Tuesday, 25 November 2008

"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

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