CONCORD Flash, English version by Fvx296q

VIEWS: 24 PAGES: 11

									2010
N°66



                                                                                        FEBRUARY
       CONCORD is spreading its wings: Policy Coherence for Development, FAO
       mechanisms, MDGs, revision of the Cotonou Agreement, climate change
       and right of petition… CONCORD has been very active defending the rights
       of civil society in Europe and in the South.



        CONTENTS                                           Click on the links to view the articles



       A word from the secretariat on the new European Commission                                       2

       CONCORD IN ACTION                                                                                3
       The FAO’s Civil Society Mechanism on World Food Security is on track                             3
       A threat to NGOs: VAT no longer eligible as a project cost                                       3
       CONCORD meets with the new Development Commissioner                                              4
       OECD announces global aid forecast for 2010: is the EU missing its targets?                      4
       CONCORD’s concerns regarding the Millennium Development Goals                                    5
       The Revision of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement: no cause for rejoicing                        5
       CONCORD, a key partner in dialogue on Policy Coherence for Development                           6
       What CONCORD thinks of the Green Paper on a European Citizens' Initiative                        7
       Trialog Partnership Fair: the success story continues                                            7
       The Spring Alliance and the EU 2020 Agenda                                                       8

       STAFF CHANGES IN EUROPE                                                                          8

       FORTHCOMING CONCORD WORK MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES                                                9

       CONCORD DOCUMENTS OF THE MONTH                                                                  10

       OTHER NEWSLETTERS                                                                               11




       CONCORD is the European confederation of relief and development NGOs. Its 24 national
       associations and 18 international networks represent over 1,600 NGOs which are supported
       by millions of citizens across Europe.

       CONCORD leads reflection and political actions and regularly engages in dialogue with the
       European institutions and other civil society organisations. It is part of the Global Call to
       Action against Poverty. Find out more about CONCORD on www.concordeurope.org.

                 10 sq. Ambiorix – B-1000 – Belgium – Tel. +32/2/743 87 77 – Fax +32/2/732 19 34
                    E-mail: secretariat@concordeurope.org – http://www.concordeurope.org
A WORD FROM THE SECRETARIAT ON THE NEW EUROPEAN COMMISSION

On 9 February the European Parliament elected the new Commission which will be in office until 31 October 2014.
"This is the first time in our history that we are appointing the European Commission in our capacity as a real co-
legislator. This is the dawn of a new decade, with a new way of working for the European institutions", said
Parliament's President Jerzy Buzek before the vote. This is a fundamental element introduced by the Lisbon Treaty:
the European Parliament has more power and it is definitely willing to use it. These new competences strengthen the
role of the European Parliament as one of CONCORD’s most important partners.

The new Commission begins its work in a period of multiple crises: an unprecedented financial crisis; an environmental
crisis with climate change, a difficult challenge to take on for the EU; and also a humanitarian crisis in Haiti. This
disaster revealed the difficulties experienced by the new Lisbon Treaty players – Herman Van Rompuy, European
Council President, and Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and
Vice-President of the Commission – in finding their place on the international stage. On matters such as the response
to the Haiti earthquake they will be working closely with Kristalina Georgiava, Commissioner for International
Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, and Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development. These two
candidates made a good impression during their hearings at the European Parliament, on 3 February and 11 January
(see special EU Monitoring supplement: 2010 hearings). The CONCORD delegation who met Piebalgs on 11
February was also favourably impressed. Details of this meeting are given in this month’s issue.

CONCORD takes the opportunity of the approval of the new European Commission to remind everyone that the EU
should deliver on the following set of principles, which it has already committed to, and must ensure that they are
respected under the new institutional structures:
1. In respect of the EU Treaty, the Union’s development cooperation policy shall have as its primary objective the
   reduction and, in the long term, the eradication of poverty, and
2. The Union shall take account of the objectives of development cooperation in the policies that it implements which
   are likely to affect developing countries.
3. The EU Treaty and the EU Consensus on Development should be the guiding political framework for development
   policy and cooperation in all developing countries without exception.
4. Long-term and sustainable development objectives and commitments should be included in political dialogue with
   all countries as per the Lisbon Treaty and the Cotonou Agreement.
5. From the conclusions of the Council on Security and Development (2007) we note that:
    There cannot be sustainable development without peace and security, and without development and poverty
       eradication there will be no sustainable peace. This nexus between development and security should inform
       EU strategies and policies in order to contribute to the coherence of EU external action, whilst recognising that
       the responsibilities and roles of development and security actors are complementary but remain specific.
    Conflict prevention should be pursued as a priority goal in particular by fostering and strengthening
       development cooperation.
    Future work on security and development should include a more detailed approach to the development
       perspective of security challenges, dialogue processes (political dialogue, mediation, human rights promotion,
       governance, democracy support), DDR and the inter-linkages with SSR, the security and development
       implications of climate change, environmental and natural resource management issues and migration, as well
       as aspects related to financing.
6. Transparency and democratic scrutiny over development cooperation policy, programming and implementation in
   all developing countries should be ensured.
7. Democratic ownership and accountability of all development actors towards beneficiary populations should be
   promoted at all levels by EU institutions.
8. EC obligations and commitments on the consultation of civil society and non-state actors should be respected and
   put into practice by all institutions and at all levels.
9. OECD DAC criteria and AAA should be the reference framework for an effective implementation of EU aid in all
   developing countries.

On 23 March 2010 the Quadrilogue Process will be launched officially. Formerly known as “Palermo II”, this is a
structured dialogue between the European Commission, European Parliament, EU Member States and civil society on
the involvement of civil society in EC external cooperation. CONCORD expects concrete outcomes from this process
in order to improve the collaboration between the EC and civil society substantially. For CONCORD, this Quadrilogue
Process is necessary, highly relevant (one of CONCORD’s top four priorities for 2010) and also timely (i.e. Accra
Agenda for Action), and we will therefore engage in it strongly.




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CONCORD IN ACTION


The FAO’s Civil Society Mechanism on World Food Security is on track
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has decided to reform its Committee on World Food Security (CFS).
Within this framework, the FAO envisages that civil society organizations will autonomously establish a Civil Society
Mechanism to facilitate their participation in the CFS and their interaction with its Bureau. This acknowledgement of
civil society’s autonomy was one of the victories gained by the civil society members of the Contact Group established
by the CFS Bureau early last year, in which the reform was crafted.

The Civil Society Forum held in parallel with the FAO World Summit on Food Security last November (read more) gave
a mandate to Civil Society Contact Group members to continue to take responsibility for interfacing with the CFS
Bureau until the new Civil Society Mechanism is operational.

CONCORD’s European Food Security Group (EFSG) has engaged actively in the CFS reform process with a position
reflecting CONCORD’s vision of the reform of the global architecture of governance on agriculture and food security,
and it has contributed specific comments on the proposal (see also the November Flash).

The EFSG is also discussing the finalisation of a second draft proposal for the future mechanism, based on an initial
proposal developed by the IPC, Oxfam International and ActionAid International. The proposal for a Civil Society
Mechanism should be ready to be submitted to the civil society meeting that will take place just before the next CFS
session in mid-October of this year.

For further information: Romain Philippe (rphilippe@concordeurope.org)



A threat to NGOs: VAT is no longer eligible as a project cost
European and local CSOs are increasingly concerned about the non-eligibility of taxes, particularly VAT, as a cost
under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) or the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights
(EIDHR).

Under the previous funding instruments (prior to 2007), if an NGO could prove there was no possibility of a tax
exemption or refund in the country where the contract beneficiary was operating, then the EC would allow taxes
(including VAT) as eligible costs. Since the new instruments came into force under the 2007-2013 financial framework,
however, VAT and other taxes have been considered ineligible costs, under the DCI and EIDHR.

The non-eligibility of taxes effectively means that grant beneficiaries unable to negotiate full tax exemptions in the
country in question are faced with the prospect of taxes, including VAT, being considered ineligible. This constitutes a
significant financial risk to grant beneficiaries: on average, 7.1% of total project costs for EC-funded projects. Financial
risk is also reflected in other ways: an increase in the co-financing percentage and a reduction in the level of
administrative costs.

It is not only European-based organisations that have to face this worry: partners in the South are also greatly
concerned and they may be even more negatively impacted owing to their poor financial and administrative capacity.

To collect concrete case studies and estimate the potential financial risk, the FDR sent a questionnaire to CONCORD
members in December 2009 and in February 2010 it produced a study analysing the impact of tax ineligibility (including
re VAT) on NGOs. Following the consolidation of the results of the questionnaire, in February 2010 a CONCORD
delegation met two MEPs (Ms Gal for EIDHR and Mr Mitchell for DCI) to outline the VAT issue, present the results of
the questionnaire and propose key recommendations.

The challenge is two-fold, and CONCORD’s response should be a) short-term and b) long-term. In the short term,
CONCORD must push for a rapid solution concerning past and current EC practice regarding the non-eligibility of
taxes. The key outcome anticipated here is an amendment to the DCI and EIDHR, and it would ideally need to apply
retroactively from when the regulation came into force. In the long term, CONCORD must politically challenge the EC’s
practice of pushing CSOs to evade taxation in developing countries. This is a clear case of incoherent policies
regarding VAT which are practised by hardly any other donor.

For further information: Elise Vanormelingen (evanormelingen@concordeurope.org) – update note on the VAT issue




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                               ACTION OF THE MONTH
                      CONCORD meets the Development Commissioner

   On 11 February five CONCORD representatives met the new Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs,
   and his staff members. A variety of topics were raised at this first discussion, from the financial perspectives to
   future relations with the Commissioner and the Commission. Overall, the delegation was favourably impressed
   by Mr Piebalgs’ openness, progressive views and respect for CONCORD’s work.

   Standing in the corridor, the Commissioner welcomed the CONCORD delegation warmly. He was clearly well-
   briefed, in particular, he had read CONCORD’s position paper on institutional reforms. He asked for
   CONCORD to meet regularly with him, or at least with his Cabinet – at both the formal and informal levels – on
   an agreed agenda (he mentioned horizontal issues such as gender and violence against women). He
   specifically asked to be invited to CONCORD's General Assembly.

   He encouraged CONCORD to pursue its work, and in particular to continue to remind him and the Commission
   about keeping poverty eradication at the core of development policies; highlighting the importance of policy
   coherence for development (PCD); pressuring Members States on their aid commitments, etc. He said he
   appreciated CONCORD’s position papers.

   He was particularly concerned by the financial perspectives. The political commitment to development is still
   there, but finding money to meet these commitments is going to be a struggle – and therefore he is interested in
   innovative financing for development. He mentioned FfD, FTT, airport tax and other options.

   In terms of aid commitments – there are politically strong goals and strong commitments. But money is the
   problem – Member States must be kept on track to 2015, and at least they must not go backwards. He
   explained he could not do “binding” commitments – he does not have that power – but he would be talking to
   Member States on their commitments (for instance to Greece).

   He explained he was not interested in the “official assistance plus” (ODA+) concept and would not support it.
    He added that there was no need to redefine ODA and he would never agree, for instance, that development
   money should be used for industrialised countries. He said there would be no changes in policies prior to the
   Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit in September. But after the summit there might need to be
   some “adjustments”.

   On institutional reforms he felt that CONCORD had over-estimated the risks. The risks were not about a
   weakened development policy, but more about losing political dialogue. The risk was not that development
   policies would be subordinated to other policies, but we did need to talk about how to do “better” development.
   He also noted that the European Commission President supported a strong development policy.

   He added Haiti was an important “test”: it is a small country, and with all the donors giving and supporting its
   reconstruction, if we fail, what does that say about development?

   He concluded by saying that we, collectively, have a “duty” to address global problems. We need to
   demonstrate efficiency in terms of delivering on commitments and objectives.

   Following the discussions, it is clear that CONCORD needs to be prepared to discuss the post-MDG agenda
   (after September), it should provide Andris Piebalgs with a briefing on financial taxes and should invite him to
   CONCORD's General Assembly. The next meeting should be a more in-depth discussion on issues.

   For more information: Meagen Baldwin (mbaldwin@concordeurope.org)




OECD announces global 2010 aid forecast: is the EU missing its targets?
Figures released by the OECD on 17 February show that the EU will not meet its aid targets for 2010. The 2010 aid
forecast notes that the EU is way off track and will miss its collective target of 0.56% of GNI, agreed in 2005 as an
interim benchmark towards achieving the UN goal of 0.7% of GNI by 2015, to finance the Millennium Development
Goals.

Despite being hit hard by the effects of the financial crisis, not all Member States have missed their targets, with
Belgium, Spain and the UK having made clear progress. France and Germany, however, representing 37% of EU GNI,


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have aid levels stagnating at 0.46% and 0.40% respectively, suggesting a lack of political will to pull their weight and
deliver on aid commitments (see CONCORD briefing ‘EU Aid in Jeopardy?’, December 2009).

CONCORD is concerned that the EU will stall on aid promises. “EU aid is under threat. Many governments have used
the financial crisis as an excuse to slash their aid budgets, cutting off those in the developing world who are most
affected”, said Rilli Lappalainen, CONCORD Board Member.

With this summer’s Millennium Development Goals review summit fast approaching, the EU and its member states
need to demonstrate a real resolve to combat world poverty by meeting their commitments. “Without real increases in
aid, we will not meet the MDGs”, said Gideon Rabinowitz, chair of the AidWatch advocacy group. “EU Member States
must show real political commitment to delivering on their aid promises by adopting binding national timetables setting
out how they will meet the 0.7% target by 2015”, added Rabinowitz.

CONCORD will launch its 2010 AidWatch Report in May, providing detailed analysis of how the EU and its member
states are meeting their commitments on development aid.

For further information: Alessandro Bozzini (abozzini@concordeurope.org – Tel: +32 2 743 87 64).


CONCORD concerns about the Millennium Development Goals
The agreement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) a decade ago represented the most significant collective
effort ever made by the international community to eradicate extreme poverty. The European Union – as provider of
60% of global aid flows and a major trading partner for some of the world’s poorest nations – should take the lead in the
run-up to theN summit in September to halve poverty by 2015. CONCORD stated this very clearly in its CONCORD
position on the Millennium Development Goals, February 2010.

In the context of the economic, food and climate change crises, and faced with the risk of not achieving most of the
goals by 2015, CONCORD calls on the EU to:
   Adopt an MDG breakthrough plan that is concrete and action-oriented, and includes monitoring mechanisms,
    with synergies between all the goals ensuring that vulnerable and marginalized people are clear beneficiaries.
   Implement the EU Agenda for Action and reach the targets on specific MDGs included in the Agenda.
   Use its influence to push other donors to perform better through discussion in international forums.
   Ensure the legal obligations set out in the Lisbon Treaty vis-à-vis development cooperation and the objective of
    poverty eradication are reflected in the new institutional structure of the European Union.
   Engage, together with its Member States, in meaningful, strong partnership with a wide range of stakeholders
    including civil society organizations in the north and the south, the private sector, the UN agencies etc.
   Recognise the importance of leadership from the developing countries themselves by ensuring that MDGs are
    incorporated into national development strategies.
   Ensure that pro-poor, sustainable development prevails over short-term, narrow or élite European interests; that
    sustainable development and the fulfilment of human rights form the basis of EU policy-making.

In addition, CONCORD highlights three broad overarching issues that need to be addressed in order to create
conditions allowing the individual goals to be attained: 1) ensuring that a rights-based approach is adopted across the
goals, including by addressing gender inequality and targeting marginalised groups; 2) securing adequate financing for
development; 3) dealing with incoherence across the policy spectrum that undermines development.

For further information: Alessandro Bozzini (abozzini@concordeurope.org)


The Revision of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement: no cause for rejoicing
The Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) was signed in 2000 between the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)
countries and the European Union. It is a legally binding agreement, valid for a 20-year period. Every five years, it is
revised. Negotiations for the current revision of the CPA were due to end in February 2010.

In the absence of any formal way of taking part in the debate, on 22 February CONCORD met with DG Development.
CONCORD is seriously concerned at the lack of transparency surrounding the negotiations and the Confederation calls
for better involvement of EU and ACP civil society to increase the legitimacy of the negotiations and also to enable
citizens to hold their governments to account. Other key concerns of CONCORD are:
   the Joint Africa-EU Strategy orientations and priorities, which are increasingly being incorporated into the
    Cotonou Partnership Agreement, creating confusion on policies and instruments and having a divisive effect on
    the ACP group, setting African countries against non-African ones;


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   the institutional changes in the EU’s external relations structure, following the entry into force of the Lisbon
    Treaty, might affect the political dialogue with the ACP, with the EC being transformed into EU delegations and
    with the creation of a new European External Action Service. A Treaty amendment will no longer be required in
    order to incorporate the EDF into the EU budget, and this could have an effect on the level of funds allocated to
    ACP countries;
   the political dimension of the CPA and the EU’s plan for revising it focus increasingly on ACP performance in
    terms of security, stability, migration control and governance. The European Union has a duty to ensure the
    coherence of its policies for development and a pro-poor approach. It should make its priorities especially
    regarding trade, food security, climate change and migration. Sustainable development policies should prevail
    over short-term and narrow European interests.

For further information: CONCORD briefing paper on the revision


CONCORD, a key partner in dialogue on Policy Coherence for Development
On 22 February Rilli Lappalainen, a CONCORD Board Member, presented CONCORD’s views on the own-initiative
report from the European Parliament (EP) “on EU Policy Coherence for Development and the Official Development
Assistance + concept” by Franziska Keller (DE – Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance). This was the second
time CONCORD was invited by the Development Committee (DEVE) to share the views of civil society on the
implementation of PCD in the Union’s institutions and throughout EU policy-making, since a first exchange of views
between the committee and the European Commission (EC) was held last November.

A large audience attended the discussion on the (draft) report by MEP F. Keller during the last DEVE meeting (22
February), proving the importance of PCD on the EU development agenda at the moment. MEP Keller (Rapporteur)
presented her draft of an EP report, which is the result of an inclusive process in which stakeholders, including
CONCORD members, were invited to share their suggestions and views.

The most innovative recommendations in the report are: the need for clear indicators to assess progress with
increasing the coherence of the EU’s policies vis-à-vis its development objectives; the proposal to mandate the EU
Ombudsman as complaints mechanism for investigating instances of “maladministration” and cases of incoherent
policies; the role that the EP should play, including with a biennial report on PCD. The Rapporteur added that once the
report was, hopefully, adopted in plenary in April, the Development Committee should act as watchdog for PCD.

Reacting to the concerns about the ODA+ concept, the Director-General for Development, Mr Stefano Manservisi,
explained that the EC did not mean to create confusion and that there was no political mercy for Member States that
would not meet their ODA commitments. Mr Manservisi added that the five “priority issues” would not replace the
commitments on the previous 12 policy areas. Mr Nicholas Catephores, Adviser to the European Ombudsman’s office,
said that the recommendations in the report regarding the expected role of the European Ombudsman in dealing with
complaints (from EU and non-EU citizens and organisations) relating to maladministration was realistic and that this
could include lack of coherence between the Union’s policies.

CONCORD welcomes the initiative by MEP Keller and supports the recommendations proposed in the report, in
particular the recommendations for closer involvement by the developing countries (see CONCORD’s views on the
report). Rilli Lappalainen voiced CONCORD's commitment to contributing to the EP initiative by taking forward its role
and responsibility in screening, documenting, filing, and reporting cases to the EU institutions. With its report,
CONCORD has been instrumental in pushing the PCD agenda onto the EU’s agenda – not only its agenda on
development agenda but also on the other policy areas in which the need for policy coherence for Development is most
pressing

In 2010 CONCORD will continue to monitor the EU process on PCD and will engage with the European Commission in
particular on the next (2010-2013) work programme, coming alongside the Spring Package that will be released by the
EC in April.

In the meantime, the Confederation will continue to support the initiatives on PCD that are flourishing at the national
level – so far, a capacity-building and training seminar on PCD co-organised by a foundation and the Polish, Hungarian,
Slovak and Czech national platforms (Warsaw, October 2009); the presentation of a coherence report by members of
CINI – a coordination of Italian international network organisations (Rome, February 2010); the presentation by
CONCORD Sweden of its 2010 Barometer on PCD (Stockholm, March 2010); the presentation by the Spanish platform
of the Spotlight on Policy Coherence report at the Spanish Parliament (Madrid, planned for April 2010); a French-Polish
project led by CFSI/PKE/PZS on MDG1 and policy coherence, etc.

Finally, as part of its preparations for its next report on PCD (2011), CONCORD will build up its capacity to document
and raise cases of incoherence in EU policies – from a Southern perspective – and will pursue its efforts to establish
new partnerships with other civil society actors in order to work on policy coherence for development.

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For further information: Romain Philippe (rphilippe@concordeurope.org)

Trialog Partnership Fair: the success story continues
For the second year of this Partnership Fair, 150 civil society representatives
from 25 different countries came to Vienna from 15 to 17 February 2010.
The aim was to bring together European NGOs from all countries so that they
could set up partnerships to answer the 2010 call for proposals to be issued by
the European Commission on activities involving development education and
awareness-raising.

The event included:
   presentations on EuropeAid funding mechanisms and civil society perspectives on these mechanisms,
   a Market Place where participants had the opportunity to present their own organisations directly,
   expert presentations on partnerships and partners such as the local authorities, on how to write a project
      proposal and on how to finance these projects
   concrete work on project ideas and shaping up project proposals for future calls.

The ideas received were as varied as the participants, ranging from gender-
related topics and the empowerment of women as development actors, or
volunteering in development, to raising awareness about poverty, tackling
environmental challenges and dealing with inter-platform cooperation on
development issues. As in October 2006 the event proved to be a very fertile
ground for future proposals. In 2006, thanks to the fair, 47 concept notes were
submitted in answer to the 2006 Call for Proposals, in which 136 organisations
from New Member States were mentioned as having an active role in the
project proposals submitted.

Documents useful for answering                 the     calls    and     finding    partners    can     be     found     at:
http://www.trialog.or.at/start.asp?ID=216


What CONCORD thinks of the Green Paper on a European Citizens' Initiative
The Lisbon Treaty introduces a new form of public participation in European Union policy shaping, the European
citizens’ initiative, which enables one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States to call
directly on the European Commission to promote an initiative of interest to them in an area belonging to the EU’s
sphere of activity.

Before citizens can start exercising this new right, a few ground rules and procedures have to be laid down in an EU
regulation (read the proposal: Commission's Green Paper on a European Citizens' Initiative). So the European
Commission (EC) launched a broad public consultation. The EU’s Civil Society Contact Group (CSCG) – which
CONCORD belongs to – responded to the consultation. Although it welcomes the Citizens' Initiative, the CSCG has
some concerns about the rules proposed by the EC on whether or not to accept a petition. The CSCG recommends
that::

 0.2% is an appropriate threshold to be applied to the minimum number of countries;
 the minimum age for supporting a European citizens' initiative should be 16 years;
 citizens should be able to use the internet to sign a petition easily – requiring citizens to “sign initiatives only in
  officially designated centres”, as proposed by the EC, would make the process unnecessarily difficult;
 the one million signatures should be verified only once, when the Commission receives them, and not before,
  especially if this involves crosschecks with official national registers. This means that the Member States must be
  responsible for fully harmonising procedural requirements;
 non-EU citizens living in the EU for several years should be allowed to sign up to petitions;
 organisers should provide information about their organisation and the finances involved in their campaign and
  should not reward citizens for signing up to their initiative;
 within three months of the initiative’s having attracted one million signatures, the EC should state publically whether
  or not it intends to act on the initiative. If it refuses, it should explain why;
 the EC should meet with the initiators of the petition to be sure it understands the intentions behind the initiative
  correctly;
 the presentation of successive citizens' initiatives on the same issue should be allowed.

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The public hearing organised by the EC on 22 February did not calm fears, as the European Commission and Council
both disagree with civil society on what is probably the most disputed issue: the threshold for the minimum number of
Member States from which signatures are to be collected (the EC is proposing 9/27 Member States, which would be
difficult to reach).

The Lisbon Treaty only envisages that "not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of
Member States may take the initiative of inviting the European Commission (...) to submit an appropriate proposal...".
However, in its Green Paper the EC also introduces a threshold for a minimum number of signatures per Member State
which would make the Initiative an unusable tool.

For further information: Agnès Philippart (aphilippart@concordeurope.org) or CSCG response to the Consultation
on the “Green Paper on a European Citizens' Initiative" – www.act4europe.org


The Spring Alliance and the EU 2020 Agenda
The Spring Alliance is gearing up for the Spring Council meeting focusing on the EU 2020 Agenda. The EU 2020
Agenda aims at enabling the European Union (EU) to make a full recovery from the economic crisis. It focuses on
growth from knowledge, creating an inclusive society, and building a greener economy that is competitive at an
international level.

To share information among CONCORD’s membership and allies on the how and when of this agenda, the Spring
Alliance held a “briefing for supporters” on 15 February. The Spring Alliance also met with MEPs Isabelle Durant,
Claude Turmes and Olivier Derruine, assistant to MEP Philippe Lamberts. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss
organising a civil society event/Agora on the EU 2020 Agenda. There is still much to do before this becomes a reality,
but the feedback was positive. Success will depend on timing, and the Spring Alliance (with allies in the Parliament) is
looking at May. The Spring Alliance is also seeking a meeting with European President Mr Van Rompuy to discuss
these issues.
For further information: Meagen Baldwin (mbaldwin@concordeurope.org).


STAFF CHANGES IN EUROPE

This column reports on the new appointments made in the last month, both in development NGOs and in the EU
institutions.

European NGOs
 CONCORD’s secretariat welcomes Manuela Houtart, Finance and Resources Coordinator
    (mhoutart@concordeurope.org); Kate Carpenter, Office and Events Assistant (kcarpenter@concordeurope.org);
    Begoña Elez Amatriain, AidWatch assistant and Southern engagement (begona.elez@concordeurope.org); Marie
    Frenay, Communication trainee (assistant@concordeurope.org); Sachan Kumar, Finance Administrator
    (finance@concordeurope.org); Noémie Maughan, senior trainee on Trade, Environment, Agriculture and relations
    with Southern partners (assistant3@concordeurope.org)
 Bond (UK national platform) has elected two new delegates to CONCORD: Margaret Batty, WaterAid,
    margaretbatty@wateraid.org and Sarah Douik, Islamic Relief, sarah.douik@irworldwide.org
 Marc Woodall is the new Policy and Campaigns Assistant of ActionAid International EU Office. Tel: +32 (0) 2
    503 24 22 - E-mail: Marc.Woodall@actionaid.org
 Francesco Petrelli is the new President of the Italian National Platform. The Italian NGO network is a third level
    association that represents Italy in the European Network CONCORD. Its Board has 14 members (the three
    federations CIPSI, COCIS, FOCSIV, the regional networks of Lombardia, Latium, Campania, Tuscany, Piedmont,
    the national association ARCS-ARCI, ACLI-IPSIA, and the trade union NGOs ISCOS-CISL,PROGETTO SUD-UIL,
    PROGETTO SVILUPPO-CGIL, the environmental association LEGAMBIENTE and represents a total constituency
    of 252 Italian NGDOs. Tel. +39 06 66019202 - E-Mail: ong@ong.it
 Laust Leth Gregersen, Policy Officer of CONCORD Danmark, has a new e-mail address: llg@concorddanmark.dk
 Hansjörg Neun, CTA’s Director, is leaving the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA).
    Should you wish to contact him: hneun@t-online.de
 Ms Karim Harris, Deputy Director of CAN-Europe, is on maternity leave until July 2010. For matters relating to
    climate and development, please write to Sebastien Blavier at sebastien@climnet.org; for all matters relating to
    Communications please contact CAN-E's Communications Manager, Vanessa Bulkacz, vanessa@climnet.org; for
    matters related to membership relations, contact Project Assistant Mechthild von Knobelsdorff,
    mechthild@climnet.org, and for all other matters please contact the Secretariat directly on +32 2 894 470.

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EU institutions
 European Parliament: INCOMING MEMBERS: LE GRIP, Constance (France – EPP). OUTGOING MEMBERS:
    BARNIER, Michel (France – EPP) and LEWANDOWSKI, Janusz (Poland – EPP).
 Christian Leffler is the new Deputy Chief of Staff of the European Commission for External Relations, European
    Union. Since September 1999, he was the Deputy Head of the Private Office (Deputy Chief of Staff)
 Poul Skytte Christophersen, previously Denmark's permanent representative to the EU, will be the "special
    adviser" to the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, for the creation of the European
    External Action Service (EEAS). Christophersen's successor at the head of the Permanent Representation of
    Denmark will be Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen.



FORTHCOMING CONCORD WORK MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES


 8-9 March                   EPAN WG meeting                  Vienna        Trialog@concordeurope.org

 5 March                         Policy Forum                 Brussels      mbaldwin@concordeurope.org
 10-11 March              European seminar on CSO              Vienna       fberger@concordeurope.org
                          development effectiveness
 12 March              AidWatch Workshop on Southern          Warsaw        aphilippart@concordeurope.org
                                engagement
 15 March              Executive Bureau of CONCORD            Brussels      mvandenberghe@concordeurope.org
                                   Board
 15-16 March               Communication training             Brussels      abozzini@concordeurope.org
                                                                            aphilippart@concordeurope.org
 15-16 March            EU-Latin America CSO Forum             Madrid       mbaldwin@concordeurope.org
 16-17 March                     FDR meeting                  Brussels      evanormelingen@concordeurope.org
 23 March               Official launch of the structured     Brussels      evanormelingen@concordeurope.org
                             Dialogue/Quadrilogue
 24 March                 AidWatch advocacy group             Brussels      abozzini@concordeurope.org
 19-23 April            Civil Society Meeting MDG+10           Madrid       comunicacion.ue@coordinadoraongd.org
 20-21 April                Trialog central training            NMS         Trialog@concordeurope.org
 27 April                   Quadrilogue workshop              Brussels      evanormelingen@concordeurope.org
 May                    Development Education Forum         Madrid (tbc)    c.tripepi@deeep.org
 May or June           Seminar on how to engage with           Vienna       abozzini@concordeurope.org
                               governments
 10-11 May            National NGDO Platforms Meeting         Brussels      comunicacion.ue@coordinadoraongd.org
                       before General Affairs Council
 11 May                     Teleconference Board                  -         mvandenberghe@concordeurope.org
 11 May                Policy Forum steering committee        Brussels      mbaldwin@concordeurope.org
 27 May               Forum on Food, Agriculture, Trade       Brussels      rphilippe@concordeurope.org ;
                          and Environment (FATE)                            assistant3@concordeurope.org
 27/28 May                 Workshop on the Role of              Paris       abozzini@concordeurope.org
                           Parliaments on Aid and
                                Development
 28 May                  Trade group meeting/EFSG             Brussels      rphilippe@concordeurope.org
                                  meeting

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    End of May              Launch of AidWatch report         All over Europe abozzini@concordeurope.org
    1-4 June              Quadrilogue Regional Seminar         Bamako, Mali     evanormelingen@concordeurope.org
    4 June                         Policy Forum                  Brussels       mbaldwin@concordeurope.org
    9 June               FDR meeting/Quadrilogue special         Brussels       evanormelingen@concordeurope.org
                                     event
    14-18 June            Seminar on CSO effectiveness            Madrid        comunicacion.ue@coordinadoraongd.org
    14-18 June          CONCORD working group on CSO                tbc         fberger@concordeurope.org
                           development effectiveness
    22-23 June            CONCORD General Assembly               Brussels       mvandenberghe@concordeurope.org
    July                      Quadrilogue workshop               Brussels       evanormelingen@concordeurope.org

    September              Quadrilogue regional seminar         Lima, Peru      evanormelingen@concordeurope.org
    September            Workshop on advocacy activities          Vienna        abozzini@concordeurope.org
                             towards governments
    14 September                  Board meeting                  Brussels       mvandenberghe@concordeurope.org
    Third week of                 EFSG meeting                   Brussels       rphilippe@concordeurope.org
    September
    (date tbc)
    October                     EPAN WG meeting                    NMS          Trialog@concordeurope.org
    October                   Quadrilogue workshop               Brussels       evanormelingen@concordeurope.org
    Oct/November               Annual PCD Seminar              Brussels (tbc)   rphilippe@concordeurope.org
    (date tbc)
    13-14 October                  FDR meeting                   Brussels       evanormelingen@concordeurope.org
    November               Quadrilogue regional seminar           Vietnam       evanormelingen@concordeurope.org
    November                  Teleconference Board                   -          mvandenberghe@concordeurope.org
    24-28 November       Conference on the Future of Civil       Managua,       Trialog@concordeurope.org
                              Society Organisations              Nicaragua
    3rd week of Nov/              EFSG meeting                   Brussels       rphilippe@concordeurope.org
    December (tbc)

    December                       Board Away                       tbc         mvandenberghe@concordeurope.org

    5-7 December          CONCORD at the Development             Brussels       aphilippart@concordeurope.org
                                   Days


For further details on any of these CONCORD-related activities please do not hesitate to contact the CONCORD
Secretariat or check the extranet.

CONCORD DOCUMENTS OF THE MONTH

    CONCORD climate change taskforce views on implementation of EU fast start finance – February 2010
    CONCORD’s position on the Millennium Development Goals – February 2010: to put the world back on track to achieve
     the MDGs the European Union – as provider of 60% of global aid flows and a major trading partner for some of the world’s
     poorest nations – should take the lead in the preparations for the UN summit in September, which will focus on attempts to
     halve poverty by 2015.

    Working paper of the CONCORD Task Force on Climate Change: IMPLEMENTATION OF EU FAST START
     ADAPTATION FINANCE – February 2010

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   CONCORD position on DEVE committee (MEP F. Keller) report on PCD – February 2010

   Revision of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement – February 2010
   CSCG response to the Consultation on the “Green Paper on a European Citizens' Initiative" – 20/01



OTHER NEWSLETTERS

   Take a look at the newsletters of CONCORD members
   Trialog: latest news of this project aiming to raise awareness of development issues in the enlarged EU and to
    strengthen dialogue and partnerships between development NGOs in accession countries, EU countries and
    developing countries.
   DEEEP (Development Education Exchange in Europe Project): the Development Education Times will provide you
    with information on upcoming events, resources and publications relating to development education, and it features
    a range of articles on funding opportunities for development NGOs.
   CSCG (Civil Society Contact Group): the CSCG brings together eight large European NGO platforms in the
    following fields: culture (EFAH), development (CONCORD), environment (Green 10), human rights (HRDN),
    lifelong learning (EUCIS), public health (EPHA), social (Social Platform) and women (EWL), to develop the
    dialogue between civil society organisations and the EU institutions as an essential part of strengthening
    participatory democracy.
   Euforic News: click here to subscribe and find out the latest news about development.




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