In February 2023, 13 members of CONCORD Sweden travelled to Brussels to learn more about EU processes and meet with decision makers and civil society.
We are a small committee but have gained more and more political power. Traditionally, we have worked with poverty alleviation, Agenda 2030, and the 0,7 percent of GNI target for official development assistance. More recently, other issues have entered: human rights, climate, migration.Said Tomas Tobé of the DEVE Committee
With Tobé, the group also discussed the importance of involving local civil society in the implementation of EU:s international development cooperation. Tobé said that he had introduced that DEVE always meets with civil society when they travel on missions abroad, and encouraged the group to follow up on this promise. Tobé also received a copy of “Give Space. A guide for the safe and meaningful inclusion of local civil society”, that CONCORD Sweden’s working group on civil society wrote in 2022.
The study trip was part of the EU presidency programme run by CONCORD Sweden during the Swedish presidency of the European Union, with the aim of strengthening CONCORD Sweden members’ capacity to advocate for sustainable development on the EU level. The two days in Brussels were packed with meetings. The 13 members, and three colleagues from the CONCORD Sweden secretariat, met with a number of institutions and civil society organisations.
- At CONCORD Europe, we met with Celia Cranfield, head of advocacy, and policy advisors Riccardo Roba, Louise Marty and Salvatore Nocerino Telleria.
- At Climate Action Network, CAN Europe, we met Rachel Simon, Climate & Development Policy Coordinator.
- At Act Alliance Europe, we met policy officers Karine Sohet, Ruth Watson and Rebecca Venuto.
- At the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office, EPLO we met Ben Moore and Katja Niemi.
- At the European Parliament, we met MEP:s Tomas Tobé, EPP, chair of DEVE committee and Evin Incir, S&D.
- At DG INTPA, International Partnerships, we met with representative from three departments: Virginia Manzitti, Brigitte Luggin and Susanna Nystrom from G1 (Gender, human rights and democracy), Maja Edfast from G2 (Local Authorities, Civil Society Organisations and Foundations), and Mads Hove from D1 (Effective development policy and Team Europe)
- At European External Action Service, EEAS, we met with a team from the department for Financing Instruments and International Cooperation: Michele Cervone, Natividad Lorenzo, Luigi Fiora, Emelie Nilsson, Raphael Warolin and Peter Frisch.