Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A Successful Study Visit to Brussels for the Baltic CSOs

15 participants from Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian development CSO platforms came to the TRIALOG Brussels Study Visit from 4th to 8th of June 2012 in order to learn about European development policies.

The specific focus of this year’s study visit was on the Eastern Neighbourhood as this is the focus of many Baltic NGDOs. The participants had a busy week, scheduled with meetings with representatives of various EU institutions. The participants met with the European Parliament Development Committee (DEVE) and Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) secretariats as well as with their national MEPs.

During meetings in the European Commission (EC) the participants discussed with officials from DG EuropeAid about the EC programmes for CSOs and the state of Eastern Partnership. Pietris Ustubs, the Deputy Head of Commissioner Piebalgs’ Cabinet engaged the participants in an insightful debate when explaining the Cabinet’s thinking about the Agenda for Change and the future of EU development policies.
The study group also met with the three Baltic states’ delegates to the development cooperation working group of the Council of the European Union, as well as with people working on development and the Eastern Partnership in the European External Action Service (EEAS) and European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

During the final part of the study visit, participants made future advocacy and follow up plans. First steps have already been taken and the Baltic CSO views on the future of the EC calls for proposals on development education and awareness raising have been forwarded to the Council development working group Baltic delegates. Let’s hope more advocacy actions and engagement in influencing European development policies from the study group members are yet to be seen.

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Information provided by Mirjam Sutrop, TRIALOG

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