Thursday, 7 May 2009

Bosnia and Herzegovina country study published

Another TRIALOG country study has been published, on the situation faced by civil society organisations (CSOs) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The report was written by Dijana Kadić, who was an intern in the Brussels office last year.

The report covers the different aspects of the environment in which civil society actors work in the country, from the legal environment, to the funding structures they have to rely on, to the way in which they organise themselves and try to work together. The report outlines the challenges the organisations face, including the large number of individual actors, the lack of coordination and cooperation and the competing forces at work in the country, making it questionable whether CSOs are able to adequately respond to Bosnian interests rather than international priorities.

The report goes into some detail about the main players in the country, with NGO profiles and examples of their work.

TRIALOG’s country study on Bosnia and Herzegovina can be downloaded from For more information, comments or changes to the text please contact For other TRIALOG country studies and publications, please visit

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Analysis of the Central Training outcomes

NGDO platforms from New EU Member States met in February at the annual TRIALOG Central Training to discuss their current core concerns (read more here). Now the final analysis and report about the outcomes is available! Please see the TRIALOG report: "The financial sustainability of national platforms in New Member States. Analysis & Future Perspectives. Trialog Central Training 2009 Vienna", by Petra Kreinecker and Christine Bedoya (Vienna, April 2009)

Further new documents and minutes which are quoted in the final analysis/report are:
Platform questionnaire – Hard facts:
Financial Sustainability Strategies & the related "BUTs":
Financial strategies of national platforms - country presentations:
CONCORD membership and fee system: Perspectives of national platforms - discussion:

For the now full documentation of the Central Training (incl. minutes, videos, photos, presentations), please visit our website:

Information provided by Anita Bister, TRIALOG

EPAN recommendations for the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

The CONCORD working group on Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood (EPAN), which is convened by TRIALOG, has sent the European Commission its recommendations on the proposed Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. This followed the discussions with the European Commission on the topic at the EPAN meeting in March, and responded directly to an online consultation that DG External Relations launched last month.

In the statement, the group answers the four questions that were set by the European Commission: how a Civil Society Forum would advance the goals of the Eastern Partnership; how participation in the Forum should be determined; how the Forum should be structured and the role the European Commission should play.

The EPAN group sees the Civil Society Forum as an opportunity for true cooperation between civil society in the six countries included in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) and civil society in the EU. It must be inclusive and representative of civil society in the EaP countries, and based on existing groupings and networks rather than being imposed from outside.

The group sees the Forum functioning with a light secretariat and annual event, but the main bulk of the work being done by members throughout the year in working groups on a range of issues.

The group sees the EC’s role as a facilitating one, with increased cooperation between Brussels, the EC delegations and civil society. Attention must also be given to resources, which will be needed to properly support the Forum and its activities.

The invitation to contribute an opinion on the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum can be found on the European Commission European Neighbourhood Policy website:
The EPAN statement can be found on the TRIALOG website:
For further information on the EPAN working group visit:

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

FoRS and CONCORD engage in dialogue with EU and ACP parliamentarians

Members of the European Parliament and Members of Parliament of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States seized the opportunity of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) to discuss the world food and financial crisis and the social and environmental impact of climate change.

The ACP-EU JPA is an international assembly established by the Cotonou Partnership Agreement with the aim of promoting cooperation and dialogue between North and South. The 17th session of the ACP-EU JPA was held from 4 to 9 April 2009 in Prague during the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The European NGO confederation CONCORD and the Czech NGDO platform FoRS were also present, engaging in dialogue with the parliamentarians, attending the plenary sessions and organising side events, such as an informal lunch meeting and an information stand.

The informal lunch meeting created a space for dialogue between representatives of the civil society and elected officials from EU and ACP countries. More than 100 people attended the meeting during which representatives of both European and African NGOs took the floor to elaborate on the themes of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement and the latest developments in the negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).

Furthermore, FoRS and CONCORD were present at the venue of the ACP-EU JPA with an information stand in order to reach the parliamentarians in between the plenary sessions and to inform them about the work of FoRS and CONCORD. In addition, 8 briefing papers on different aspects of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement were being distributed.

A capacity building seminar for NGO representatives from the New EU Member States preceded the ACP-EU JPA, focusing on the future of the Cotonou Agreement and the consequences of the EPAs for developing countries. The seminar was organised by the Cotonou Working Group of CONCORD in cooperation with FoRS and financed by the Presidency Fund (

Find all the official documents of the 17th session of the ACP-EU JPA at

For further information on the NGO activities related to the ACP-EU JPA, please visit or contact Zuzana Sládková at

Information provided by Ineke Adriaens and Zuzana Sládková, FoRS
Photo: Zuzana Sládková

General Assembly of the Romanian platform FOND

The Romanian NGDO Platform – FOND, organized its second General Assembly on 12th -13th March 2009, at CENTRAS Office located in Bucharest. During this event, FOND members elected their new Board representatives and president:

- Viorel Micescu (president) - CENTRAS
- Valentin Burada (vicepresident) - Civil Society Development Foundation (FDSC)
- Gabriela Alexandrescu - Save the Children Romania
- Andra Tanase - Peace Action Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR)
- Mirela Oprea - World Vision Romania
- Angela Achitei - "Alaturi de Voi" Foundation Romania (ADV)
- Olivia Baciu - Partners Foundation of Local Development (FPDL)

Also, three Romanian NGDOs joined the Platform becoming new FOND members- Joseph Foundation, Resource Center for Public Participation-CeRe, The National Volunteer Center Romania-Pro Vobis. FOND has now 40 member organizations.

Among the guests were the UK Ambassador in Romania, H.E. Robert Barnett; Mihaela Rutjens, Director Development Assistance - Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Monica Loloiu, European Commission Representation in Romania.

The main issues discussed were the strategic direction of Romanian ODA programs and in this regard Ambassador Barnett sugested a high-level meeting with all the national stakeholders in this field (including FOND) to come up with a long-term strategy for this policy and also to clearly settle the role of all the actors involved. Another important topic was related to the cooperation between FOND and the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2009, and here Mrs. Rutjens presented the plans and budget for 2009 of the ODA division (which was cut more than half, down to 1,9 million EUR) and emphasized the neccesity of a strong collaboration with FOND to overcome the negative impact of the financial crisis and to raise the profile of development cooperation as a policy within the Romanian government and parliament.

Information provided by Adela Rusu, FOND Romania

Czech NGO trained teachers in Austria

On 18 March 2009, the Czech Society for Fair Trade organized a seminar for English teachers in Linz, Austria. This seminar can be considered as a breakthrough - it was the first time when an organization from a new EU-member state organized a training for teachers in an old-member state. The seminar „Global Issues in English Language Teaching" was held in partnership with the Austrian development agency Suedwind. The lecturers of the seminar were James Thomas and Martina Pavlickova who also contributed to the development of a new educational material "Global Issues in the ELT Classroom" during a project realized in 2007-2008.

During the 4-hour-long seminar, nearly 40 teachers were introduced to the Millennium Development Goals, the concept of global education and the methods used to implement global issues in English lessons. In the second part of the seminar, teachers, in the role of students, experienced one of the lessons from the above-mentioned educational material. More information and sample lessons can be found at

Another seminar in Austria is planned in Vienna in October 2009. For more information please contact

Information provided by Martina Pavlickova, Czech Society for Fair Trade

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

EC progress reports on implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy

On 23 April, the European Commission launched its annual European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) progress reports. In these reports, the EC takes stock of the reform achievements made by ENP countries in 2008 and identifies the areas where further efforts are needed. A policy paper on the implementation of the ENP provides an overall assessment of developments in the 12 ENP countries. Individual country reports for each country and a report on sectoral progress accompany the policy paper. Find all reports at:

Information about how to comment on the concept notes for the mid term review of the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI) programming documents can be found at:

The CONCORD working group EPAN which is convened by TRIALOG will participate in the consultation with civil society. We will report in the next TIS. A related position paper from the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) on the Southern neighbourhood can be downloaded from:

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Ljubljana congress on the role of civil society in the EU integration process

From April 16-18 2009, European Movement International, in collaboration with European Movement Slovenia, organised a congress in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on the role of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the integration process of EU candidate and potential candidate countries, entitled “CSOs challenge Public Authorities”. The event was a follow-up to three conferences on civil society that took place in 2008 in Brussels, Ljubljana and Zadar.

In the first part of the conference, around 200 representatives of CSOs from the Western Balkans and Turkey gathered and worked together to draft a strategic document aimed at improving collaboration between civil society organisations and local and national leaders. On the third day, the CSO representatives presented their ideas in a final declaration entitled “Civil Society and Politics: Turning the Challenge into Opportunity” to political leaders and demanded further cooperation between all executive levels and CSOs from the region. This document insists on the establishment of sustainable and coordinated relations with civil society actors in the Western Balkans and Turkey.

The conference declaration is available from the following link:
Further information on the Congress is available at:

Source: Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) Weekly e-mail alerts No.182

Monday, 4 May 2009

EC President Barroso met CONCORD

Over 100 chairs and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of European development NGOs met at the High Level Leadership Forum organised in Brussels by CONCORD on 26 March 2009.

The president of CONCORD, Justin Kilcullen, welcomed Mr Barroso, President of the European Commission, to the meeting, where he had been invited to participate both as a speaker and by joining a discussion on “the EU’s capacity to reduce the impact of the financial crisis and climate change on developing countries”.

A few days ahead of the G20 summit on the financial crisis, and on the eve of the publication of the OECD’s figures on official development aid, the Commission President’s talk and his replies to questions on these topics were of special interest. Mr Barroso strongly stressed that the EU had to keep its promises with regard to the Millennium Development Goals, its official development aid commitments and support for developing countries in this time of crisis. Justin Kilcullen outlined the main thrust of CONCORD’s new Strategic Framework for 2009-2015 and reminded listeners of the goals and strategic approaches that must be adopted if the Confederation is to play its full political role in a Europe and a world that are in constant evolution. In the afternoon, two workshops gave the NGO leaders a chance to debate on central issues and provided a space for dialogue and exchange.

For further information, read the full article in the CONCORD Flash (page 3) at:

Information provided by Agnès Philippart, CONCORD

Planning the European Development Days 2009

The European Commission gathered stakeholders together in Brussels at the end of March to present the steps that have been taken so far towards the European Development Days 2009. These will take place 21-23 October in Stockholm, Sweden, during the Swedish Presidency of the European Union.

The European Commission presented the improvements that will be seen this year, compared to last; listing a better gender balance, a better geographical balance and more media involvement as the main aspects that will change this year.

There is a new approach to climate change too. Last year there was a voluntary scheme for participants to offset their carbon footprint associated with the event. This was not very successful so this year, the EC is requesting that exhibitors and organisers produce a certificate showing they have offset carbon for different amounts according to the different ways they are involved. Those with standard stands will be expected to pay EUR 500 in carbon offset; those with other stands will need to pay EUR 1000 and organisers of parallel events will have to pay EUR 2000.

The development days will come at an interesting time for Europe – just after the European Parliament elections, around the time the new European Commission will be formed and close to the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which started the chain of events that led to the latest rounds of EU enlargement.

If you are interested in holding an event, or having a stand, applications must be sent to the European Commission by 1 June 2009, using the email address. Full information will become available on the website during May.

Limited information until this year’s website is launched:

Information provided by Rebecca Steel, TRIALOG

Open position at Svetlo pro Svet - Light for the World

The Czech NGO SVĚTLO PRO SVĚT – Light for the World, o.s. – a member of an international network of charitable organizations that are helping blind people and people with disablilities in underprivileged countries is looking for an Executive Director.

For details, download the job advertisment from:
For more information about the organisation, visit:

Information provided by Johannes Trimmel, Light for the World

Publication: Global Citizenship Education

The Maltese NGO Inizjamed, together with its partner organisations CIDAC (Portugal), Intermon Oxfam (Spain) and UCODEP (Italy), has launched a new publication: Global Citizenship Education. The school as a foundation for a fair world. The four development NGOs promote the recognition and inclusion of the contents and aims of Global Citizenship Education in all the official educational contexts in their respective countries.

Global Citizenship Education (GCE) is a social movement that makes way for a new model of citizenship; one that is actively committed towards building a fair and sustainable world. In this light, GCE calls for the respect and the valorisation of diversity, the defense of the environment, responsible consumption and the respect of individual and social human rights.

This publication has been partly funded by the EU and by the National Lottery Good Causes Fund (Malta). It is being distributed for free to Maltese schools, educators and other stakeholders. It is available in Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, as well. For further information or feedback, please contact

Information provided by Dominik Kalweit, Maltese NGDO platform SKOP

April DE Times

The Development Education Exchange in Europe Project DEEEP has published its latest newsletter, the April issue of Development Education (DE) Times.

In this issue, DEEEP publishes some contributions on the theme of civil society, written by non-civil society actors like the European Commission, the OECD, academics and the German Federal Ministry of Cooperation. The intention was to broaden the debate around this issue by presenting "external" points of view.

Download the latest DE Times from the following link:

March CONCORD Flash

Read the latest news from the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development in the March CONCORD Flash.

In this issue:
- CONCORD & the Swedish Presidency: seeking the best synergies
- Let’s get ready for the call on the European Food Facility
- An “auction floor” to find partners for environmental projects
- How to improve your relations with the media
- More about NGO transparency and counter-terrorism
- Thumbs up from the European Commission for TRIALOG and DEEEP projects
… and many other subjects.

Download the Flash from the publication-section of the CONCORD website ( or use the following direct link:

Information provided by Agnès Philippart, CONCORD

May 28-29, 2009: Czech Presidency - Development Education Conference

The Czech Republic is the second country from the 12 new member states to hold the EU presidency. The Czech development NGO platform FoRS is organising two international conferences in the scope of the FoRS EU presidency project.

The international conference "Effectiveness in Development Education and Awareness Raising" takes place in Prague from 28 – 29 May 2009.

The aim of the conference is to provide a forum to different stakeholders for sharing best practises on development education and awareness raising actions, on strategic frameworks for their implementation and on diverse tools for increasing the quality of development education and awareness raising actions. It also aims at contributing to the ongoing processes focusing on evaluation and effectiveness of development education and awareness raising.

Download the invitation and the programme from the following links:
Find out more about the thematic priorities and events of the FoRS Presidency Programme at:

For the second conference on CSO Development Effectiveness see:

For further information, please visit or contact Marie Zázvorková: