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Development cooperation - 29.03.2011
The future of local and regional authorities and development cooperation
'You can trust me that local and regional authorities will be well represented in the European Commission communication on development cooperation due out this autumn," announced European commissioner for development, Andris Piebalgs,.at the occasion of PLATFORMA's event 'Two years of European action" held on 29 March 2011 in Brussels.
Indeed, the European Commission is to present a communication on the future orientations of the European development policy following the green paper published in January 2011, which currently does not refer to municipalities and regions.
'We wish to continue cooperating with the European Commission so as to ensure the full visibility and recognition of local and regional authorities in development cooperation. We are conscious that municipalities and regions, while increasingly important actors, are new to this field at the European level in comparison to NGOs. Thus, while NGOs and local and regional authorities have different roles, they are more than able to work together and create synergies in order to make a true impact on the ground." - Wolfgang Schuster, President of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), Mayor of Stuttgart, President of CEMR's German section
Funding for local and regional development policies
'The Commission should consider doing an overall assessment of European aid allocated to local governance, whether it be budgetary, sectoral, thematic, project-based or direct funding. This would also allow for the identification of risks and opportunities related to decentralising budget support. The European Commission mechanism for calls for projects must also be better adapted to local and regional specificities." - Pierre Schapira, Deputy-Mayor of Paris in charge of international cooperation
'It is upon taking stock of the needs of local authorities and their citizens that the distribution of competences between the different levels of governance does not seem so difficult; the difficulty is rather related to funding. I believe that it is the state's responsibility to provide subsidies or funding as it is the institution closest to the municipality. The European Commission, on the other hand, should concentrate on coordinating member state development policies." - Charles Goerens, member of the European Parliament and of its Development Committee
North-South knowledge transfer
'In my experience, development cooperation is a mutual experience. Indeed, my mission as a politician is to rob the world of its good ideas and bring them home." - Dave Wilcox, Derbyshire County Council, Chairman of the European and International Programme board, Local Government Association of England and Wales
'Development policy is about knowledge transfer and not just about money transfer. As Europeans, we have learned from our history and past mistakes and must share in this regard." - Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for development
'I believe it is essential that, beyond political recognition on behalf of the European institutions, a true partnership be established between local and regional authorities as represented by the European network PLATFORMA and the EU institutions." - Carles Llorens i Vila, Director General for development cooperation, Government of Catalonia, President of the CPMR working group on external cooperation
PLATFORMA, the European platform of local and regional authorities for development, also released its publication 'Decentralised Development Cooperation - European Perspectives" at a reception held on 28 March 2011 in Brussels. The publication showcases a number of actions led by European local and regional governments in partnership with their counterparts, and will allow the reader to better comprehend the diversity and quality of the projects undertaken.
Pierre Vander Auwera
Tel. : + 32 2 500 05 41
Skype : pierre_vda