Wednesday, 28 January 2009
We will report about the 2009 Central Training in our next TIS and on our website http://www.trialog.or.at/.
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: http://www.cidse.org/Area_of_work/?id=827 (Source: CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 161; http://www.cidse.org/)
Programme of the Czech NGDO platform FoRS for the EU presidency 2009: http://trialog-information-service.blogspot.com/2008/11/programme-of-czech-ngdo-platform-for-eu.html
Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG
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: http://www.development-network.eu/events/rt_ii_-_prague
Information provided by Zuzana Sladkova, FoRS
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
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.
- May 28-29, 2009: International Conference on Development Education
- June 23-24, 2009: International Conference on CSO Development Effectiveness
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 email@example.com
Information provided by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG
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 http://www.trialog.or.at/ soon.
Sources and links:
Balkan Insight: Montenegro Applies for EU Membership http://balkaninsight.com/en/main/news/15567/
BBC: Iceland ‘could apply to EU soon’ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7778195.stm
EUObserver: Montenegro Files EU Membership Application http://euobserver.com/15/27301
EurActiv: Montenegro files EU Membership Bid with France
Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG
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: http://www.fairfutures.at/doku/FairTrade2007newfacts+figures.pdf
For more information and to access former editions of the publication, visit: http://www.fairfutures.at/f%20f2007.html
Sources: CTA Brussels Newsletter No. 160; http://www.fairfutures.at/f%20f2007.html
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: http://www.concordeurope.org/Files/media/internetdocumentsENG/4_Publications/3_CONCORDs_positions_and_studies/CONCORD-EU-MANIFESTO-FINAL.pdf
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: http://www.ids.ac.uk/UserFiles/file/globalisation_team/financial_crisis/Voices%20from%20the%20South%20Report.pdf
Sources: oeza aktuell Dezember 2008; http://www.ids.ac.uk
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
As reported already in our last TIS (http://trialog-information-service.blogspot.com/2008/11/provisional-results-of-last-ec.html), 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: http://www.trialog.or.at/images/doku/comparison-cfp2007and2008.pdf
Information provided by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG Capacity Building Officer
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 http://www.concordeurope.org/.
Direct link: http://www.concordeurope.org/Files/media/internetdocumentsENG/4_Publications/1_CONCORD_Flash/Flash2008/Flash-November-EN.pdf
Information provided by Agnès Philippart, CONCORD
The bilingual publication (English/Latvian) is available for download on the EPIO website: http://www.europarl.lv/; direct link: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/riga/2523/uploads/EPIB_konference_23_okt.pdf
Information provided by European Parliament Information Office, Latvia
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.
Information provided by Future Worlds Center, http://fwcis.blogspot.com/
March 27-April 2, 2009: Pre-events and UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development
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 http://www.deeep.org
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: http://www.esd-world-conference-2009.org/en/esd-workshop-for-young-people.html
Information provided by Tobias Troll and Chiara Tripepi, DEEEP
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: www.deeep.org/summerschool2009.html, or contact Angelo Caserta, firstname.lastname@example.org
Information provided by Chiara Tripepi, DEEEP
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 http://www.esodoc.eu/ or contact Thomas Righetti at email@example.com.
Information provided by ESoDoc Team, firstname.lastname@example.org; ZeLIG, Bolzano-Italy