What’s in the pipeline for the next 3 months?
Another busy trimester at PLATFORMA secretariat and in the network! An even if the Covid-19 epidemic will impact our activities in the next months, no doubt that the agenda remains loaded. Here is an overview:
As off the beginning of March, our activities were impacted by the Coronavirus with the cancellation by the United Nations of the activities organised around the 64th UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW64), which was scheduled to take place in New York from 9-20 March. CEMR, PLATFORMA and SALAR planned a number of events and activities. CSW64 was scaled back to a one-day procedural meeting where only the permanent UN-representations in New York could participate: there, a Political declaration commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, was adopted.
The meeting of the European Committee of the Regions in order to prepare the EU-Eastern Partnership summit was postponed, as well as the Policy Forum on Development (PFD) in Brussels, organised by DG DEVCO and the members of the Task Team we are part of.
However, PLATFORMA was represented in Berlin for the Steering Committee Meeting of the MobiliseYourCity Partnership. We also took part in the peer review exercise organised by our partner NALAS in Brussels in order to reinforce capacities of the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG).
Our partner VNG International also organised a meeting with Dutch municipalities around decentralised cooperation and the SDGs.
We are also actively working on the first selection of candidate-projects for the 2nd edition of the PLATFORMAwards. We have received 26 applications, representing a total of 74 local and regional governments from 11 EU Member States and 39 partner countries. Our jury will meet on 27 March to decide on the three top projects, before a ceremony to be held on Monday 8 June in Brussels (instead of 6-8 March in Innsbruck at CEMR Congress which was postponed to 2021).
A new coordinating seminar on decentralised reforms in Moldova this time, with NALAS, is also planned. French and Moldovan mayors intend to meet and exchange on the future of the Eastern partnership, sustainable development at the heart of local public action and integration of young people and their mobility by AFCCRE.
In the framework our bi-annual steering committee, debates will follow up online on our future strategy. We will also exchange on the EU-African Union strategy, equality between women and men, and the future EU-EaP summit.
With UCLG, we are further building up a joint training module on the link between SDGs and decentralized cooperation.
Finally, we launched two surveys: one with UCLG on the role of local and regional governments in the localisation of the SDGs, as a contribution to the upcoming UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July; the second one on local and regional governments’ actions in terms of awareness raising and development education.
What happened over the past three months?
- We took part at COP 25 in Madrid along with FEMP (here and there), where our delegation of local and regional elected officials met representatives of DG CLIMA and DG DEVCO
- A delegation of Ukrainian mayors was in France, together with representatives of their national association (AUC), as well as from the Georgian (NALAG), Moldovan (CALM) and South Est Europe associations (NALAS) – meeting organised by AFCCRE on the future of the Eastern Partnership, but also waste management
- We had a meeting with a member of the Cabinet of Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen
- An EU-Morocco dialogue was organised by our partner FAMSI, with SDG5 and gender equality as the main topics for discussion
- Our Swedish partner SALAR organised a workshop on international cooperation with a particular focus on Eastern partnership countries – especially Ukraine –, but also strategic development and peer learning to reinforce local democracy, with representatives of Ghanzi in Botswana and Budesti in Moldova
- The Basque Country organised a conference on European Decentralised Development Cooperation with all regional funds participating, in order to reflect on existing practices and innovate with partners in Latin America and Africa in particular
- AFCCRE also organised in our premises a training on the European Commission new call for proposals on “Partnerships for sustainable cities”
- We met with our partners on our future long-term strategy and had exchanges around our 5 main working thematicv:
- The Eastern partnership ahead of the EU-Eastern Partnership Summit, in order to formulate Member States’ recommendations
- Mobilizing and coordinating the advocacy activities of our national associations of local and regional governments
- the southern neighbourhood and the possible coordination in Morocco and in Palestine of the various players of decentralised cooperation
- Development education and raising citizens’ awareness on the international action of local authorities, in order to make the link with the 2020 edition of the European Days of Local Solidarity (EDLS) which will be held from 14 to 29 November 2020 all around Europe and to which a maximum of European towns and regions are invited to participate
- A training with our lead partner – CEMR – in Georgia around the European Charter for equality between women and men in local life, back to back with a coordination seminar with our partner NALAS on the decentralisation reform in Georgia and a methodology for taking part in the national dialogue on the Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that EU Eastern Neighbourhood countries will report to the United Nations this year
- We also took part with our Basque partners and the Province of Barcelona, as well as CONCORD or the Fair Trade Advocacy Office, to the discussions on the European Commission’s multi-stakeholder platform on development education and awareness raising, and its future in the next programming period
- In view of the EU-Africa strategy, local authorities, civil society, trade unions and cooperatives were invited to a breakfast with the Commissioner in charge of international partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen. Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary-General of UCLG Africa, represented local and regional governments on this occasion
- Many local elected leaders also took part to World Urban Forum, in cooperation with UCLG and the Global Taskforce
- And finally, an improved website!