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On the menu of the last thematic groups’ meeting

1 junio 2016

The EU-ACP relation, the revision of MFF & the Territorial Approach to Local Development on the table of the last thematic groups’ meeting
PLATFORMA thematic groups met on 13-14 June in Brussels. The aim of these meetings is to involve members in the policy work, build stronger advocacy and facilitate understanding of EU policies. Three timely issues were addressed by PLATFORMA members and EU institutions representatives during the thematic group “EU Policies and Programmes”.
Marie Chantal Uwitonze, parliamentary assistant of Louis Michel MEP (ALDE, Belgium), came to present the report on the Future of EU-Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Relation and to listen to the messages of local and regional governments. She stressed that the liberal shadow Rapporteur and vice-president of the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly is a key defender of the involvement of local authorities and the decentralisation of policies and instruments. The Parliament draft report that was released few days before the meeting also mentioned the role of local and regional governments in development cooperation, while acknowledging that the current Cotonou partnership agreement failed to properly involve them.
The debate was followed by a presentation by Lars Jorgen Magnusson – DG Budget, external actions – on the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) Review. Heading IV (6% of EU MFF2014-2020) is covering all international aspects, among which the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) and the European Development Fund (EDF). Mr Magnusson explained that considering the global context, political support to increase budget for Heading IV is expected.
The third issue was the Territorial Approach to Local Development (TALD), presented by Jorge Rodriguez Bilbao (DG DEVCO, Unit B2 – Civil Society and Local Authorities). He explained the key driving principles of the TALD methodology: territory-based approach to development, involvement of all territorial stakeholder and empowerment of people through their own local governments. The presentation was followed by a discussion on the role of European local and regional governments and of decentralised cooperation in this framework.
PLATFORMA members also participated to the thematic groups “Fragile States” (including discussions on UCLG Task Force on Disaster Response, Post World Humanitarian Summit and the Global Alliance for Urban Crises, and the EU emergency Trust Fund for Africa) and “Post-2015” (including discussions on the Climate Chance Summit, Habitat III and the SDG roadmap). Finally, they exchanged views on the future of these thematic groups, as this was the last meeting of this kind under the so-called “project 4”. Changing the format, defining topical transversal priorities or having video conference meetings were the main ideas suggested.