Wednesday, 22 June 2011
A similar survey is being administered also to the major civil society-related donors.
The findings from the survey, together with analysis of secondary data, interviews, case studies etc. will be channeled into a policy paper to be presented at a stakeholder policy workshop in autumn 2011.Thank you for taking time for answering the questionnaire and contributing to the findings of a research that we consider a real necessity for further development of civil society in our region. We will be happy to share with you the findings of the survey as soon as possible.
If you have further questions, comments and suggestions, do not hesitate to contact the BCSDN Executive Office.
Friday, 17 June 2011
In his keynote speech, Mr. Füle put emphasis on the fact that the Western Balkan countries are committed to a future EU membership as well as the EU is committed to give EU membership to these countries in future. For this, a balanced view on what has been reached but also on what still needs to be achieved is necessary.
Due to Croatian’s demonstrated political consensus and hard work in the whole process that started six years ago, negotiations with this country could be completed within the next few weeks. The EU accession on 1st of July 2013 (or 1st of January 2014) would be a great signal to all countries on the Western Balkan. The key issue in the accession process is credibility. Reforms have not only to be realised but also have to bring value for the citizens, they have to feel the results of the reforms in all areas. The EU is keen of strengthening the credibility of the accession process in all Western Balkan countries and Croatia proved to be an extremely effective partner in making the process credible. Technical negotiations with Croatia will soon be over but this is not the end of the process. Monitoring of the implementation both from EU and from the EU member states is needed till the date of accession. Enlargement has to be seen as political and technical process with monitoring.
With the extradition of Mladic to The Hague, Serbia eliminated the main obstacle for EU Accession negotiations to start. Another important aspect is Serbia’s engagement in the regional cooperation which will be strengthened once pragmatic results of the Belgrade –Pristina meetings will be seen. In October 2011 the EU will publish an opinion on Serbia where concrete results of the dialogue with Kosovo will be demanded. Füle could not imagine that the EU would accept a new member which is not in peace with its neighbourhood. Thus, the recognition of Kosovo by Serbia might be a pre-condition for Serbia’s accession. According to Commissioner Füle, negotiations with Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia could start soon.
Commissioner Füle noticed enlargement apathy of some political leaders in some countries in the region. The EU has to send clear signals to these countries. Main challenges he sees in Albania which is risking to be left behind, but also in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in Kosovo. Strengthening of political institutions, rule of law, reforms in public administration, freedom of expression and the fight against corruption and organised crime are key factors that need to be achieved. Asked about the EU membership of Turkey, Commissioner Füle stated that Turkey does not want to become member of the European Union.
In the following panel discussion, Erhard Busek (Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe from 2002 to 2008), Valentin Inzko (High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and European Union Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina), Sonja Licht (President of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence) and Albert Rohan (Vice president of the Austrian Society for European Policy) confirmed the achievements of the Western Balkan countries in their way towards EU accession but also mentioned additional problems than those mentioned by the commissioner. Kosovo is not recognized by five member states of the EU and has a lot of internal problems, due to the fact that it got independency only three years ago.
All experts see positive signals in the political and economic development of the region, in the regional cooperation and the reconciliation process. The EU has to open doors for all European countries that share the common values of the European Union.
Information provided by Christine Bedoya, TRIALOG
The objective was to help the participants get a better understanding about relevant EU institutions and how to get involved with them in fulfilling the platforms’ tasks. The program included meetings with representatives of the European Economic and Social Committee, the Development Committee of the European Parliament, DG DevCo, DG Enlargement, and the Slovenian and Maltese Permanent Representations in Brussels, which increased the knowledge of the participants on the European development policy and on the advocacy role of development NGOs. A preparatory session was held, in the relaxing ambience of the park just across the Concord office, on the basics and good practices of lobbying and advocacy.
One of the main highlights of the visit was the meeting with DG Enlargement, Mr Henk Visser. The meeting not only provided an insight in the working of the EU institution, it was also informative and above all, inspirational.
Overall the study visit increased the participants’ understanding of EU development policies, with a focus on important issues such as the transition experience, Policy Coherence for Development (PCD), or the DEAR Study and provided useful contacts for them. Also, it emphasized the need for further strengthening of the policy/advocacy capacity of the represented platforms to engage more actively in development cooperation at the European level. The visit gave additional and practical information on the activities of TRIALOG, CONCORD, DEEEP and EUROSTEP.
As for concrete follow-up activities, the organizers will publish the report of the study visit. Participants will follow-up with the people met during the study visit and encourage platform members to become more active at the European level. The report of the study visit will be available shortly on the TRIALOG website.
Information provided by Max Zimani, SLOGA and Institute for Global Learning and Projects Development
Having in mind the context of Cyprus, the different level of awareness on development cooperation among NGOs, and the low volume of real development cooperation activities (even development education activities in the North), the workshop reviewed at the beginning the context for development cooperation, summarizing then the functions, structure and benefits of having a development NGO Platform. With this in mind, the next step focused on the local context, where the capacities and gaps of CYINDEP were analyzed. The challenges are numerous, resulting from the divided reality of the island, yet CYINDEP insists in setting a good example of collaboration among NGOs and in finding creative solutions to transcend all the gaps. In our context it is fundamental not to loose sight of the focus on development cooperation that the platform committed to or to clearly mark the difference between the different foci of the platform, i.e. bridge towards the EU, reconciliation and development education/development cooperation.
The last part of the workshop aimed at looking into the future and in identifying strategies to fill in the gaps. Among the action points were mentioned the review of the main vision and mission, setting in place basic functional tools mainly for information, networking and capacity building, improving the communication flow where significant gaps exist and developing working procedures such as foundation charter reviewed, criteria for participation in meetings etc.
The tasks are many, the actors are dedicated but also very busy yet with the upcoming Presidency, and the presence of different financial resources in the island CYINDEP has an opportunity of a significant step ahead for consolidating the civil society development cooperation field in Cyprus.
Information provided by Andra Tanase, TRIALOG
Unlike the governmental level, civil society already engaged in some island-wide links. With the creation of CYINDEP,development NGOs from both communities created for the first time a real network which works as island-wide platform. Despite political and legal hindering factors, CYINDEP will be the civil society platform responsible for development related activities during the EU presidency.
TRIALOG has not only been supporting the creation and strengthening of CYINDEP since 2005 but also assists the platform in the preparation for the EU presidency. On May 12 and 13, Christine Bedoya and Andra Tanase from TRIALOG organized the first planning workshop for CYINDEP where they also invited the director of the Danish national platform Morten-Emil Hansen to present the plans for the Danish EU presidency and to agree on cooperation in topics that will be handed over and influence both presidencies. There will also be cooperation on other topics which might be led by Denmark both on governmental and on CSO level even beyond the Danish presidency period due to capacities and experiences, such as climate change and environment, the multiannual financial framework 2014 – 2020 and the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) review.
CYINDEP will concentrate its presidency activities on three areas:
Following, participants agreed on a concrete action plan, time frame and responsibilities within the “Presidency Task Force” of CYINDEP. Of course, there are still a lot of open questions related to activities in the Turkish part of Cyprus, the cooperation partners for activities, co-funding strategies etc. but the first big step is taken. TRIALOG will support the whole process and the linking with the other Trio members Poland and Denmark.Information provided by Christine Bedoya, TRIALOG
At this meeting around 25 people gathered representing 8 national platforms of development NGOs from the EU-12 countries as well as two representatives from the candidate countries Croatia and Macedonia. The annual gathering provides the opportunity for the NMS development NGO platforms to get updated about the status of each other, to exchange experiences and share developments in their respective countries.
After this sharing a session on the transition experience followed. Leading question was whether transition could be a value added expertise when talking about development cooperation. Panelists were Jan Latas from the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Barbara Erös, DemNet and organiser of the conference, and Gordan Bosanac from the Centre for Peace Studies, Croatia. Another session looked into ongoing Hungarian, the upcoming Polish and Cypriote EU presidencies and platform representatives reported on their presidency programme.
The full report and country presentations you find on the TRIALOG website.
Presentations of the DemNet – Conference Civil Society Development – In Trance or in Transition? Improving New Member State and Eastern Partnership Exchange for Strengthening Democratic Processes are also available online on the DemNet Website
Information provided by Ulrike Bey, TRIALOG
• Aid is becoming increasingly dictated by domestic political agendas and tied to security, immigration and commercial objectives.
• In 2010 EU member states inflated official aid spending by more than €5bn.This is equivalent to almost 10% of the total aid provided by the EU to partner countries last year. €2.5 billion of this amount was debt cancellation, roughly €1.6 billion was student costs and about €1.1 billion was spent on refugees in donor countries.
• The EU is the world’s biggest aid donor but in 2010, only nine countries1 met their EU aid targets.
This analysis is based on figures released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in April, which showed that the EU spent €54.82bn on aid (0.43% of GNI) falling short of its commitment by nearly €15 billion.
Of the EU-12 countries none reached the 2010 target of 0.17 % of GNI spending on ODA with the exeption of Cyprus which reached 0.19% GNI. The general trend of inflating official aid spending is also common in EU-12 countries.
CONCORD has launched a website dedicated to explaining the trends underpinning EU and member states’ aid decisions, including country by country reporting at http://aidwatch.concordeurope.org/
Information provided by CONCORD
DEEEP also launched a thematic dossier on Ethical Communication: the European NGOs Code of Conduct on Messages and Images, best practices and challenges. The overall aim of this dossier is to present best practices linked to the implementation of the Code, as well as trying to understand the limits of such tool. It focuses on the European NGOs Code of Conduct on Messages and images, and gathers articles on best practices and challenges linked to the use of the Code. Read now the Dossier "Ethical Communication: the European NGOs Code of Conduct on Messages and Images, best practices and challenges"
For more information contact Ana Biurrun Ruiz, DEEEP communication officer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Information provided by Chiara Tripepi, DEEEP
The activities included awareness raising activities among pupils. In Austria for example, the school PTS Pottenstein (Austria) worked on a Fair Trade issue and the pupils from the school not only developed a video about it (www.schools2communities.eu/index.php/act/a-video-from-austria.html) but also interviewed people in the streets about their knowledge about Fair Trade. The other action in Austria took place at the primary school Eisteich. Pupils from this school have explored a project how to minimize their ecological footprint. The project “So much waste, is it necessary?“ raised the pupils’ awareness of avoiding plastic packaging and the responsible use of natural resources. In different workshops pupils were not only taught the effects of their lifestyle on the environment but also how waste is handled in developing countries like El Salvador.
Another action was conducted in Poland: Four schools from Zielona Gora, active in the field of preventing climate change in order to increase the level of life of the global South inhabitants, decided to switch to using recycled paper in their day-to-day activities and they have also addressed the same claim to the city council. Their other claim was to have bicycle stands in front of the schools so that their students could come to school without emitting CO2. The final action was the participation of ca 100 students and school coordinators in the Bicycle Critical Mass in May, where the students have collected signatures under two petitions regarding paper and bicycle stands.
There are many other actions, which schools from Global Action Schools 2 Communities project are organizing or participating in. To follow them, please visit: http://www.schools2communities.eu/. For more information contact email@example.com
Information provided by Katarzyna Zwolak, Polish Humanitarian Action
This year the intention was to focus on the bilateral transfer of experiences, best practices and expertise. Although there is an increasing dialogue between the two societies, there is still the need for a thorough involvement of both governments and NGOs to develop a common action plan. The Forum gathered representatives of civil society, government, mass-media, academia, both from Romania and the Republic of Moldova.
The NGO communities from both countries addressed a strong message to the governmental representatives to elaborate a coherent ODA country strategy for the Republic of Moldova, including funding programs for fostering partnerships and exchanges between the two civil societies. Also, the Forum launched a project initiative for establishing a Cross-Border Mobility Fund between Romania and the Republic of Moldova in order to increase the number of experts’ exchanges, youth mobility, focused programs and working meetings on specific issues. The Republic of Moldova is the main recipient of Romanian development assistance.
For more information please see AidWatch Report 2011 - Romania’s Country Page: http://aidwatch.concordeurope.org/ or contact Adela Rusu, platform coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information provided by Adela Rusu, FOND
The document, as well as the process itself, was discussed during a panel that took place at the conference organized on 26-28th May in Warsaw (by Polish Humanitarian Action and the Global Development Research Group). The discussion focused on the effects of the process after 18 months and its future development, including a possible institutionalization. Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, civil society and academia have been invited to participate in the panel. Afterwards the agreement has been signed (between MFA, ME and NGDO platform). The “Report on the multi-stakeholder process on global education”, as well as the minutes of the multi-stakeholder meetings will be published on the website of Zagranica Group: http://www.zagranica.org.pl/.
The follow-up planned for the forthcoming months includes national and international seminars. The multi-stakeholder meetings will be continued, with the aim of monitoring the implementation of the agreement. For more detailed information please contact Katarzyna Krzemińska, email@example.com
Information provided by Katarzyna Krzemińska, Zagranica
Key speaker of the conference was professor Jerzy Buzek, President of European Parliament. He gave a lecture „Solidarity for development” in the framework of “Kapuscinski Lecture” series organized by the European Commission and UNDP. Prof. Jerzy Buzek also participated in a panel discussion related to the topic of solidarity for development, community participation and democratisation. Other speakers in the panel were: Mrs. Janina Ochojska (president of PAH), Mr. Krzysztof Stanowski (vice minister for development in MFA), Jens Wendel (Head of UNDP Bratislava Regional Office). The Discussion was moderated by one of top polish journalists – Jacek Żakowski.
During the conference speakers, partner institutions and participants reflected on the role of EU New Member states in the changing context of development cooperation and discussed present and future challenges. Key issues addressed during the conference in discussion panels and key-speeches were: development and global studies experiences in OMS and NMS, global education – multi-stakeholder consensus in Poland, development practice vs development studies, solidarity for development, climate change – road to Durban, aid effectiveness – road to Busan, policy coherence for development, democratization and peace building in North Africa, Millennium Development Goals in practice, Beyond MDGs and Development, development critique within and outside mainstream, de-growth concept.
Approximately 160 representatives of NGO community, academic institutions in Warsaw (students and academics), members of polish parliament and government institutions, journalists, representatives from high schools (esp. teachers and students cooperating with PAH and other development NGOs). The conference was organized by PAH in the framework of the project “Knowledge Makes Change (KMC)! Strong co-operation between NGOs and academics in promoting development among politicians and public”. This project is implemented in cooperation with Foundation Pontis from Slovakia and the NGO Support Center from Cyprus. All materials from the conference will be available online on www.pah.org.pl including video recording of panels and lectures.
Information provided by Aneta Sarna, PAH
The DARE Forum - the working group on development education and awareness raising of the European NGDO confederation CONCORD held its workshop Values and Frames: New ways to engage the public with global justice on 17th May 2011 in Brussels. The workshop featured Martin Kirk (Head of Campaigns at Oxfam UK, and author of the recent study “Finding frames – new ways to engage the UK public in global poverty”), who presented his research on why civil society should put positive values at the very heart of their campaigning, communication, education and fundraising activities, if they intend to deepen and mainstream support for collective challenges like global justice. Three eminent discussants from the CONCORD constituency reacted to his presentation before the audience was involved in the Presentation and report y can download from the DEEEP website.
Information provided by Tobias Troll, DEEEP
The directors of “TOGETHER” Foundation and Development NGO Platform SLOGA presented the difficulties faced by Slovenian humanitarian NGOs, especially with regards to cooperation, coordination and the lack of adequate knowledge and experience. It was highlighted that the newly established Humanitarian Response Centre (HRC) offers an opportunity to overcome these challenges. Marginalization of smaller NGOs was also identified as one of the major concerns. The mentioned problems were also confirmed by participating NGOs from Slovakia, Austria and Hungary. Panels were also enriched by speeches from the representatives of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia and Slovakia, VOICE and Sphere. The speakers welcomed the idea of more intensive regional cooperation and improvements in cooperation and coordination between governmental and NGO relief activities.
The conference also served as an opportunity for the presentation of the 2011 edition of the Sphere handbook that presents humanitarian charter and minimum standards in disaster response. On 31 May representatives of Slovenian and foreign NGOs participated in the workshop titled “Creating a network of humanitarian NGOs in Central Europe” where systems and processes that need to be established for the network to function effectively were discussed and a plan for further activities was made.
Information provided by Janja Mikulan, SLOGA
On behalf of this year’s host, The Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning, the EuroNGOs Steering Committee and the EuroNGOs secretariat, you are warmly invited to the EuroNGOs Conference and AGM 2011, ‘Future Perspectives on Development Cooperation – Putting SRHR on the Right Track’, on 13-14 October 2011 at Hotel Jan Sobieski III in Warsaw, Poland. Discussions on the development cooperation agenda per se beyond 2015 are becoming more and more prominent. They identify opportunities and deficits of the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approach, and suggest new options for the future. Some also discuss the current, predominant and (neo-) liberal development cooperation model focusing on economic growth and suggest alternative development models focusing more on distribution, environmental, gender and (social, economic and cultural) human rights.
On the other hand, current development cooperation policies and funding structures have been adapted in many sectors in the last years to meet the principles of ownership, harmonization of donor systems, mutual accountability, achieving development results and fostering “global partnerships”. Although these changes can no longer be regarded as “new”, the SRHR community is still struggling to understand the respective consequences to their work, to react to and use them appropriately. Against this background, it is vital that the European SRHR community and partners from all over the world come together to learn about these discussions and strategize the way forward to safeguard Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in general and the ICPD PoA in particular. Therefore, this year’s conference will be an interactive, thought-provoking, strategic and unique “hub”, a practical think-tank to discuss new visions in development cooperation as well as the implications of current development cooperation policies for SRHR and the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD PoA). It will allow to formulate – jointly with partners from the “Economic South” and representatives from Youth networks - concrete strategic advocacy actions and identify (new) partners for work towards 2014-15 and beyond. Ample time will be set aside for networking amongst participants to consolidate old and build new and lasting partnerships.
For more information on the conference theme and format, a preliminary program, logistics, and to register to the conference and AGM go to http://www.eurongos.org/Default.aspx?ID=1571.
Since 2006, POST RI has undertaken extensive research into the Cyprus history textbooks in secondary schools in the northern part of theCyprus, including an account of the changes that have occurred, as well as the political influences dominating these changes. POST RI is a non-profit, non-political organisation, established in 2002 by a group of individuals whose aim is to work for the social, cultural and environmental betterment of Cyprus. POST RI has conducted various projects and activities since its establishment, including three Education for Peace projects, Exploring Europe with partners Cyprus College, Divided Communities Project in Mostar, as well as various human rights seminars and film events. POST RI’s work has been presented in various European counties’ and the US.
The aforementioned publications can be downloaded from POST RI’s Blog: http://postresearchinstitute.wordpress.com/publications/ To obtain a hardcopy of the publication, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Information provided by Post Research Institute
Yanika Chetcuti’s contribution discusses women and poverty issues in Kenya. Gaynor Saliba presents an essay on the relation between human rights and poverty, and Jacqueline Calleja looks into development in Zimbabwe, with a focus on the European Union’s role.
RADC is one of KOPIN's project's which is currently being implemented with the financial contribution of EuropeAid. In Malta, this international project is being implemented by KOPIN, a Maltese non-governmental organisation active in the fields of international development cooperation and global education, and the Centre for Environmental Education and Research (CEER), University of Malta.The project is internationally led by the Cypriot non-governmental organisation CARDET. You will find further information in the newsletter and on KOPIN's websites, as well as on the project website http://www.developmenteducation.org/.