FIIAPP leads a working group to promote participation by public experts from member states in EU cooperation programmes
The European Commission has long promoted joint working between the different cooperation agencies of the Member States as the basis for more effective work. This is how the Practitioners’ Network was born in 2007, its a network of leading European agencies and the Commission itself, whose aim is to exchange good practices and contribute to the design and implementation of sustainable development policies.
In the current context, in which the European political authorities want to encourage greater involvement by experts and public sector institutions in cooperation programmes, FIIAPP is leading a working group with this objective. A workshop has been held in Brussels involving members of this network to discuss new initiatives for public cooperation that the EU is currently designing.
The heads of DG DEVCO (Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation), DG NEAR (Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations), DG REGIO (Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy) and the main European cooperation agencies are working specifically on the possibility of exporting the Twinning model to countries beyond those covered by the EU’s neighbourhood and enlargement policy. This would promote cooperation between the public administrations from within the member states and partner countries. This type of peer-to-peer cooperation for knowledge sharing has been proven to be effective, efficient and sustainable.
It is the methodology that FIIAPP uses in the majority of its programmes, such as EUROsociAL+, EL PAcCTO and COPOLAD. Interventions based on shared agendas and common interests, where the supported reforms are demanded by the countries involved. The result of these actions goes beyond learning between administrations and it has a direct impact on society, which ultimately benefits from the resulting new or revised public policies.
The meeting also served to address the need for a renewed cooperation strategy with middle-income countries and the more advanced developing countries. The Latin America and Caribbean region is, thus, a priority in the EU’s foreign policy strategy.
Finally, the idea of involving other European Commission Directorates-General that may be able to provide a more technical perspective on the different EU policies during the implementation of the cooperation programmes has been tabled. At the end of the day, the EU’s added value lies both in its diversity and in its shared interests. It is these qualities that open up a range of possibilities for the participation of the member states’ participation in cooperation projects.