Policy Paper

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Reconnecting Europe with its Citizens - the Role of Political Foundations

Taking a proper look at Europe reveals a gap between its citizens and the institutions; the two founding elements of the integration process stand apart from one another. Citizens continue to feel that European and national decision-makers are unable to meet their expectations: decisions taken at national level are disconnected from their needs, and there is a lack of trust in European institutions. A new modus vivendi between citizens and the EU is therefore needed, in order to tackle today’s challenges and re-engage Europeans with their project.
This new European vision is crucial, perhaps more so than ever before in its young history. However, at this critical, defining moment, internal divisions seem to be challenging its core existence. Recent developments suggest that the very definition and identity of the EU and its relations with member states and citizens are becoming hot topical issues. The rise in votes for Eurosceptic and the record low turnout during elections for the European Parliament stand as stark warnings. If Europe is to play a role in the future, it will have to find a way to inspire, include and re-engage its citizens, including anti-European groups, as they are in a position to propose concrete measures in order to counteract the process of widening the gap.
In this context, political foundations have an important role as a link between citizens and the European Union decision-makers. They contribute to the formation of a plurality of considered public opinions and ensure that relevant issues, required information, and appropriate contributions are mobilised, thus balancing political, economic, and media power through the facilitation of social power. Moreover, they reintroduce discourse in an environment that is increasingly personal and commoditised. By their very nature, political foundations politicise the way the world appears to citizens by bringing in public discourse and relating this to a framework of political tools of analysis.
This policy paper aims to provide a joint understanding of active European citizenship and some of its challenges, highlighting, apart from political foundations, also the role of education and social media. The list of recommendations drawn up at the end of the paper summarises the ideas and reflections elaborated within the European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP).

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Building Bridges between Civil Society and Party political Actors in the Western Balkans

~~It points out that there is a strong need for further capacity-building and awareness-raising, as well as for a change of mind-set on both sides. As one of the main actors in supporting democracy, the Euro-pean Union (EU) has significant leverage in the region. Nevertheless, the observation made by this paper is that the EU has only made partial use of the potential of its instruments and programmes in order to contribute to building bridges between civil society and party political actors in the Western Balkans.

Given the unique working methods of Political Foundations, they are in a position to encourage ap-proximation and mutual acknowledgement between the two actors. This paper therefore presents case studies and examples of their work and underlines the benefits of establishing dialogue between civil society and party political actors. On this basis, it proposes some recommendations for EU poli-cy-makers, party political actors and civil society in the region.

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A new Approach to Migration in the Light of Africa-EU Relations

The EU needs a balanced approach that reinforces the nexus between development and
migration and adapts regulations and legal norms correspondingly. A comprehensive policy
framework and well-coordinated international cooperation are key. This Policy Paper provides recommendations for steps towards such a common approach, covering the following aspects:
Development and Migration; Right to Asylum; Labour and Migration; Environmental Migration; and EU Integration Policy.

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Relation Afrique- UE : vers un partenariat renforcé

Afin de pouvoir vous donner quelques informations pour le quatrième sommet Afrique-UE, qui a eu lieu du 2 au 3 Avril 2014, Le réseau européen des fondations politiques ( ENoP ) a le plaisir de porter votre attention aux papiers stratégiques „Africa-EU Relations: Moving towards a Strengthened Partnership“

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Africa- EU Relations: Moving towards a Strengthened Partnership

Africa- EU Relations: Moving towards a Strengthened Partnership

In order to give you some pieces of information  for the 4th Africa-Eu summit, who took place on the 2-3rd April 2014, the Euopean Network of Political Foundations ( ENoP) has the pleasure to draw your attention to its Policy Paper on „ Africa – EU Relations: Moving towards a Strengthened Partnership“

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Political Foundations: Development Cooperation between State and Society

On 18 March ENoP launched its Profile Paper "Development Cooperation - between State and Society" with a round table in the Austrian Parliament.
The event was jointly organized by AWEPA ( European Parliamentarians with Africa ), Parlamentarischer NordSüdDialog, IUFE ( Institut für Umwelt, Friede, Entwicklung ) and the ENoP Working Group " Development Assistance". Petra Bayr, Member of the Austrian Parliament and chairwoman of AWEPA underlined the importance ob bringing development policy into the forefront of national parliaments, as well as ensuring policy coherence for development.
Sidonie Wetzig, chair of the ENoP Working Group, summarized key statements of the publication, which argues that Political foundations can fill the gaps between public policies, globalized markets and civil society. IN order to illustrate their work in development cooperation, ENoP representatives presented at the roundtable best practice examples of projects and activities they implemented on the ground.
The meeting, chaired by Johannes Steiner, Executive Director of the Vienna Institute for Environment, Peace and Development, concluded with an open discussion among the participants.

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Supporting political parties for democracy

Supporting political parties for democracy

Political parties are the backbone of any democracy. Nevertheless, the European Union’s (EU) support to political parties in the field of democracy assistance is lacking a rigorous approach. The European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP) underlines that support for political parties in third countries is an essential element of democracy support. This paper argues that political pluralism can only be fostered by going beyond the classical areas of donor engagement such as election support, good governance, human rights and the rule of law.

Three typical approaches in support of political parties will be outlined: the multi-party dialogue, the all-party technical assistance approach, and the peer-to-peer programmatic party development assistance. The multi- and all-party approaches provide a sense of neutrality to party assistance but may suffer in terms of legitimacy, when the international yardsticks of political and civil rights are not respected by a participating party. On a programmatic and organisational level, the peer-to-peer approach develops stronger and more relevant political parties. It includes capacity-building for political negotiations as well as dialogue and coalition- building to effectively contribute to a more functional political party system.

Politically affiliated foundations provide an opportunity to build the plurality of qualified political alternatives, which are essential in a democracy. The political foundations in EU member states have performed this function for decades and possess experiences, methods, skills and operational platforms for the EU and the member states to make use of. 

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