The Basque Government leads reflection on future European cooperation for development, defending the role of local and regional authorities
The initiative has been set in motion in collaboration with various European and international partners and includes the participation of Garapen - the Basque Association of Development Agencies
In collaboration with the ART PNUD initiative, the Basque Government's General Secretary for Overseas Action and the Basque Delegation to the EU held one of the first debates on decentralised cooperation and aid efficacy, following the presentation of the European Commission's "Agenda for Change" and the Global Forum on Aid Effectiveness celebrated at the end of November in Busan.
The conference was held jointly with the various European and international partners, with the objective of enriching European debate and consolidating a network of partners in Brussels with shared interests in terms of cooperation, development and sustainability.
The Basque Government's General Secretary for Overseas Action, Guillermo Echenique, along with the Basque Delegate to the European Union, Marta Marín, and the representatives of the United Nations Program in both Brussels and Geneva, European institutions, European regions and Basque bodies, such as Garapen, defended the role of local and regional authorities and called for new alliances to achieve more effective cooperation and make advances in the new focus on decentralised cooperation.
Before the European institutions and regions, the Basque executive, in close collaboration with the United Nations, stressed the need for decentralised and multilateral cooperation, grounded on greater repercussion, action effectiveness and joint responsibility.
This new approach to cooperation is the result of the participation of multilateral partners, strengthening the role of regions and cities and promoting exchange between authorities and social agents in the northern and southern hemispheres.
The large number of attendees, made up of the representatives of European regions and diplomatic missions, were afforded the opportunity of acquiring first-hand knowledge of specific actions and initiatives that are of interest within the sphere of development cooperation and of becoming better acquainted with actions and initiatives within the United Nations Development Program, particularly via its ART-PNUD initiative.
The conference conclusions were gathered together in a decalogue that was forwarded to those who had attended and the intervening institutions.
The path of the Basque executive
A few years ago, reflection was initiated by the European institutions, with the participation and contribution of the Basque Government in the various open European forums and public referendums, wherein the Basque executive has defended decentralised cooperation and new alliances to fulfil the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the objectives of international agenda.
The EU presented the "Agenda for Change" in the middle of October, wherein it defends multilateral cooperation and alliances to meet the MDG's and improve the effectiveness of development cooperation activities.