The directors of the 15 European cooperation agencies celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Practitioners’ Network as part of the agenda of the Annual Meeting.
The Practitioners’ Network is a platform of European cooperation agencies created to strengthen collaborative work and complementarity. The exchange of information and experience between these agencies is aimed at providing feedback on European international cooperation and development policies.
The platform is expanding, and new institutions are expected to join in the coming months. It is currently comprised of 15 agencies from 13 member states: ADA (AT), AECID (ES), AfD (FR), AICS (IT), British Council (UK), BTC (BE), Camões (PT), The Czech Development Agency (CZ), Expertise France (FR), FIIAPP (ES), GIZ (DE), LuxDev (LU), SIDA (SE), Slovak Aid (SK) and SNV (NL), in addition to the European Commission, which participates as an observer institution.
The top officials of the agencies, along with the director-general of the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), Stefano Manservisi, met in London to discuss the upcoming implementation of the new European Consensus on Development.
The new European Consensus on Development, which will be presented in the coming weeks, is the strategic document intended to guide the implementation of the cooperation policy of the EU and of its member states.
The most important challenge on the current European cooperation horizon, with respect to implementation of the SDGs and the 2030 agenda, is the need to make delegated cooperation a more strategic instrument—based on analysis, identification, design and joint assessments, taking advantage of the benefits of a coherent and competitive division of labour between the different European cooperation agencies. That means, for example, the inclusion in the implementation of member states with fewer cooperation resources but important experiences to share, review of how the current geographic fiduciary and emergency funds work, and the possibility of creating thematic fiduciary funds.
During the meeting, the importance of increasing the mobilisation of public-sector experts was highlighted. In this context, FIIAPP is serving as a benchmark for other European agencies in terms of centralised management of the participation of public administrations in international cooperation projects. Likewise the peer-to-peer learning model used by FIIAPP in its programmes to accompany public policy reform is very successful and is being replicated in other programmes.
This General Assembly took the opportunity to include public technical cooperation among the working priorities of the network of agencies. This is an approach the European Commission is particularly interested in and an area where FIIAPP is well-positioned. This new field of work joins existing ones we are going to continue working on, such as the joint implementation in the application of the new European Consensus on Development, crisis and migration, as well as participation by the private sector to leverage resources.