A CONCORD – HUB 2 meeting was held between 21-22 March 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria and hosted by the Bulgarian Platform for International Development (BPID).
CONCORD (European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs) is made up of 28 national associations, 21 international networks and 3 associate members. The strategy of the organization has been translated into four working areas (HUBs) and being one of the member organizations, BPID hosted and took part in HUB 2’s meeting. The meeting took place in Sofia, at the same time with the Regional Conference “Development Cooperation in Times of Changing Paradigms”. More than 80 representatives of CSOs from the Black Sea Region and the Western Balkans took part in the conference. Both events were organized under the project “Civil Dialogue for Development”, implemented by BPID, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, funded by the European Commission and related to the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
26 participants from 22 countries, part of the HUB 2 membership (national platforms and networks), took part in the meeting and engaged in the discussion. Together they discussed the implementation of HUB 2’s work plan for 2018 and issues at the core of HUB 2: the ODA modernisation process and AidWatch 2018, the role of the private sector in development with a specific focus on the External Investment Plan, as well as the Financing for Development process in a wider sense. The meeting also explored the links between HUB 2 work and the next EU budget.
Strategic objectives for HUB 2 in 2018
The participants discussed the strategic objectives for HUB 2 in 2018. CONCORD’s ambition is to make sure that European development cooperation is framed around the priorities of partner countries and communities. In 2018, HUB 2 will continue to promote development cooperation, sustainable development and poverty eradication in particular. Hub 2 will work with other CONCORD structures and the national platforms to safeguard the mission and the effectiveness of EU development policies. The reorientation of development policies is taking place in many ways and at different levels. Hub 2 will focus on supporting country level advocacy around the role of the private sector in development in line with the effectiveness agenda.
The European External Investment Plan (EIP) was pointed out as a clear example of the challenges CONCORD needs to follow closely and actively respond to. The EIP process continues to raise serious concerns about transparency and accountability. With such concerns in mind, Hub 2 will also keep investing in the full implementation of the effectiveness agenda at the global level by working with and developing more solid relationships with international partners, such as the OECD DAC.
The participants expressed their support for the Bulgarian Platform for International Development and encouraged the organization to continue to contribute to safeguarding the mission and the effectiveness of the EU development policies in and outside of the CONCORD network, as well as continue with the good partnership with the rest of the CONCORD member platforms by developing the bilateral relations between them.