Promising meeting with Commissioner Urpilainen’s cabinet
Mid-January, our team met Commissioner Urpilainen’s cabinet member Renaud Savignat. The discussions reinforced our first feelings that the priorities of the new Commissioner for International partnerships are fully in line with PLATFORMA’s work. We defended the role of local and regional governments and their associations, making sure their role would be fully recognised in all these policies.
A New Strategy for Africa
A new Communication on the EU-Africa relations should be published on 10 March 2020. The scope would be broad but it would be used to lead the consultation on the European side, leading to the approval of a declaration during the AU-EU Summit this Autumn. The African Union should engage on a similar process ahead of this key summit. The EU Green Deal and Digitalisation would find a central place in this future-oriented strategy.
The Cabinet of Commissioner Urpilainen and DG DEVCO are already planning to organise a round table with stakeholders (Local Authorities, Civil Society Organisations, Trade Unions). The Cabinet understands the need to include local and regional governments in this Summit.
Moreover, the Post-Cotonou agreement should be part of the upcoming AU-EU Summit. We have expressed our concerns about the lack of consultations organized with Local authorities.
> Read our study Local and regional government and the ACP-EU partnership agreement
Next interinstitutional negotiations on the future financial instrument
Jutta Urpilainen will attend the next “trilogue” meeting (20 February) on the NDICI and validate the technical decisions taken so far in the previous Interinstitutional negotiations. It seems that the European Commission is also working on a “Plan B” to avoid any disruption of the work of the institution in case an agreement is not reached before the end of 2020.
The last “trilogue” to negotiate the final version of the NDICI (MFF 2021-2027) took place 5 December in Brussels. Unfortunately, the amendment to re-establish the thematic budget line for local authorities, which is a proposal from the European Parliament, has been rejected. Yet the European Parliament and the Council did not reach a common agreement, leaving the possibility to the European Commission to put forward a new proposal.
The 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are of course on the agenda of the Commissioner. We made sure
Women & youth as long term priorities
Finally, Mr Savignat insisited on the Commissioner’s dedication to mainstreaming gender equality in international and development policies. He also emphasised youth issues as a long term priority for her.
Read PLATFORMA publication with AFCCRE Promoting gender equality: towards a gender-based approach in decentralised cooperation projects
(Picture: © European Union 2019 – Source: EP)