe, Eurostep, EEPA), as well as the countries’ permanent representations in Brussels. In addition to more general overviews of how the policy process works, some of the meetings had a specific focus on the upcoming EP elections and the EU’s work on policy coherence for development.

As in previous years, the participants considered most valuable the meetings with their Permanent Representations and deputies in the European Parliament. Out of the numerous meetings with the EU institutions, the presentation by Anna Caprile from the European Parliament Development Committee was especially appreciated for its informativeness and objectivity.

The participants also valued the opportunity to meet their colleagues from other FEST countries – a majority of the participants found the trip to have been an important networking possibility. Now just 4 months away from its end, the study trip was the last bigger international event in the 3-year history of FEST. Networking between the three countries will still be continued via the project’s cross-border mentoring programme.

Information provided by Maarja Toots, FEST co-ordinator in Estonia

New DAC list of ODA Recipients

The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has been collecting data on aid flows since 1961. The new list of ODA recipients, effective for reporting on 2008, 2009 and 2010 flows, has just been released.

The lists of aid recipients the committee publishes have changed shape several times over the years, to reflect new political and economic situations, and the ‘DAC List of Aid Recipients’ was introduced in 1993.

To begin with there were two parts to the list: aid to traditional developing countries, which was counted as ODA and which has the long-standing UN target of 0.7% of a country’s income; and aid to more advanced developing countries, which was classified as ‘official aid’.

The list was reviewed every three years, and successive revisions reflected global changes, including the transitions of countries in central Europe becoming EU members and donors themselves. In 2005, the DAC decided to maintain only part one of the list; the ‘List of ODA Recipients’.

The DAC List of ODA Recipients as at 1 January 2009, which was approved in September 2008, is now available at
For more information on the DAC list and its history visit:,3343,en_2649_34447_2093101_1_1_1_1,00.html

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Eurobarometer on the 2009 European Elections

The recently-published Eurobarometer on the 2009 elections has presented its findings on awareness of and interest in the European elections. The survey also looked at likely levels of voting, voting criteria and the campaign themes that are attracting voters.

Face to face interviews were carried out in each of the 27 EU member states and the information was compiled to see whether attitudes and trends have changed. The aim of the survey was to see whether the 2009 elections will be truly European or simply an accumulation of 27 national elections.

Surveys were carried out around 18 months before the elections, and then again around a year before. Compared with the first wave of interviews, ‘awarenesss of the date of the European elections has improved’ but given that this only represents 16% compared with 10%, overall ‘European citizens are not particularly aware of this event.’ This result was not split along lines of older and newer member states. Luxembourg and Slovakia were near the top of the poll, with 43% and 32% of their citizens knowing the elections were to be held next year; while only 8% of Bulgarian, and just 3% of Finnish and British respondents knew the year.

When talking about interest in the elections however, the survey notes that ‘in numerous new member states, an absolute majority of respondents are not interested in the European elections.’ This is also true of British respondents, who are notoriously uninterested in a wide range of European matters.

The survey found that in countries with a long tradition of European political life, European criteria were more important than national criteria when asked how they would choose which candidate to vote for. In new member states however, respondents gave priority to candidates’ positions on national issues, presumably because of ‘the relative newness of European political life in these countries’.

In terms of campaign themes, Europeans want to see a primary focus on economic themes, then on global and security-related themes and finally on themes related directly to the EU. One issue where there is a clear divide between old and newer member states is agriculture.

The survey concludes by noting that the two main challenges of the 2009 European elections will be ‘to inform European citizens about the European Parliament’s role and the ability of candidates to offer practical solutions at European level to the economic crisis.’

The full Eurobarometer report is available from:
For more information (eg. a summary or country fiches in national languages) see:

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Tutors Call - GLEN 2009

The new GLEN cycle 2009 starts very soon. The call for tutors for GLEN 2009 is open now - for both, the English and the French speaking group. Download the calls from the following links: (English) (French)

Experience with GLEN and involvement in one of the GLEN partner organisations is a strong advantage. Submit your application to Kasia Szeniawska (, co-ordinator of GLEN at European level, until January 8, 2009.

Find more information on GLEN at:

Information provided by Laure Heinrich, InWEnt

CONCORD Flash and Working Groups Newsletter

The latest October issue of the CONCORD Flash reports news from the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development.

In this issue:
- Don’t forget world hunger, urge development NGOs
- Almost 100 national NGO platforms gather in Paris
- NGOs: how can you communicate better with your members?
- Coming soon: the 2009 Czech presidency
- Breaking a record: more than 116 million people Stood Up against poverty
- European civil society challenges the EC on the lobbying register
- Young Africans win the "World Views on Europe" competition
… and more.

You can download the Flash from the publication section of the CONCORD website or use the direct link:

The latest CONCORD Working Groups newsletter reports about the work of all CONCORD working groups and projects such as DEEEP and TRIALOG during the first semester of 2008 (January-June). Download the publication from:

Information provided by Agnes Philippart and Guenola Henry, CONCORD.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

CEE Trust: Civil Society Forum

The Trust for Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE Trust) is initiating a discussion about the state, the role and the future of civil society in Post-Communist Europe.

To join the Civil Society Forum and to give your input, you can visit

Information provided by CEE Trust,

Christmas and New Year office closure; Reimbursements

Please note that the TRIALOG Vienna and Brussels offices will be closed between December 22 and January 6. From January 7 onwards, we will again be at your disposal.

We would also like to inform you that the last reimbursements before the Christmas/New Year's break will be made on December 16. Please be aware that all open reimbursement claims which do not reach our Vienna office before December 12, will be processed only in January 2009.

Thank you for your understanding. The next TRIALOG Information Service (TIS) will come out in January 2009. Early Season's Greetings to everybody from our team!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

UNDP announces 2009 Procurement Training Calendar

United Nations Development Programme offers procurement-related training courses to staff in NGOs, inter-governmental organizations, the UN system, development banks and their borrowers, and governments. The following courses are offered regularly in Bangkok, Copenhagen, Dubai, New York and Vienna:
  • Fundamentals of Public Procurement
  • Procurement Strategy Development
  • Contract and Supplier Relations Management
  • Logistics and Incoterms
  • Risk Management in Contracting for Construction Services
  • Effective Negotiations in Projects and Procurement

In addition to these regularly scheduled courses, all training courses can also be delivered at your preferred location and time on cost recovery basis. UNDP can also collaborate with you to deliver tailor-made courses to meet your specific needs.

To download the 2009 Calendar or Course Catalogue, for more information about tailor-made options and to register on-line, go to the UNDP procurement training website:

In case of any further questions, please email to:

Information provided by Michelle Cumming Lokkegard, UNDP Procurement Support Office