The first of the two annual meetings of the CONCORD working group on Financing for development (FDR) was held in Brussels (19 - 20 January) and had as a focus working on the future mechanisms of implementing development cooperation, being organised as a special edition focused on the Structured Dialogue.
The bulk of the discussions addressed the proposal for the introduction of two new instruments and also the different aid modalities that could be applied in the next multi-annual financial framework. The two new instruments proposed are namely a) a civil society instrument focusing on development education, capacity building, coordination and joint learning for development and b) an instrument linking relief, rehabilitation and development. Among the aid modalities discussed are: core funding/operational grants, re-granting, programme funding, pool funding, follow-up grants, budget support to local authorities, twinning, co-financing, direct awards, ring fencing, calls for proposals for local authorities and simplified calls for proposals. Very rich, intense and not easy discussions, as the time is now to feed into the future financial period of development cooperation. On-line consultations are also open: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/how/public-consultations/5240_en.htm. We should raise a cautionary note, that the questionnaire has a few faults and filling in is not extremely straight-forward, but each organisation can decide individually whether to participate or not.
Other topics of the meeting included an update on the European External Action Service (whose structures are still falling into place and where it looks like development needs to be better coordinated with the DEVCO Unit), and some updates relating to the newly introduced “tax” row on the budget and financial reporting formats. All in all, hot topics are being discussed and it is worth while debriefing with your representatives to this group and browsing through the relevant documents posted on CONCORD’s webpage. TRIALOG is following the group and will keep flagposting the important issues for its constituency.
Information provided by Andra Tanase, TRIALOG