Friday, November 21, 2008

Coming soon: the 2009 Czech presidency

Source: Concord Flash, nr. 55, October 2008

The Czech government’s main motto for its EU Presidency is “Europe without Barriers” – a reference to competitiveness, the four freedoms and liberal trade policy. Other priorities include sustainable and safe energy, the revision of the EU budget and the Common agricultural Policy, transatlantic relations, enlargement to include the Balkans and Eastern Europe, and progress in the areas of freedom, justice and security.

Development cooperation is not a key priority. But the 18-month programme drafted with the French and Swedish governments does call for work between now and the end of 2009 on: EU development policies and coherence, in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015; aid effectiveness, by implementing the Paris Declaration by the end of 2010; and negotiating and implementing Economic Partnership Agreements in Africa. It also calls for the following processes to be driven forward: enlargement and the Union for the Mediterranean; the implementation of a Common European Asylum System by 2010; the development of a comprehensive EU migration policy and the recognition of the positive link between migration and development; and, finally, ensuring that development aid takes the impact of climate change into account.

FoRS, the Czech national platform of development NGOs, is also planning lots of activities. The main focus of its presidency programme will be the effectiveness of Civil Society Organisationss (CSOs) and promoting them to the public and to political stakeholders. FoRS will therefore contribute to the global CSO Development Effectiveness process established as by CSOs a self-driven process in parallel with the Paris Declaration.

Other priorities for the programme are: good governance; development effectiveness; development education; sustainable technologies for sustainable development; migration and development; agriculture and food security. A symposium, seminar, international conference and experts meetings will be organised to reflect on these themes.

For further information contact Zuzana Sládková, Policy Officer - FoRS

See also Euforic's newsfeeds on Czech development cooperation, the EU presidency, and on Concord