GermanyGermany thirteenth EU Council Presidency runs from July to December 2020.
On 1 July 2020, Germany assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) for a period of six months. In preparation for the EU Council Presidency, the German Government had announced its intention to develop Europe further as a force for solidarity, assuming responsibility for peace and security in the world. In this context, deepening the partnership between Africa and Europe was identified as a key element.
However, a deeper partnership has to be more than a process between governments. It must be built on human relationships and enable dialogue and participation. It should focus on the well-being of people.
For this reason, VENRO invited around 70 organisations from African, European and German civil society to discuss the conditions for the partnership between Africa and Europe as part of its Digital Africa Forum in May 2020. The results of the consultations were summarised in a policy paper that was presented to the German Government and the general public just before the start of the German Presidency.
Globally, the unprecedented corona pandemic has increased public awareness of the structural weaknesses of health care and social welfare systems and the vulnerability of socially and otherwise disadvantaged people. The policy paper therefore calls on the German Government to focus on the following six priorities: global health; participation of all generations; global climate justice; peaceful societies; fair economic and trade relations; and fair digitalisation. In all of these areas, cross-cutting issues such as gender equality and the safeguarding of human rights are of key importance.
VENRO is the umbrella organisation of development and humanitarian NGOs in Germany. The association was founded in 1995 and consists of around 140 organisations. Their backgrounds lie in independent and church-related development co-operation, humanitarian aid as well as development education, public relations and advocacy. VENRO’s central goal is to build a just globalisation, with a special emphasis on eradicating global poverty. The members of the organisation are committed to implementing human rights and conserving natural resources.
VENRO represents the interests of development and humanitarian aid NGOs vis-à-vis the German Government; strengthens the role of NGOs and civil society in development co-operation and humanitarian aid; engages in advocacy for the interests of developing countries and poorer segments of society; and sharpens public awareness of development co-operation and humanitarian issues in general..
In their guest commentary Zigwai Tagwai from Nigeria (left) and Merryl Omondi from Kenya (right) explain why young people in Africa are frustrated by their exclusion from and exploitation in political processes. They call on society and particularly on decision-makers...
The conference "Civil Society Driving Change: Towards a New Quality of the Africa-Europe Partnership" takes place in Berlin and online on 16 October from 10:00am to 6:00pm. The livestream signal starts at 09:55am and runs the whole day. Check out the conference...
In an opinion piece ahead of the Africa-Europe Civil Society Conference on 16 October, the VENRO Chairman Bernd Bornhorst explains why it is high time to involve African and European civil society in an inclusive and open political process between the two continents....