In January 2012 the Center for Economic Development, Sofia and its partners (including SFPA, Bratislava/Prešov) started a project, supported by the European Commission. The name of the project is Update of the current status of implementation of international/bilateral trade regimes with ODA recipients and the current role of civil society and private sectors as development actors in the new EU Member states.
The project overall objective is to build transnational alliances between new EU Member states so as to capitalize and disseminate their best network and advocacy practices on the occasion of the existent international trade systems with ODA recipients and the role of private and civil society sectors as development actors. The specific objectives of the project are as follows:
The partners under the project are 9 NGOs: Center for Economic Development (Bulgaria) http://www.ced.bg/; Center for Policy Studies at the Central European University (Hungary) http://cps.ceu.hu/;Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS (Latvia) http://www.providus.lv/public/index_en.html; Institute of Public Affairs (Poland) http://www.isp.org.pl/; Institute for Public Policy (Romania) http://www.isp.org.pl/; SLOGA Slovenian NGDO platform (Slovenia) http://www.sloga-platform.org/; Slovak Foreign Policy Association (Slovakia) http://www.isp.org.pl/ ; PRAXIS Center for Policy Studies ( Estonia) http://www.praxis.ee/PASOS (Czech Republic) http://pasos.org/
The other stakeholders will be National Ministries of foreign affairs/development, EU DG Development and EP Committee on Development, experts on international trade, business associations, private companies, civil society actors.
The MDGs are the world’s targets for dramatically reducing extreme poverty in its many dimensions by 2015 - income poverty, hunger, disease, exclusion, lack of infrastructure and shelter - while promoting gender equality, education, health, and environmental sustainability. Without basic infrastructure and human capital, countries are condemned to export a narrow range of low-margin primary commodities based on natural endowments, rather than a diversified set of exports based on technology, skills, and capital investments.
Trade for Development
MDG 8 sets for development of global partnership for development. More specifically the project will focus on the 8a, namely to develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system (includes a commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction – both nationally and internationally). For trade to contribute to poverty reduction, several elements need to work together in synergy: better national development strategies that integrate trade as a key component; increased and effective international financial and technical assistance for developing production and trade capacities; and a more enabling international trade environment. Improvements in the international trade regime will have an impact on poverty only if countries have sound policies and receive the necessary assistance to build the productive capacity to take advantage of new opportunities.
Private and civil society sector
The Accra Agenda for Action (September 2-4, 2008), articles 13 says that “we will broaden country level policy dialogue on development” and “will also engage with civil society organizations”. It also refers in article 16 the “aid is about building partnerships for development. Such partnerships are most effective when they fully harness the energy, skills and experience of all development actors – bilateral and multilateral donors, global funds, CSOs and the private sector.” Accordingly the project is based on the understanding that in order to achieve the Goals, governments must work actively with all constituencies, particularly civil society organizations and the private sector. Civil society organizations can help design national strategies, deliver services, defend human rights, and supervise government in the fight against corruption and misrule. And the private sector is, plainly, the place for job creation and long-term income growth. Sound economic policies involve a rational balance of responsibilities between the private sector and the public sector to secure sustained and widespread economic progress.
New Member States (NMS)
The 10 NMS have upon accession to the European Union (EU) made a commitment to contribute to the EU Development Co-operation Policy (EDCP), and in particular to meet specific targets of official development assistance (ODA) as a percentage of gross national income (GNI). They have also pledged to work towards the fulfilment of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The emphasis on the transfer of transition experience to other post-communist countries, especially on the EU's eastern and south-eastern borders, is expected to continue, especially in bilateral development co-operation, not least because of the comparative advantage of the NMS through the experience of transition to democracy and a market economy. The NMS tend towards development co-operation with countries with which they have either geographical or historical ties, combined with deploying comparative advantages, such as transition know-how, or limiting co-operation to a narrow range of sectors. The project approaches are based on the needs and potential of the applicant, its network partners based in the new EU member states and also other related to development national and EU stakeholders to run more effective and structured dialogue on the current status of implementation of MDGs, Accra Agenda for Action and Busan Declaration just 5 years prior the agreed end period of their fulfilment.
The expected results of the project are focused on:
The activities under the project include: 3 methodological workshops in Sofia; 9 policy researches (international trade), 18 policy briefs (private and civil society sectors) through focus groups and individual interviews; 27 national task forces; one international advocacy event; publication and distribution of three publications with all research findings, conclusions and recommendations; Web based updates, 18 public events.
The duration of the Project is 18 months.
Update of the current status of implementation of international/bilateral trade regimes with ODA recipients and the current role of civil society and private sectors as development actors in the new EU Member states
This project is funded by the European Union