On 15th July, Cooperatives Europe was invited to speak at an open dialogue event on the new role of the private sector in development. The event took place within the Informal Meeting of EU Development Ministers organised by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the EU Commission under the Italian Presidency of the EU Commission on 14th and 15th July in Florence, Italy.
On 11th July, the European Youth Event final report was released and handed over to the Member of the European Parliament (MEPs). The European Youth Event (EYE2014) organised by the European Parliament in close cooperation with the European Youth Forum took placed from 9th to 11th May at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
From 24th to 27th June, the regional seminar for Latin America of the Policy Forum in Development took place in Lima, which was organised by the EU Commission (DG DevCo) together with several Latin American civil society organisations (CSOs). The meeting aimed to bring EU development policies, programs and financial mechanisms closer to the civil society actors of the region with open discussions between institutions and CSOs.
On 26th June, the event ‘Decentralized energy systems: Engaging citizens in Europe’s energy future’ took place in Brussels within 2014 EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) organised by the EU Commission. The main message that came through the event was the need for a more supportive and stable legislative framework and a clear and long-term energy and climate strategy at the European and the national levels.
On Sunday 25th, the results of the European Parliament elections were announced. At the same time Cooperatives Europe’s #coopsupporter campaign was completed with more than 40 candidates joining as #coopsupporters from whom 27 were elected by citizens and got a seat in the EU Parliament.
Cooperatives Europe Vice-President Petar Stefanov recently met with Mr. Sergei Stanishev, President of the Party of European Socialists (PES), to present the Cooperative Manifesto for the European elections. Mr. Stefanov expressed his confidence that the representatives of PES in the next European Parliament will be committed to supporting cooperatives in Europe.
On 15th May, ‘Cooperatives in development’ online platform was launched. The new website showcases the international development projects that European cooperative organisations are carrying out all over the world. The online platform allows knowledge exchanges and facilitates the creation of partnerships with cooperatives, other stakeholders and donors.
A new communication on the private sector in development was released by the European Commission on 13th May: “A stronger role of the private sector in achieving inclusive and sustainable growth in developing countries”. The communication, which follows ‘Agenda for Change’ - the main EU political document for development cooperation for the period 2014-2020 - highlights the strategic role of cooperative enterprises in international development.
Although the newly published Commission’s proposal for environmental and energy aid presents a slight improvement from the draft version, it still does not favour local efforts towards decentralised energy production.