PRESS RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE

Continuous commitment to “Keeping democracy support at the heart of the EU agenda”. In times when the environment for EU democracy support experiences manifest challenges, the European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP) hosted its 9th Annual General Assembly in Brussels on 24th of June 2015. ENoP was established in 2006 and currently represents 63 member organisations from 23 EU-Member States. The participants of the General Assembly welcomed the members of the newly introduced Political Advisory Board for a first constituent meeting. The Political Advisory Board of ENoP is composed of Mr Pekka Haavisto, Member of the Finnish Parliament, former Minister for Environment and Development (1995-1999) and Minister for Development and State Ownership (2013-2014); Mrs Gudrun Kopp, former Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development; Mrs Rodi Kratsa, President of the Konstantinos Karamanlis Institute, former Vice-President of the European Parliament; Mr Jan Marinus Wiersma, former Member of the European Parliament from 1994-2009 (European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs) On the basis of its rotating principles amongst party families, Mr Martin Ängeby, Secretary-General of SILC, the Swedish International Liberal Centre, became the newly elected Coordinator of ENoP. Ängeby’s expertise comprises political dialogue experience with the Arab world, Cuba and Belarus. Dr. Arnold Kammel, Programme Director for International Relations of the Political Academy PolAk, Austria, has been mandated as Deputy Network Coordinator. His main fields are trade policy, transatlantic relations and political dialogue with North and South Sudan. Rebecca Wagner, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Brussels office, was elected ENoP Network Treasurer. The Steering Committee honoured the commitment of the out-going Network Coordinator, Ms Andrea E. Ostheimer, Director of the Department for Sub-Sahara Africa of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Berlin. Ms Ostheimer had served from 2009 to 2013 as Deputy Coordinator and was elected ENoP Network Coordinator in 2013. The plenary expressed as well its gratitude towards the Deputy Network Coordinator Anna Sundström, Head of Operations at Olaf Palme International Centre (since January 2015) and her predecessor Ulrika Lång as well as Alba Çako, Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit, Brussels office, former Treasurer. ENoP as the representative platform of national political foundations from EU Member States advocates democratic values within and beyond Europe’s borders. It channels the experience and expertise of political foundations into the EU decision-making process via policy papers and contributions to consultation processes. In cooperation with other stakeholders it provided feedback on the draft Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy (2015-2019) “Keeping human rights at the heart of the EU agenda”.
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European Year for Development in Riga

European Year for Development in Riga

The fourth and last conference of ENoP in the context of the European Year for Development EYD took place on 19 th June in Riga. The event was organised in cooperation with the ENoP member Freedom& Solidarity: "Global Challenges for European Development Cooperation in 2015 and Beyond – The Latvian Perspective". The panel gathered 7 speakers from Latvia and Malta from governmental institutions and NGOs. The EYD was an initiative of the Latvian presidency.

European Development Days panel on “Democracy support under pressure: Challenges for EU democracy support in the Middle East and North Africa region”

European Development Days panel on “Democracy support under pressure: Challenges for EU democracy support in the Middle East and North Africa region”

The European Network of Political Foundations together with the European Partnership for Democracy organised an interactive panel during the EDD15 on 4 June 2015. On our panel: Lobna Jeribi, founder and president of Solidar Tunisia and former member of the constituent assembly of Tunisia Sally Sami, executive director of the Egyptian Observatory for Training and Consultation and a founding member of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party Aboubakr Jamai, Dean of the School of Business and International Relations at the Institute for American Universities and journalist from Morocco Ken Godfrey, Executive Director of the European Partnership for Democracy Moderator: Malte Gaier from the Middle East and North Africa Department of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Berlin Key points of the discussion: * situation in Morocco hasn't changed drastically; freedom of press and freedom and speech are still limited *there is a need in Egypt for inclusion of non-violent movement in the political dialog, mostly civil society; Egyptian society needs to find the third way between dictatorship and islamist forces *after the succesful revolution in Tunisia now it's time to push for social reforms so the youth and neglected part of society can be included in development process

Dignity and Justice for All – Post-2015 Global Development Agenda

Dignity and Justice for All – Post-2015 Global Development Agenda

2015 is labeled European Year for Development. It is thus an opportunity to raise awareness for development issues across Europe and also to examine what has been reached and which challenges remain. The year 2015 equally marks the deadline for the first set of Millennium Development Goals while the Post-2015 Global Development Agenda is still under negotiation among the international community. The new framework is supposed to be inclusive and universal and shall address all three aspects of development: economic, social and ecological. The European Parliament is doing a commited job in holding the stake for human rights and democratic values while European development cooperation also puts good governance high on its agenda. The Conclusions of 16 December 2014 of the Council of the European Union state: “The new agenda must be people-centred, based on human rights, and combat discrimination, including gender inequality and gender based violence. It should address the structural causes of poverty, inequality and violence including by strengthening effective inclusive and democratic institutions, good governance and rule of law.” The promotion of democratic institutions, good governance and rule of law is also a core competency of Political Foundations, which are long-standing actors in development cooperation. Sustainable development and poverty eradication require peace and security, and vice-versa, which are especially at risk in fragile states. This debate seeks to cast a look into 2015 and to discuss the role of good governance and rule of law for the Post-2015 Global Development Agenda with representatives from European institutions, from countries of the South and civil society.

ENoP Public Conference "Shaping Perceptions on the European Union: The Role of Political Foundations" in Athens

The low election turnout and the success for some far-right parties in the recent European Parliament elections (May 2014) have underlined the challenge Europe is facing. European public opinion is increasingly skeptical about the very idea of European integration. As a result, parties and movements with an Anti-European agenda are gaining ground. This tendency and the rise of ideologies of intolerance need careful analysis and urgent answers. In this challenging environment, the role of political foundations is critical in raising public awareness of the importance of the European idea as well as in explaining and promoting the concept of the European integration. Political foundations observe, analyse and contribute to the debate on European public policy issues, both at a national and at European level. They also develop common activities, such as organising seminars, training, conferences and studies. In doing this, they combine partnerships to key civil society actors with contacts they maintain with political forces and with national, regional and local authorities. As a result, they have developed the skills and the expertise in order to act as effective promoters of European values and ideals and for operating as key-actors for the functioning of the European integration process. The event co-organized in Athens on 20 October 2014 by the European Network of Political Foundations and the Konstantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy aims at highlighting the role of political foundations in shaping EU perceptions. It will critically examine to what extend the new European political landscape following the elections of May 2014 might affect the European integration process. The idea is to bring together representatives from European political foundations in order to exchange ideas and best practices in responding to the expressed reservations about the European integration process. Moreover, this approach should serve to create the framework for the adoption of a common strategy towards the growing society-based Eurosceptic and anti-European movements. The conference will last from 18hrs until 20hrs and is taking place at the Crown Plaza, 50 Michalakopoulou Ave, 11528 Athens, Room Sokrates.
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ENoP General Assembly 2014 in Athens

On the 21 October 2014, the European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP) will hold its General Assembly in Athens, Greece. The meeting will gather ENoP member foundations from all over Europe. The event will be accompanied by several side events. On 20 October, the WG EU Citizenship will meet during the day. In the evening, a Public Conference, co-organised by the WG and the Konstantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy (KKID) on the topic of “Shaping perceptions on the European Union: The Role of Political Foundations in a changing political environment in Europe” will address a mainly Greek audience. The speakers of the conference will be The speakers of the conference will be Pascal Chelala, Managing Director of TNS Opinion, Rodi Kratsa, President of KKID and former EP Vice President, Andrea E. Ostheimer de Sosa, ENoP Network Coodinator and Thanos Dokos, General Director of Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy. The ENoP General Assembly was organised in Greece with the kind support of KKID in order to assess the second project year and to discuss the sustainable future of the network with its members. After the General Assembly, the WG Enlargement/Neighbourhood initiates a roundtable debate discussing “The Western Balkan´s perspectives for enlargement in the light of the Russia crisis” with a representative of the EU delegation to Greece and former MEP and University Professor Maria Eleni Koppa. ENoP Project director Sabina Wölkner (KAS) and WG EU Citizenship Chair Arnold Kammel (PolAk) will visit the University of Peloponnese in Corinth, where they will hold a presentation on the work of political foundations in front of Greek students from the Department of Political Science and International Relations. On Wednesday 22 October the WG Enlargement/Neighbourhood will get together to discuss the past and future activities of the WG.

ENoP participates in 2014 Policy Forum on Development

ENoP participates in 2014 Policy Forum on Development

The European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP) participated in the second formal meeting of the Policy Forum on Development (PFD) on 1-2 October 2014 in Brussels. ENoP was represented by Sidonie Wetzig, Chair of WG Development and Sebastian Pikl, Institutum Novum, Slovenia. The participants of the forum include actors from Africa, Asia and Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean, of the Neighborhood regions of the EU and of the member states. Moreover, representatives from the European institutions will be present including EC, EP, EEAS, EESC and CoR. The objective of the PFD is to give civil society organizations and local authorities from the EU and from partner countries of the EU a space to engage in a dialogue with European Institutions. Furthermore, the PFD seeks to promote consultation and debate on development initiatives and main policies of the EU. The overarching goal (OR the desired outcome) is to strengthen civil society organizations and local authorities in their ability to help the development of their respective state and population. ENoP has been a member of the PFD since 2008. Currently the agenda of the PFD is featuring discussions on the Post-2015 development agenda, the Global Partnership of Development Effectiveness, urbanisation and the global development agenda as well as the enabling environment for civil society actors (CSOs). ENoP is engaging in the discussions and will bring forward concrete proposals on follow-up activities within the six thematic ENoP working groups.

ENoP participates in the EIDHR Forum 2014

ENoP participates in the EIDHR Forum 2014

“Protecting those who protect” - this was the 2014 motto of the EIDHR forum. Each year the European Commission organizes the spring forum dedicated to the reality of human rights on the ground and the implementation of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). ENoP was represented in this important event through the members of its working group Financial Instruments, Alba Ҫako (chair) and Anne Schley. Around 400 NGOs from all over the world welcomed the opportunity to discuss with EU representatives the support to human rights defenders for the upcoming seven years, the review of the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders ten years after their adoption as well as to exchange information on concrete projects on the ground. ENoP, whose member organizations have been implementing EIDHR co-funded projects for many years, welcomes the efforts of the European Commission to improve the EIDHR funding mechanisms and make them more flexible. Furthermore, the ENoP representatives highlighted the importance of including the topic of democracy into the actions supported by the EIDHR. Human Rights and Democracy go hand in hand with the empowering freedoms such as the freedom of expression, assembly, association, which underpin democracy. Therefore, it is a positive development that this important topic has been included into the objectives of the new EIDHR Regulation. Additionally, the participants agreed that democratic institutions, which address human rights violations, are essential. Civil society can play a crucial role in this regard. The EU Special Representative for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis: “civil society‘s role is not to be nice. It is to bring to the fore alleged human rights violations. Fighting for human rights is not about going around the world to make a point but to make a difference. This is very difficult endeavour and you cannot be doing what you are doing unless you are fundamentally optimistic. The EU will not give up on human rights internally and externally. The inspiration that you – civil society - give us is much needed fuel for our efforts and endeavours for human rights.” ENoP will continue to monitor the further implementation of valuable financial instruments such as EIDHR and contribute to its further development. Alba Ҫako

European democracy support in times of crisis

Andrea Ostheimer, the ENoP coordinator, was one of the panel speakers during a full-day workshop on 21 May,organised by Carnegie Europe and the European Endowment for Democracy EED on 21 May. Egypt and Ukraine were in the focus of the meeting.
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Expert roundtable on Africa-EU Relations in Malta

Hosted by the ENoP member organisation IDEAT the launch of the Policy Paper will take place in Malta on 9 May 2014, The authors of the paper, among them Ms Mwiila Kamwela from the African Union, will gather with politicians and journalists from Malta at the Headquarters of Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM).
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Seminar: Diplomacy and Human Rights in Cuba - Is there a connection?

The EU is contemplating a bilateral agreement with Cuba. Although Cuba has introduced several economic reforms the situation for human rights in the country continues to be dire. What can and should be the involvement of the international society?

The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung KAS in cooperation with the Kristdemokratiskt Internationellt Center KIC and  Centro para la apertura y el desarollo de América Latina CADAL organises this seminar on 19 June 2012, 14.30 – 16.00 in the European Parliament A1E-1

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ENoP comments on EIDHR proposal

ENoP comments on EIDHR proposal

ENoP is following closely the debate regarding the new regulation for the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights. Please find to your attention the ENoP comment stated below.

The points base on the experience of its members and their local partners in applying for and working with funding of the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (2000-2006) and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR; since 2007).

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EIDHR Forum, 7-8 May

EIDHR Forum, 7-8 May

What are the experiences of European and local civil society organizations with the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR)? What are the challenges encountered when impementing EIDHR projects? And what do the legislative proposals for the financing instruments of external action for the new multi-annual framework 2014 - 2020 look like? These were some of the questions discussed in the course of the second edition of the EIDHR Forum. Around 250 representatives from European and local partner civil society organizations as well as representatives from the EU institutions joined the discussion. The ENoP Asbl sent representatives from Brussels based organisations and Deborah Barron, National Director of the Legal Resources Foundation, Zimbabwe.


Conference "Myanmar's Democratic Path and its International Integration", 10 May

The Hanns Seidel Foundation organises on 10 May the converence "Myanmar's Democratic Path and its International Integration"
Key note speech by
Hon. Thura U Shwe Mann
President of the Myanmar Parliament (Pyithu Hluttaw / House of Representatives of Myanmar).
Followed by panel discussion with
Hon. Thura U Shwe Mann
President of the Pyithu Hluttaw/ House of Representatives of Myanmar
Seamus Gillespie
Head of Division South-East Asia, European External Action Service.
The conference will take place from 12:00 until 14:00 at the Representation of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rue Montoyer 47, 1000 Brussels.