Every year, the European Commission (EC) organises a global meeting of the Policy Forum on Development (PFD) which brings together Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Local Authorities (LA) with representatives from DG DEVCO (Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development), DG NEAR (Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations) and the EEAS (European External Action Service). Last March, the Global PFD was cancelled because of COVID-19 and, as an alternative to it, a series of virtual multilateral meetings have taken place throughout the second half of 2020.
The current year is an important one as the new EU budget, including funding for international development, is decided. Considering this fact, the ICA-EU Partnership on international cooperative development (#coops4dev) used its seat in the Task Team - which sets the agenda of the PFD - to push for consultations on the new budget and programming in collaboration with other CSO and LA partners.
The policy dialogue started this year with virtual regional sessions for Europe and neigbourhood, Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Africa, Americas and Asia-Pacific in July 2020, where regional priorities were discussed and #coops4dev policy team provided input on the regional recommendations. These recommendations were used during virtual global meeting with the Director General of DG DEVCO, Mr. Koen Doens. During this meeting the cooperative voice was represented in the regional recommendations and through an intervention on global cooperative priorities and recommendations.
To follow-up on this global meeting, the EC organised virtual thematic meeting on key EC priorities with regards to programming in international development. Sessions concerning an economy that works for people, the EU green deal and digitalisation took place over the course of October and November. During these sessions, the #coops4dev policy team had the opportunity to invite experts from the ICA membership and feed into PFD recommendations on the new programming cycle that will start in 2021. These recommendations will be sent to the EU Delegations all over the world.
To close this virtual consultation process on programming, Ms. Jutta Urpilainen, the European Commissioner for International Partnerships provided feedback on the recommendations from the previous sessions during a closing session on the 10 December. The Commissioner emphasised the importance of fighting inequalities with a focus on youth and gender - two areas that are important in the #coops4dev activities - and ensured the PFD members that this dialogue will continue in 2021. The #coops4dev policy team participated actively in all these meetings and ensured that the cooperative voice is represented on this important and extensive policy dialogue around EU programming.
*The "PFD recommendations and key issues to incorporate in EU programming" can be downloaded ⤵️
*To know more about the #coops4dev activities on youth, gender and other topics, please visit our website coops4dev.coop