From 20 - 22 March the ICA offices took part in the Sixth Global Meeting of the Policy Forum on Development (PFD) in Brussels, Belgium. More than 80 representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs), local authorities (LAs), the private sector, EU member states and EU institutions gathered to discuss the most challenging EU development policies. Topics included enabling environment, new financial instruments, domestic resource mobilisation and post-2020 partnerships.
Mr Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, stressed the PFD’s unique opportunity to exchange knowledge, experience and resources. He further highlighted the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships for achieving the SDGs.
Patrick Develtere, principal advisor of the European Policy Strategy Center, reinforced this message, stressing the added value of co-operatives and other participative economic models.
And Francesa Raimondi, from the Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), said it was the priority of the External Investment Plan to create decent jobs for women and youth in Africa and that co-operatives offer a way to do this.
Rosario Bento Pais, Head of DG Devco’s Unit A5, said co-operatives are recognised as key actors in development, as indicated in the Consensus on Development, and should therefore be included in EUD’s roadmaps.
Georgia Papoutsi, Policy Officer Cooperatives Europe and coordinator of the ICA-EU partnership engagement within the PFD, expressed her satisfaction about the European Commission’s recognition towards co-operatives, a truly inclusive business model run and owned by citizens.