Organized under the auspices of the European Commission, Partnership Forum was held in Brussels, Belgium, on 25-26 June. In the meeting where representatives from total number of 28 civil society organization and local government associations signed Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) with the Commission came together, participants discussed how to further the relations between the EU and its stakeholders.

In the event, “Strengthening Partnership”, “Transparent and Accountable Governance in Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Cases”, “2030 Agenda and Enabling Environment”, “Resilience”, and “Decentralized Cooperation” and many other parallel sessions were organized. Besides, participants discussed the effectiveness of the financial instruments that EU conducts in its relations with the partner countries with the aim of fostering sustainable development.

The meeting ended up with the signing of two new partnership agreements. Given this, the number CSO and LA signing FPA with the Commission increased to 30 with new agreements between the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Commission; and the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and the Commission.

Some of the proposals and suggestions shared at the meeting are indicated below.

  • Access to EU funds should be simplified and long bureaucratic processes should be more flexible.
  • In order to gather CSOs and LAs around the same table, national meetings should be organized on the issue of development, and outcomes of these meetings should be presented in the meetings at the EU level.
  • Participation of the local leaders in the related meetings should be encouraged.
  • Technical documents including EU Multiannual Financial Framework and Multiannual Indicative Programmes should be prepared in a more simple language to be understood at the public level.
  • The works for the increased number of women manager in decision making process should be supported.
  • Platforms should be developed to ensure experience sharing.
  • Journalists should be acknowledged as an important stakeholder, and their participation in related process should be encouraged.
  • Capacity building studies for urban resilience should be supported.
  • Alternative development support programmes should be developed outside of the Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Policy Forum on Development (PFD) Task Team Meeting

Policy Forum on Development (PFD) Task Team Meeting was held in Brussels, Belgium, on 27 June 2018. In the meeting, participants raised their concerns on Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) due to its lack of reference to the local governments in the EU budgeting. They also questioned the effectiveness of PFD meetings in formulation of the MFF, and more generally in the formulation of the EU development policies.

Regarding the issue, it was shared with the task team members that there will be a meeting on the issue of MFF on September to discuss the budgeting for local governments. Participants also proposed to combine the PFD meeting and Partnership Forum.

Participants agreed to gather the next Global PFD Meeting before the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in order to contribute to the process in a more effective way. The meeting ended up with the presentations for the roadmap of the next year.

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