On 4th and 5th of February, in Belgrade, the Western Balkan CSOs Global Development Partner and Strategy Meeting took place. The two-day annual partner strategy meeting brought together CSO representatives of each partner country to be involved in this new project. Local coordinators and representatives of all project partner organisations, including BCSDN and some of its members, met in order to refine the strategy for implementation of the project, as well as to exchange information and enhance knowledge on relevant topics related to development cooperation and CSO platform building. The meeting also allowed participants to get acquainted more closely to the Sustainable Development Goals and the possibility for CSOs across the globe to get involved in the Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Introduction of the topic of development cooperation in the EU negotiation process was also discussed and the need of civil society to get more closely involved in the Chapter 30 in the negotiations in their respective countries. In the area of humanitarian aid and development policy, Member States need to comply with EU legislation and international commitments and ensure the capacity to participate in the EU’s development and humanitarian policies. Applicant countries are required to progressively align its policies towards third countries and its positions within international organisations with the policies and positions adopted by the Union and its Member States.
Project partners from BCSDN members participated on the meeting, including Civic Initiatives (Serbia), MCIC (Macedonia) and CRNVO (Montenegro). BCSDN’s member IDM (Albania) is also a partner in this project, in which BCSDN will serve as a regional coordinator. The partners from EU countries involved in the project also attended the meeting: SLOGA from Slovenia, Pontis Foundation from Slovakia, COROSOL from Croatia and Horizont 3000 from Austria – the coordinator of the project. Other CSOs from Serbia also attended the meeting: Peoples Parliament, European Movement, Caritas Serbia, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia and YIHR.
The project objectives are: to strengthen Western Balkans’ civil society and its involvement in efforts towards global poverty eradication and global justice, and to mobilize and support CSOs to work together to raise public awareness in EU candidate countries of the need for education and engagement in the international development agenda.