TRIALOG Study Visit for Croatian NGOs

Learning about European Development Cooperation Policies and Actors for the Youngest EU Member State

In September 2013, TRIALOG invited a group of Croatian NGO representatives to Brussels for a three-day study visit in order to learn more about European development policies and the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) and different EU institutions in the development policy-making.

The study visit was very timely as the Croatian NGOs are currently in the process of developing a network and setting up a platform of CSOs interested in international development cooperation. This process is led by the Center for Peace Studies. One of the aims of such a platform would also be to engage and influence in European development policies.

During the study visit the participants received trainings and met with numerous EU officials. In the beginning of the study visit CONCORD director Olivier Consolo welcomed the participants to Brussels and discussed his views toward the changing nature of the international development cooperation sector. During the study visit many CONCORD policy officers gave insight into the content and methods of various CONCORD working groups, such as AidWatch and Financing for Development. EU Funding opportunities for development NGOs and the concept of policy coherence for development (PCD) were introduced to the participants.

The Study group met with officials from different institutions namely form the European Parliament, European Commission, Council of the European Union and also the European External Action Service. In the European Commission, the group met with representatives of the Non-State Actors and Local Authorities Unit as well as the representatives of the Unit for Governance, Democracy, Gender and Human Rights and the Unit for Development Effectiveness.

The meetings in the European Parliament with Croatian MEPs Mr. Davor Ivo Stier and Mr. Nikola Vuljanić focused on the MEP’s activities concerning European neighbourhood policies and human rights. The representatives of the European Parliament Development Committee secretariat gave a close insight into the functioning and working methods of the Committee.

In the end of the study visit the participants planned their follow-up actions in Croatia, both within their organisations and jointly within the Croatian network of NGOs interested in international development cooperation.

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Information provided by TRIALOG