Wednesday, 28 January 2009

February 24-26, 2009: TRIALOG Central Training, Vienna

The TRIALOG Central Training is a seminar for development NGO platforms from new EU member states (NMS). In 2009, it will take place in Vienna, between February 24 and 26. We invited 2 representatives of each NMS platform to participate - the coordinator and a board representative - as well as colleagues and experts from other European countries and CONCORD. The seminar will focus on the financial sustainability of NMS platforms. The aim is to learn from each others' experience and to think about possible actions.

We will report about the 2009 Central Training in our next TIS and on our website

Ten New Member States turn five - Czech Presidency's official priorities

In just a few months’ time, the ten countries that joined the European Union in 2004 will celebrate five years as members. The Czech Republic, which currently holds the EU Presidency, is one of those ten new member states (NMS). It released its work plan at the beginning of the year and, in it, announced a celebration to mark the event.

The work plan states the Czech Presidency’s intention to ‘further strengthen the EU prospects’ of the countries in the Western Balkans. It also intends to evaluate the costs and benefits of the 2004 enlargement ‘for all Member States and the Union as a whole’ during a conference in March.

External Relations – Neighbourhood Policies:
The new presidency has also promised to ‘push forward for the introduction of the Eastern Partnership’, a move it sees as deepening the European Neighbourhood Policy. This will be done at a high level forum in May 2009.

All the countries in the Eastern Neighbourhood are named alongside the actions to be taken, and Belarus is given a special mention, with the Presidency seeking to ‘support the gradual development of relations between the EU and Belarus, the commencement of a constructive dialogue with Belarus, and […] support the civil society in Belarus.’

The Mediterranean countries are also mentioned, with special reference to Israel, as its Action Plan expires in April, and the Middle East peace process where ‘the emphasis will be placed on supporting the negotiation process in coordination with the Quartet members, and on compliance with international law and human rights standards.’

Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid:
The Presidency has highlighted financing for development, including the impact of the current financial crisis on developing countries and aid effectiveness as development priorities. There will also be particular emphasis on South-Eastern and Eastern Europe as well as ‘geographical balance within the relations between the EU and other regions.’

Czech Presidency Priorities:
Recent CIDSE article (by Denise Auclair) on EU Presidencies and Development: (Source: CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 161;
Programme of the Czech NGDO platform FoRS for the EU presidency 2009:

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

FoRS hostet roundtable of NGDO platforms from Visegrad 4 countries

At the beginning of January, FoRS – Czech Forum for Development Co-operation held a two day roundtable in Prague for the NGDO platforms from the Visegrád 4 (V4) – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The roundtable was organised in cooperation with Polish CASE – Center for Social and Economic Research, British ODI – Overseas Development Institute, and BOND – British Overseas NGOs for Development.

The objectives of the roundtable were:

  • To discuss the opportunities and challenges for engagement of V4 NGDO platforms in the EU Elections
  • To strengthen the knowledge and skills of NGDOs in the field of research for international development

The first day, focusing on the upcoming European Parliament (EP) elections, was held by Anders Dahlbeck, BOND EU Campaign Officer and Chairman of the CONCORD taskforce for the EU Elections. The participants gained knowledge on the role of the EP in development cooperation, on the last EP elections in 2004, on how to target (future) MEPs, and on the campaigns of CONCORD and BOND for the EP elections in June 2009. Furthermore, the platforms had the chance to share their experience with working with MEPs and to discuss the campaigning and advocacy possibilities for the next elections, including topics such as which issues to be discussed with the candidates for the EP, how to maintain the contact with elected MEPs, how to engage the media, and so on.

The second day was dedicated to research methods in development and conducted by Ajoy Datta from ODI. Research methods are one of a number of tools for development and the workshop was thus aimed at giving development practitioners a greater sense of control in using research within their work. This was a crucial moment for the NGDOs from the Visegrád countries to gain theoretical knowledge on quantitative, qualitative and participatory research methods and how to use them in the policy work of NGDOs. The presentation alternated with lively group discussions on how different research methods have been used in the work of NGDOs until now and how research can be included in the future.

This roundtable was part of the project "Fostering Global Responsibility. Building a Development Policy Knowledge Network to Enhance NGO Public Outreach Initiatives in EU New Member States" led by CASE and ODI with the participation of the V4 NGDO platforms and funded by the European Commission.

More information about the roundtable can be found at:

Information provided by Zuzana Sladkova, FoRS

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Programme of the Czech NGDO platform for the EU presidency 2009

In the first half of 2009, the Czech Republic is the second country from the 12 new member states to hold the EU presidency. During that period, the international scene will see crucial follow-ups of the 2008 revision of the Paris Declaration and the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus. Moreover June 2009 will feature the European parliamentary elections.

The Czech development NGO platform FoRS took up the challenge of the ongoing processes by choosing the hot topic of the development effectiveness of civil society organisations (CSOs) as the primary theme for actions during the Czech EU presidency. In June 2008, the Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness was launched as a global civil society self-driven process. CSOs from around the world have acknowledged their obligation to take forward and lead a process to improve their own effectiveness as development actors. The global effectiveness framework for CSOs is to be proposed by late 2012. The FoRS presidency programme was designed to engage the Czech NGDO constituency to contribute to the global process through reflecting on its own development experience gained during the implementation of Czech development projects.

The second thematic priority of FoRS is good governance. FoRS would like to bring together two dimensions: "good governance and development" and "pro-democracy and the political dimension". Other selected topics include development education, sustainable technologies for sustainable development, migration and development, and agriculture and food security.

Reserve the dates of the two international conferences planned during the FoRS presidency programme in your diaries:
  • May 28-29, 2009: International Conference on Development Education
  • June 23-24, 2009: International Conference on CSO Development Effectiveness
Find more information on the Presidency Programme of FoRS, the priorities and events, at:
For further information, please contact Marie Zazvorkova:

Information provided by Jana Krczmářová, Director, FoRS Secretariat

Development education training event in Bulgaria

After a training event with the Global Initiative of Psychiatry (GIP) in November in Lithuania (see:, the GIP Sofia branch invited TRIALOG for a second 2day training event on December 4-5, 2008, this time in Bulgaria and in cooperation with the Bulgarian Platform on International Development (BPID).

The training event provided an insight into the EU-strategy 2007 – 2010 of the Thematic Programme "Non-State Actors and Local Authorities", the Annual Action Plan 2008 and the expected (now open) Call for Proposal on Development Education and Awareness Raising in Europe.

After introductory sessions, 17 participants from Bulgarian and Georgian NGOs worked together to elaborate concrete projects with the aim to raise awareness in Bulgaria on development issues. Additionally to the result of having formulated aims and goals, indicators and assumptions for a few project proposals, the group had challenging discussions on global issues. Especially the question "how the broader public and decision makers could be convinced that worldwide poverty reduction is an important topic, although national poverty is still an issue in Bulgaria" has been discussed intensively.

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

Information provided by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG

Montenegro and Iceland next candidates for EU membership?

In the middle of December 2008, towards the end of the French Presidency, the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, presented Montenegro’s formal application to join the EU. Enlargement Commissioner, Olli Rehn, who was in attendance said that the move marked ‘the country’s important engagement to common European values and fundamentals.’

The country declared independence from Serbia in 2006, and signed a Stabilisation and Accession Agreement in 2007. The formal application was the next step on the road towards EU membership, and the intention was to present it during the Slovenian presidency, at the beginning of the year. This plan was shelved when Brussels indicated it was too early, but current presidency holder the Czech Republic, is supportive of the move.

Montenegro has made ‘important progress’ according to Commissioner Rehn, but ‘much more work is needed, including on the rule of law and institution building.’ Progress reports adopted in December criticise the country’s slow reform and suggest accession will not take place in the near future.

Whereas all Western Balkan countries are potential candidate countries and most expect them to become EU members in the future, other countries have shown an interest in joining the union following the situation caused by the current financial crisis.

Iceland, a country that has always prided its status outside the EU, has indicated that it is considering applying for membership. The financial crisis has hit the economy hard, and Prime Minister Geir Haarde has set up a commission to consider the option of EU membership. If it decided to join, Iceland’s accession process would be relatively fast, as it is already a member of the European Economic Area, and is already fairly integrated with other EU countries.

A report on Civil Society in Montenegro, written by Masa Lekic, a recent intern in TRIALOG’s Brussels office, is going through the final editing process. It will be available on the TRIALOG website soon.

Sources and links:
Balkan Insight: Montenegro Applies for EU Membership
BBC: Iceland ‘could apply to EU soon’
EUObserver: Montenegro Files EU Membership Application
EurActiv: Montenegro files EU Membership Bid with France

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Latest Facts and Figures Report on Fair Trade in 33 countries

The 5th edition of the facts and figures survey on Fair Trade compiles information about Fair Trade structures, markets and sales for 33 countries, including country studies on Fair Trade in European countries - among them ten of the twelve New EU Member States - as well as North America and the Pacific Rim countries Japan, Australia, New Zealand. The overall conclusion of the study is that Fair Trade is expanding like never before. On 160 pages, it gives an up-to-date picture of Fair Trade activities in developed consumer countries.

The full report “Fair Trade 2007: new facts and figures from an ongoing success story. A report on Fair Trade in 33 consumer countries”, by Jean-Marie Krier, compiled on behalf of DAWS – the Dutch Association of Worldshops can be downloaded at the following link:

For more information and to access former editions of the publication, visit:

Sources: CTA Brussels Newsletter No. 160;

CONCORD Manifesto for the 2009 EP elections

In June 2009, more than a half billion citizens of the 27 member States of the European Union (EU) will elect their representatives to the European Parliament for the 2009-2014 term. On this occasion, the CONCORD manifesto identifies and discusses three essential EU objectives: namely sustainable development, more and better development aid and democratic accountability, as well as urging MEPs to act on them.

Trade, agriculture, environment, migration and many other policies have an impact on sustainable development. Yet, these policies have not sufficiently and directly contributed to poverty eradication and the promotion of human rights within the EU, nor at the global level. In addition, the fact that the implementation of these policies exacerbates the situation of people outside the EU is frequently ignored.

To promote a responsible Europe, CONCORD calls for a partnership between civil society and the European Parliament in order to uphold the right to sustainable development and responsible citizenship. In this regard, particular attention needs to be paid to climate justice and gender issues. The CONCORD Manifesto is available on the following link:


IDS Report: Southern Voices on the Financial Crisis Impact

The global financial crisis is already beginning to have an impact on the 'real economy' in poorer countries around the world. However, the debate in the west about the impact of the crisis has largely ignored its impact on the developing world, and the voices of people from these countries are rarely heard.

In November 2008, the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex, UK, published a report on "Voices from the South. The impact of the global financial crisis on developing countries". In this publication, twenty-one thinkers, academics and policymakers from 14 developing countries present snapshot views of how the financial crisis is affecting their countries.

Download the full report from:

Sources: oeza aktuell Dezember 2008;

SKOP organised the 2nd National Conference on MDGs in Malta

The Maltese NGDO platform SKOP ( in collaboration with STOPoverty and Global Action Schools, KOPIN's Development Education Project, organized this second conference on MDGs on the 17th October 2008. The Conference, which was financially supported by the Presidency Fund (, focused on Malta's contribution towards the achievement of the MDGs and the theme of gender in relation to development. The Minister of Foreign Affairs responsible for development gave a keynote speech, as well the French Ambassador for Malta and other stakeholders.

During the Conference the STAND UP! TAKE ACTION was performed simultaneously with schools, NGOs and other organisations. Over 15,000 stood up against poverty on the Maltese islands. Amongst the participants of the Conference were policy makers, Ambassadors, NGOs, political parties, journalists, teachers, students and the general public.

This Conference helped SKOP to increase the awareness on MDGs, its visibility, ascertain our position in relation to overseas development aid, strenghten our relationship with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and build on existing networks and new networks. SKOP has also taken this opportunity to present a set of recommendations to the Minister of Foreign Affairs regarding the Overseas Development Policy.

Information provided by Angie Farrugia, Maltese NGDO platform SKOP

Monday, 26 January 2009

News, differences and changes within the Development Education Call 2008

In mid-December, the EC launched the Call for Proposal (CfP) 2008 “Public Awareness and education for development in Europe” with deadline for Concept Notes on 17 February 2009 (see related TIS article).

As reported already in our last TIS (, the Annual Action Plan 2008 foresees, that the EC will use the budget of 2 years (2008 and 2009) for the current CfP 2008, i.e. more money will be available for this Call, but we don´t have to expect the following CfP (2009) before Summer 2010! However, this still needs to be confirmed (and allocated) also in the (upcoming) Action Plan 2009.

After continuous lobby work done by TRIALOG, national platforms and national MEPs, the EC allocated a portion of 20% (which means more than 5 million EUR within the Budget of one year) of the financial envelopes preferably to development education and awareness-raising actions in the twelve new Member States, proposed by organisations originating from these countries.

As always, the EC is prioritising specific target groups. This time local authorities are explicitely named as well as economic operators at national and international level. Beside that, working in partnership between Non State Actors and Local Authorities has also been defined as a priority.

European partners must satisfy the same eligibility criteria as applicants, with the exception that there is no minimum time limit with regard to the registration of the organisation any more.

Additionally, the EC defined two new formalities for organisations, who would like to present a project proposal: PADOR registration ist obligatory and a communication and visibility plan have to be included in the Full Application Form.

For more information please see the EC guidelines on the official EC webpage:

For a brief comparison of the CfP 2008 with the CfP 2007, read:

Information provided by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG Capacity Building Officer

CONCORD Flash: November - December

The latest issue of the CONCORD Flash reports about the activities of the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development in November and December 2008.

In this issue:
- 2009 European Elections
- CONCORD meets the Africa Working group of the EU Council
- In Doha, rich countries sideline the developing world
- Discover the 2009 DG Development consultations
- Is there a future for the Cotonou agreement?
- Partnership between local authorities and NGOs: no more clichés!
- Discover the next Global Call to Action against Poverty in 2009
- A coherence king at the European Parliament
- When the European Commission reviews its budget
- How to improve the relations between NGOs & the Council of the European Union? … and many other subjects.

You can download the Flash from the “publication” section of the CONCORD website
Direct link:

Information provided by Agnès Philippart, CONCORD

Report on Riga Neighbourhood Policy Conference

In April 2008, TRIALOG participated in a conference in Riga about "The contribution of the European Neighbourhood Policy to the development of Eastern neighbours". Recently the organiser, the European Parliament Information Office (EPIO) in Riga, published a report which summarizes the opinions and ideas expressed by the conference participants. Experts from 10 countries - Poland, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia (including six MEPs) - and from the EC discussed the future of the EU Neighbourhood policy in the East and addressed the 90 participants at the conference.

The bilingual publication (English/Latvian) is available for download on the EPIO website:; direct link:

Information provided by European Parliament Information Office, Latvia

February 7, 2009: Workshop for Youth NGOs from Cyprus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

The Future Worlds Center in Cyprus is inviting to a Contact Making and Project Development Workshop on 7 February, 2009. The workshop is targeted at members and representatives of youth organisations in Cyprus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and will take place within the context of a European Youth project 'Strengthening of youth civil society initiatives through EU and neighbouring countries' networking'.

The main aims of the workshop are:
  • to meet Youth NGO representatives from Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan
  • to identify common areas of interest
  • to develop joint project ideas
  • and to learn more about the European Youth Programme and its funding procedures.
For more more information see To register for the workshop, please contact Kerstin Wittig at:

Information provided by Future Worlds Center,

March 27-April 2, 2009: Pre-events and UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development

From March 31 to April 2, 2009, the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) will take place in Bonn, Germany. 700 participants, including high-level guests, will discuss challenges for ESD in the half-time of the UNESCO decade on the topic. For more information, visit the official website:

NGO conference "Global Learning, weltwärts and beyond“:
Prior to the UNESCO conference, the German NGDO platform VENRO and the CONCORD Development Education Forum co-organise a NGO conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and international volunteering. The event entitled "Global Learning, weltwärts and beyond“ will take place in Bonn from 27 to 29 March and will formulate a NGO contribution to the UNESCO World conference on ESD, which will take place just after the NGO event. The application deadline for this NGO conference is 31 January! For more information and the application form, please turn to

Call for Participation - Young ESD Voices from around the World:
One day before the opening of the UNESCO World Conference, on March 30, a workshop with 25 young people from around the world with demonstrated engagement in ESD will take place in Bonn, Germany. Participants of the workshop will also take part in the World Conference. Workshop results will be presented at the Conference. Young people between 18 and 35 years of age are invited to submit applications for participating in the workshop by 9 February 2009! Find more information on:

Information provided by Tobias Troll and Chiara Tripepi, DEEEP

Reminder: Development Education Summer School 2009

The Development Education Summer School (DESS) “Recognizing, Engaging, Motivating Young People as Actors in Development Education, Advocacy, Campaigning” will be held in Cheile Gradistei, Romania, from June 21 to June 28 2009. The DESS is organised by DEEEP, jointly with FOND, the Romanian NGDO platform.

If you want to participate, please contact your national NGDO platform by February 10th, at the latest.

More information on the Summer School is available on:, or contact Angelo Caserta,

Information provided by Chiara Tripepi, DEEEP

ESoDoc 2009: European Social Documentary

The application deadline for ESoDoc 2009, the European Social Documentary workshop for NGOs, non profit organizations and filmmakers, is March 03, 2009. The three week-long ESoDoc workshops are held over a six-month period, usually in May, July and October.

ESoDoc aims at creating new opportunities in production for the European documentary market, where the focus is on human rights, social justice and environmental protection, especially in developing nations; at the same time, ESoDoc is a response to growing awareness, on the part of NGOs and non-profit organizations, that film and new media are strategic instruments for the promotion of their work.

For more information, please visit or contact Thomas Righetti at

Information provided by ESoDoc Team,; ZeLIG, Bolzano-Italy