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					CONCORD WG EPAN – Enlargement, Pre-Accession and Neighbourhood

November 12 – 13, 2007, Sinaia, Romania

Present in the meeting (as seated):
Caruana        Vincent (Maltese NP)
Bedoya         Christine (TRIALOG)
Krczmarova     Jana (FoRS Czech NP)
Draxler        Daniel (ADRA)
Grossthal      Kelly (Estonia)
Emirza         Alexandra (Greek NP)
Mattila        Mirkka (Kehys ry Finnish NP)
Vogt           Andreas (CONCORD)
Kratka         Zuzana (MVRO Slovakian NP)
Molnar         Balint (HAND Hungarian NP)
Bunskoek       Wico (Dutch NP)
Drumev         Ognian (Bulgarian Network of NGOs)
Steel          Rebecca (TRIALOG)
Szabunko       Joanna (WIDE/Karat Poland)
Rohozinska     Joanna (East European Democratic Centre, Grupa Zagranica Polish NP)
Iatan          Claudia (FOND Romanian NP)
Sebban         Florent (Eurostep Belgium)
Chadwick       Mark (BOND UK)
Burada         Valentin (FOND, Civil Society Foundation, Romania)
Dautovic       Mirko (TRIALOG)


Absent: Colombe de Mercey (APRODEV), Marjan Huc (SLOGA Slovenian NP), Mara Simane
(LAPAS Latvian NP), Tanja Hafner-Ademi (Macedonia), Jelena Josic (Croatia), Loreta Trakinskiene
(Lithuania), Petra Kreinecker (TRIALOG).

Introduction to EPAN (Vince)
 Official reply of CONCORD (17 Sept) accepting the new EPAN ToR Sept 18 – first Steering Group
   meeting held under new ToR.
 CONCORD asked EPAN to send the action plan already, but we could not. SG prepared a draft –
   sent to CONCORD a bit late. Still need for further finalization today.
 Plenty of people that are members of the steering group are not present and this could lead to
   miscommunication – continuity is important.
 Trialog tries to invite organisations from pre-accession countries, Florent also suggested some
   from neighbourhood countries as permanent representative in EPAN – but problem with funding.
 CONCORD elaborated a strategy for all WGs for guests from non-EU countries, politically
   endorsed, funding problem – now included in fundraising strategy. Some CONCORD members can
   cover the trip ad hoc.
 ENPI – Regulation No. 1638/2006 of 24 October 2006.

EU Neighbourhood – State of Play
ENPI Update (Florent)
 ENP European Neighbourhood Policy (2004) – bringing some countries in the East together, policy
  around the foreign political priorities of EU.
 Policy now in process of reviewing – to strengthen the ENP – new EU communication strategy to
  be introduced (promoting the area of liberalized trade all across the region, governance in the
  region, icl. trade liberalization, people-to-people exchanges in civil society) – therefore funding for
  CSO is proposed.
 EU is promoting certain economic models in other countries (this is not very positive).
 EU is getting some backing from some part of the state in the regions (Southern Caucasus, East).


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 No provision for funding in the policies, there has been political regional cooperation in the region
  since 2005– Barcelona process.
 EU is trying to develop the regional cooperation in Black Sea (Southern Caucasus and Balkans).
 Former MEDA + TACIS financial instruments replaced by ENPI instrument – providing funding for
  EU and regional cooperation.
 Programming process – strategies for each of the countries, 2 billion EUR for 17 countries (2007 –
  2013), process of adopting CSP (linked to Poverty Reduction SP of the countries)
 ENPI South Regional Strategy Paper – i.e. regional infrastructure, environment etc.
 ENPI East Regional Strategy Paper
 We look at the priorities, modalities, actors, and if we can promote some part of the movements in
  the countries.
 How can EPAN strengthen the movement of the small grass-root organisations in these regions?
 Eurostep is going to organise a series of trainings for these NGOs.
 On-going process (Eurostep, Friends of the Earth, WWF, APRODEV): discussion on the policies,
  no clarity the CSO engagement can change anything in the focus of EC.
 Develop relationship with the local organisations? Not up to EPAN – up to organisations at national
  level.
 An EC meeting on September 3 invited heads of states (MFA ministers) from the South and East
  and representatives of CSOs. But the meeting was unsatisfactory as far as the participation of
  CSOs was concerned. Few NGOs were invited and those who were, were not given the floor. EC is
  merely paying lip service to the role of CS. When it actually comes to listening to what NGOs have
  to say, nobody is there.
 EU is spending enormous amount of money in these regions – and there is a priority to support
  human rights (and civil society) in ENPI. EC should make sure it is not spent for some elite NGOs
  or civil society, but real grass-root organisations. This is what we shall focus on!

DCI is legal basis – NGOs can access funds:
 NSA LA programme
 EIDHR – EU Initiative for Democratization and HR
But so far no calls for ENPI.

Is the budget distributed according to EU policies? Budget review is open till March 2008 – so we can
influence it? Task for IPA and ENPI sub-groups of EPAN.

Seminar on Human Rights in the Mediterranean Region in Helsinki
 Finnish NP is involved in Euro-Med Civil forum, meeting in Morocco in 2006 organised by Kehys
  therefore Euro-Med issues.
 ½ seminar, role of FRONTEX – a border security organisation / institution for Mediterranean area
  to “protect” EU frontiers.
 Respecting Human Rights all the time is not in the interest of the EU, and certainly not in the
  interest of Southern Mediterranean states that could lose their power.

Proposal
 To focus on 2 case studies in the countries and some problems there and see how ENPI is working
   there.
 Mirkka brought up migration and gender issues.

Mediterranean Update
 2 networks established – 1 is not really working, EC no financial commitment, so no real
  functioning.

Letter on multilingualism and Cotonou WG
Cotonou WG is interested in linking to EPAN, to clarify the wording in the letter, since in some African
countries they use many more languages.

Report on ECAS conference – “Is the EU really listening to citizens? – The ABC of participatory
democracy methods”, 3 Oct 2007, Florent
 ECAS is not a real NGO, but it supports civil society, gets funds from EC for seminars to strengthen
  NGOs in the countries which joined EU in 2004 and they are able to bring people from the region to
  events.



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 A most frustrating conference in Brussels on ENPI – the speakers were from WB, EP and EC, and
  talked abut the role of CS, etc., but as soon as they finished their speeches, they left without
  waiting to let the NGOs give their reactions.
 EC has no problems with funding local NGOs to watch their governments but certainly has on
  building the actively participating civil society. Everyone says they wish to include NGOs, but when
  it comes to deeds, “state governments are our partners” is often heard.

Cosenza Civitas Med – Report on PF project of Malta, Cyprus and Slovenia
Difficult to get civil society from the Med. region involved and agree on the common themes – selected
these:
 Evaluation of Erasmus programme.
 Economic policies for fisheries, Reconstruction of bio-diversity.
 Migration – EURO-MED human rights network.
 Tourism – the whole model of mass tourism and its negative impact.
 Renewable energy, impact on agriculture.

Vince gave a presentation on the situation of women in Arab countries:
Unless there are changes in the structure of power, the position of Arab women will not improve.
There has been improvement in some sections but none in others. Greatest improvement in the
Health domain. Then in education, followed by economy and lastly politics. Note that the position
improves most in the areas that bestow least power (Health & Education), and vice versa (Economy &
politics).
The trend in Egypt is that the position of women is declining. Morocco, Tunisia and Libya have the
highest % of women in Parliament.
Presentation included matrimonial laws in various South Mediterranean countries, legal status and the
level of ratification of CEDAW in various Arab countries.
Power-related are economic resources: if economy prospers, it is permissible that women advance
too. Reasoning being that after the men have advanced and satisfied their priorities, it is fine that
women gain employment. Otherwise, women pose a threat to the power of men.

Conclusion is that access of power is hard to achieve for women. Men feel threatened by women
gaining power. Development projects should focus on improving women’s role in societies and the
political aspect should be brought into the discourse towards the EU.

Messages from the presentations:
 To look at issues of the social economy in ENPI. Relevance of nice headings for the reality in the
  countries.
 The increase of numbers of women in the parliament is not in itself an improvement in the position
  of women.
 Can we think the projects from ENPI have a real political impact on the countries? Shall we monitor
  this type of discourse more in the region?
 Will EPAN focus on a few priority countries to look into more closely?

Action Plan 2008
Introduction of each member’s experience, what their organisation is doing and what kind of expertise.
 Proposal of 1 or 2 case studies on ENPI in selected countries:
      o      Need for ToR for such study, what we already know, what is the thesis statement and
             assumption – compare the impact of ENPI + state policy recommendations.
      o      Take the methodology from CIDSE report “EU Footprint in the South”.
      o      Criteria: Size, amount of money and modalities from EC, poverty, our links + things
             already produced, relevance of the country to the issues we are discussing, sectorial
             diversity within a country, in/stability, necessary to set principles who to consult (not only
             think-tank networks that have questionable funding and can participate in any international
             events) – focus on grass-root initiatives!
      o      Topics – cross-cutting as gender, and then 2 separate issues that EC is targeting in
             CSPs.
      o      Proposal: Ukraine, Egypt, questionnaires to the partners.
      o      Vince and Mirkka to prepare a 1 page concept note for the selection of countries by mid-
             Dec, overview on EC focus: Florent (Egypt), Balint + Joanna (Ukraine).
 Key dates:



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       o      Mid-term review on ENPI 2009                                 starting 2008
       o      Vision for Mediterranean Union                               June 2008
                                                                             nd
       o      Euro-Med minister of foreign affairs                         2 semester 2008
       o      Seminar on developing citizens’ participation in public life ?
       o      Accra on Aid Effectiveness                                   2–4 September 2008
   Mini-seminar on ENPI on a specific topic for EPAN – no conclusion:
       o      What is the added value of such seminar? Why not to spend funds for a consultant for the
              study cases?
       o      Linking the seminar to EPAN meeting?
       o      Eurostep meetings in October.
   Linking to GCAP in ENPI countries.
   Involvement of missing platforms that have good expertise on the region (Italy, France, Spain).
   Finalisation of EPAN / Cotonou.

Transition experience in EPAN
 From developing to developed countries (to European country)
       o     Could be excellent added value for ourselves
       o     Put this expertise in WG – also see what EC is looking for in this field.
 From EU non-member state to EU member state
       o     Political process, but also some economical process in order to meet EU criteria for
             accession.
       o     Economic changes effecting small agriculture farmers and enterprise in neighbourhood
             countries (but this is very wide and pro-found area, beyond our capacities).
 From recipient to donor
       o     Could be useful for pre-accession countries
       o     Building-up institutional framework
       o     Working with Moldova and Georgia as neighbourhood countries
       o     What is the identity of NMS in development and their added value?
       o     What can be used in the neighbourhood countries and in relation to ENP, is there any
             discussion in EC and will it project in policy?
       o     But could be passed to FDR WG.
 Changes in civil society
       o     Look where the support comes from, role of US support to EU support and this shift.
       o     The survival issue of the NGOs in the vacuum created by drying out of the American and
             no inflow of the European assistance
 If there is any added value of this WG – it is precisely this experience in transitions (economic and
   social lessons, turn into donor etc.)
 We do not have any strategy to show the added value of NMS.
 Actual discussion on EU budget review (CAP, implications on farmers over the world) – lessons
   from transition on agricultural models would be highly relevant.
 The way the states provide services (health, education, pension schemes) – can we capitalize on
   the experience in transition?
 Transition from a communist country into a democratic one – experience mostly mentioned in
   relation to TRIALOG – What about the focus on the civil society development and political
   transition, who initiated it (US, Canadians, others)? And would this mean to challenge it directly?
 What are the potential partners to have a joint group for research on the impact transition had on
   agriculture, state services, education and health sectors? Academic community must be involved
   as there are surely some studies that have already been written which could assist our study.
 The definition of the word “transition” should be determined (political, economical, social,…) before
   the study starts.
 Available resources:
       o     US report on civil society sustainability index – each year published, very valuable in civil
             society aspect.
       o     CIVICUS reports.
       o     Some comparative reports by governments, NGOs etc.
 Conclusion: Each platform can write 2 pages on their experience in transition (civil society aspect).
   Translate the findings and recommendations into EU ENP or funding schemes for current support
   of the neighbourhood countries. Agriculture should be also on the agenda. Start the debate!




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Distribution of tasks
What                                                         Who                  When
Introduction page on ENPI case study – Mirkka, Vince         Mirkka               1st week of Dec
will circulate to ENPI sub-group.
              nd
Research 2 main topic for the studies from EC docs.          Ukraine (Balint)     16 Nov
Look at the CSPs for Egypt and Ukraine for the focus         Egypt (Florent)
areas and/or the areas of success in order to choose the
topic for research
Circulate CIDSE study                                        Andreas              Dec
Teleconference on ToR on the studies                                              When needed
Draft for mini-seminar on ENPI                               Vince
Information on Aprodev-Eurostep-WWF ENPI seminar             Florent              March 2008
Prepare questions on transition experience + feedback        Valentin             Mid-December
from WG
Distribute the questions to platforms from transition        Valentin             1st week January
countries.
Letter on multilinguism – change the wording together        Valentin + Florent   End November
with Cotonou – use the transparency initiative lead by
Kallas for CSP creation, it is in the greater framework of
CONCORD difficult attempt to establish structural dialog
with DG DEV!!!
Send it signed by Christine, Vince and Florent as sub-                            Signed by GA
group chairs – to the commissioner on multilingualism
(Leonard Orban), in copy to the commissioners on
administration (Siim Kallas), development & humanitarian
aid (Louis Michel) and External Relations & European
Neighbourhood Policy (Benita Ferrero-Waldner), Euro-
Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, the EP’s
Development committee and relevant MS reps.


Update on EU Presidencies
Slovenian platform (Marjan missing)
 Only 1 big event, on DE
 Working groups but without any events relating to Balkans, topics on sex trafficking and children in
   conflict.
 Still have not had any planning meeting for the programme for the Presidency.
 How to link IPA sub-group to Slovenia presidency?
 Presidencies are always a difficult process – compromise between 5 different priorities
   (CONCORD, national government, EU, members, own priorities).
 Rebecca will get in touch with Marjan in Dec to get update on the SI presidency
 Vince will contact Tanja Hafner-Ademi (MK), as she is in the Balkan network.
 Slovenians plan Aid Effectiveness conference in Ljubljana in April – co-organised by Coordination-
   Sud (link to French presidency).

Czech platform:
 Jana Krczmarova (CZ) turned attention to the issue of aid effectiveness and its link to good
  governance.
 The Czech platform wants to deal with this issue, but seeks opinion on how to approach it and
  whether it is too big a bite for them to chew.
 Andreas Vogt (CONCORD) said that many members of CONCORD want CONCORD to tackle that
  issue. There will be a WG on CSO AE.
 Accra meeting 3 month before CZ PRES. – timing is very good. Paris Declaration review in Accra
  during French Pres., CONCORD will be working on AE all the year, French government have to
  prepare some statement. Slovenians will have a conference on AE in April – therefore very actual
  topic and we can link.
 Slovak: Too ambitious if we are not able to measure AE.
 There will be a follow-up of the Prague Conference 2008 in 2009 – what can NGOs reach in
  development, what both of our societies in North and South need.
 Jana will circulate the proposal for the feedback from EPAN.


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French platform:
Andreas Vogt gave a presentation on the French presidency, with the plan the French devised (see
the attachment).

 The plan has six events, one of which is the main one - the first world-wide meeting of national
  platforms.
 The philosophy behind this is that CSOs should be organised on national level (platforms), which
  should be united on regional (continental or geopolitical regions) level, which would, in the end be
  represented in a planetary assembly one day.
 Gradation of organisations in this French vision remained unclear. Did it connote national platforms
  of all NGOs or national platforms of the particular sorts of NGOs, like NGDOs or ENGOs or HR
  NGOs. In essence, would NGOs ally on a national level or based on the nature of their
  specialisation?
 A meeting between all the national platforms in Paris – role of civil society on global debate and
  decision making.
 “Future of Europe: Europe’s role in the world, based on solidarity” (coordinated by CONCORD)
 Events organised by member organisations: Conference EU – African relations1, Conference on
  the agriculture and development, Seminar on EU and financing for development, Citizens, Europe
  and international solidarity, Seminar on climate change and development / or on environment and
  development.
 Workshop on enlargement – but due to problems of the organising member organisations – will not
  plan it then.

Prague Conference 2008
 Background: Evaluation of Trialog in 2006 – there is no clear understanding of what we mean by
   development, what are the concepts – what influenced the changes in the concepts. Advisory
   Group took recommendations into consideration – to organise a conference on the nature of
   development – comparison between understanding of development in OMS, NMS as well as
   South.
 Expecting 100 people, 30 participants from the global South – is it the development that we do
   enough, what do we do past 2015, what do the people in South want, etc.
 1st conference May 14 – 16, 2007: “Civil Society organisations and new challenges for
   Development” as a joint CONCORD–Trialog event, topics: assessment on values, concepts,
   interactive assessment, input from the South + working groups.
 2nd conference in 2008 – what the societies in South and North want from development, conditions,
   finances, capacities.
 CONCORD: Nice to have a meeting, but we need a stronger hook to bring members more
   together, strong motivation. Since Strategic Plan of CONCORD ends in 2008 – collective reflection
   on our common work, as first reflection in the discussion. We must come to the compromise in the
   agenda.
 EPAN: would it be possible to have a working group on transition experience.
 Such a huge conference is bound to have different and even antithetical opinions. That is why the
   conference should be focused on finding communalities and circumventing the touchy stuff. Get the
   useful input from organisations that usually do not take part in such events.
 Who is coming from the South? It is extremely important for the discussion. So it fits into
   CONCORD agenda. Get Civil Society Contact Group, look at the European model.
 Ideally it would be CONCORD event, prepared by CONCORD, it would only make sense if
   CONCORD members take part in the event, many ideas, but first concentrate on civil society and
   what they want.
 Florent: is it about the civil society or about the models of development?
 Preparation group: Gerda Daniel (Horizont 3000), Jiri Silny (Ecumenical Akademy), Joachim
   Lindau, Olivier Consolo (CONCORD), Michael Obrowsky (OFSE), George Eusani (Nigeria) – but
   open for Southern partners with vision – all are asked to propose some appropriate people to get
   involved.




1
    An assessment of what will have happened in the meeting of ministers a year before in December 2007


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CONCORD internships
 CONCORD is looking into how to build up capacities for EU policy work, mainly for the platforms
  have the potential to get involved.
 Training programme for NGOs and NP from mainly NMS (but also old MS) in CONCORD or in
  other NGO based in Brussels (ActionAid, Eurostep) for 1 month – not the typical internship, but real
  training, specific dossiers that they will work on.
 Target: project managers, experienced and working for a longer time in the organisation, working
  on political issues, staff NP.
 Great enthusiasm showed by all represented platforms but a lack of funding quoted as the main
  problem.
 Interns from the PA countries were also mentioned, but at the moment CONCORD has its hands
  full and low funds.


Update on EC calls for proposals for AR / DE
 New statistics – 22 contracts for NMS NGOs (or in NMS) – all 10 million Euros for NMS were
  absorbed, still some projects on the waiting list.
 Almost in all the NMS (only Latvia and Malta no contract).
 Most contracts resulting from the Partnership Fair in Vienna in 2006.
 There will not be 10 million reserved in this year’s call, but conditions for NMS will be better – 90%
  co-financing, incl. Romania and Bulgaria.

Next meeting of EPAN WG
will be held on the 23rd and 24th of April 2008 in Brussels




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