Summaries of the debates on the forum


PHASE 3 : 8 September to 3 November 2000: Current management of the forum: ECDPM
Discussions on the external aid reform of the European Union: (Definition of cooperation policies and priorities, coherence among donors, Decentralisation of aid management)

Summary III - 7 - (23-27 Oct. 00) RTF File (RTF - 17ko)

There is a need to reconcile stated political objectives and reality of bureaucratic management. The reform should start with a clear political vision in order to respond to deeply embedded problems, which, if not addressed, will continue to undermine the whole reform process. The disconnect between governance and politics has never been sustainable. Member States have a fundamental choice: either re-nationalise the management of EC aid or support fully EC aid reform. The EuropeAid should not weaken the control by Member States of the institution, as the EDF continues to be funded by national budgets. A reorganisation of cooperation structures is needed in order to achieve a real participation of recipients. Deconcentration can only succeed if the Delegations are prepared to accept new tasks and have adapted, well-equipped staff. An effective coordination between the Commission and Member States is often hindered by strict procedures, making co-financing impossible due to the EC's inability to meet with deadlines for commitments. Projects that do not use cooperation between local and EU experts simply fail because of lack of understanding of local conditions and culture. The Commission remains 'an incomprehensible machine' for many Southern partners. Consequently, the debates have been focused on 'the internal kitchen of Europe', which could be of interest to Southern partners if they were properly informed about it. The forum should focus on expanding debates to local people with no Internet access through 'local relays' to inform, sensitize and help bridge the gap between the majority of cooperation actors and the elaboration of strategies. EC officials should reconsider their transcendent position of 'master' to become real actors of cooperation among other local actors, and to make more public the definition of strategies of cooperation.

Summary III - 6 - (16-20 Oct.) RTF File (RTF - 16ko)

Some participants are concerned over a drift in the EC reform process, which puts in parallel a rhetoric on objectives and a reform of management tools, which are without relationship to the said objectives. The current initiatives seem to rest too much on administrative and technical reforms, with insufficient recognition of the politics involved. The main tension that an aid administrator faces is that between rapidity and quality. In the current system, aid administrators are rewarded on the basis of sums of money committed and disbursed instead of quality of cooperation. EU development aid must be inserted to an overall vision of the EU's economic, trade and foreign policy relations with partner countries and regions involved. The EC should limit itself to 'professions' it knows the best, namely structural adjustment, infrastructure and development. Decentralization of cooperation and harmonization of procedures could improve complementarity of donor approaches and reduce the gap between the general objectives drawn up in Brussels and the operational implementation of programmes. Few participants so far have discussed the views presented by other participants on the forum.

Summary III - 5 - (9-13 Oct.) RTF File (RTF - 14ko)

There is a critical gap between grand ambitions of EU strategies and their effective implementation. General strategic documents offer only little relief and operational guidance to people in the field. EC could fundamentally change its policy formulation by managing the whole process in a more decentralized and participatory way.
It is suggested that EC should establish all its developing policy under a sole service, in charge of all geographic regions and whole cooperation cycle, under the responsibility of the Development Commissioner. On the other hand, the role of DG Development is set to change, by moving away from its old role, perceived by some as 'DG ACP', in order to truly become the DG promoting development. DG Development should also be given the capacity to represent the interests of partner countries, their governments and peoples. The structure of EuropeAid could be organized along the 'production line concept', with each department being responsible for the whole project processing cycle of a particular set of projects on a sectoral or geographic basis.
Participants point out the key role of programming exercice in the development of strategic considerations. The exercise could be more realistic if it would take into account the insertion of aid policy to political and trade orientations of the EU; and be more pragmatic and accept to limit EC contributions to the fields in which it has comparative advantage.
The flow of information in the field should not only go 'one way' from the EC to Member States. A strong leadership by the partner country is essential for truly effective coordination and complementarity. Deconcentration to Delegations requires additional human resources to ensure that national authorities make best use of funds.

Summary III - 4 - (2-6 Oct.) RTF File (RTF - 11ko)

The EU Overall Development Policy Statement is currently under discussion. The Commission is facing the challenge of management reform, which requires a cognitive shift. Powers on development appear to be increasingly shifting to the Commission services in charge of external relations and to EU foreign ministers. Development policy appear to be reduced to a 'technical' management of aid flows. The Commission should delegate some tasks of project implementation on the basis of 'co-funding' to appropriate Member States institutions. Stronger involvement of Member States could bring about efficiency gains at all levels. It is difficult for citizens in ACP countries to understand the working mechanisms of the EU in partner countries. Therefore, there is a need to decentralize the decision making closer to the field. EU Delegations should show example on transparency and accountability in partner countries. They should explain to target populations the changes in projects in order to develop some trust with the beneficiaries.

Summary III - 3 - (25-29 Sept.) RTF File (RTF - 9ko)

EC added-value could be improved by supporting African transnational organizations, mechanisms of regulation and supranational development and by coordinating experience sharing among Member States, partner governments and NGOs. EC could also use human rights more effectively as a policy goal. Lack of clarity between the Member States' individual programs and the EC programs have resulted in seeming competition. It is difficult to put in practice 'decentralized cooperation' due to strict control mechanisms. Ex-ante control should be replaced by ex-post collective assessment based on dialogue of actors and on the equality of stakeholders. The EU should consider supporting the awareness-raising of populations in order to break the chains of ignorance. Debates in the forum should not only focus on how to improve cooperation practices on the European side, but also pay special attention to the realities and challenges in ACP countries.

Summary III - 2 - (15 - 22 Sept.) RTF File (RTF - 8 ko)

European cooperation strategies are often perceived as 'imposed' and 'coercive instruments of pressure' at local level. This one-sided logic could be changed by placing the elaboration of 'co-defined' strategies at the heart of multi-actor dialogue at different levels. The rigidity on internal procedures of the Commission might partially explain why so little attention is paid to the co-definition of strategies with 'grass-root partners'. The impact of the EU could be improved by financing local initiatives and by using local staff. The electronic forum should find a balance between Northern and Southern views and explore ways to work in 'joint teams'.

Summary III - 1 - (3 - 15 Sept.)

The EU-ACP forum reopens its doors for a discussion on the reforms of the European foreign aid around three topics (improvement of priorities and strategies of cooperation; complementarity among European donors; decentralization of the management of actions of cooperation). Following the previous discussion (phase 1 and phase 2) on the creation of a European aid watch, it opens according to a configuration a bit different. The public debating forum opens up to new continents and new partners. New participants join the forum.

PHASE 2 : 21 November 1999 to the end of April 2000
Free discussions on the media and internet. Education for development, role of universities in development
- debate on the continuation of the forum.

Summary II - 10 - (17/04-23/04)

The role of universities in development
A battle must be led so that the African university catches up its delay with regard to the rhythm of development. Will the heavy failings of the academic system prevent it from contributing to the involvement and the control of societies in cooperation?

Charters of good conduct: tools of governance
Several participants brought elements to the discussion on movements aiming to ensure ethics in the implementation of policies and actions such as the urban health, the food security or the rebalancing of Internet. These charters intervene at different levels--of a city, a region, or the world--and are carried by actors of varied nature.

Life of the Forum, some relay experiences,:
" … even though you don't know it you have been read elsewhere, you inspired other people, you helped them to think and to raise questions" (Ana Larregle). Several types of relays.

Summary II - 9 - (10/04-16/04)

Development education: Education as a means to change cooperation (continued…); development education and education to citizenship: a need so that citizens can profit from information.

The role of Internet in the circulation of information: The Internet for the access of the civil society to knowledge; the technical conditions so that it is accessible to most people.

The role of universities in development: is there a hidden interest of the North to marginalize the universities of the South?

New actors of world governance: Charters of good conduct of partners involved in urban development. To feed the considerations of the forum, Bernard Lecomte proposes in an experience report a set of rules of the game that partners could comply with.

Summary II - 8 - (03 - 09 April)

The role of universities in development. The depreciation of universities of the South is linked to the absence of national policies of employment and distortions of the job market created by cooperation. So that universities of the South are development actors, it would be necessary: that they can be on the look-out of innovations; that they are recognized to intervene in cooperation, improve the quality of teaching by opening up to realities, to the other universities, to the other actors. An experience report tells in South Africa how a university opened up to needs of the farmers' world thus and changed its conception of teaching. It is necessary that higher education be recognized in its proper role by societies (and financial backers).

New actors of world governance. Pursuit of the discussion on indicators and norms : Does there exist a citizens appraisal that would be exercised among others through a civic science and grassroots indicators?

The availability and the autonomy of Delegations: Guy Petitpierre answers questions of Jules Nguebou and René Segbenou on the lack of communication on the part of Delegations by giving several reasons linked to constraints of budget, of training, of work load.)

Summary II - 7 - (27 March - 2 April)

The role of universities in cooperation: In the North, universities are little conscious and aware of cooperation. Universities of the South are confronted to the challenge of the recognition and the danger to remain cut off and elitist in spite of their potential role in the development of their country. To call upon the academics: an example - sociologists at the service of the rural telephony.

European aid watch: New actors of world governance. Is one able to take inspiration from this logic in the field of cooperation? How to monitor the compliance with the terms of the cooperation contract? The ethics of partnership supposes that this ethics is in the basis of the contract. Orientations for the joint definition of criteria of project quality.

Tools and methods of the forum, the Experience Bank of the EU-ACP forum. To create forums per "work group" in the future?

Summary II - 6 - (13 - 26 March)

The border between action of development education and development is increasingly fuzzy. The definition of development education changes. It has gone from the circulation of a pessimistic image of Africa, efficient for the collection of funds, to the recognition of North-South interdependence as a key to development. The action of cooperation in the South such as it was designed traditionally and was conducted should change to adjust to these new challenges of interdependence, thanks to the facilitation of exchanges through the new means of communication.

Some organizations have specialized in these challenges of interdependence, on a role of watch and control of national and international public decision-makers and private businesses.

Actors of development education seem to be of two types, the activist organizations and organizations of " professionals " of development, for which development education seems to be rather a support in search of funds for their actions of cooperation. Is there a clear differentiation of practices of these types of organization? The question remains open.

Ana Larrègle proposes a contextualisation of this topic of development education in our discussion on information and ask a set of questions remaining unresolved.

Participants to the forum are invited at a local level by ECDPM to an electronic forum of three weeks on the "participation" in cooperation by actors, a topic that is related to our past discussions.

Summary II - 5 - (28 February - 12 March)

Information responds to a need of opening, to be considered and taken in account. It is therefore a relation of reciprocity and exchange that must guide the development of a system aiming at information on cooperation. Two features of the public forum are specified. The function of information sharing (to abandon the logic of transfer and preconceptions in order to understand otherwise, to get the best out of local knowledge, to join initiatives, to encourage innovation and to make possible concerted actions) and the circulation of information (thanks to information brokers, specialized organizations, calling on all existing media types according to the different publics. Based on the experiences of each, could other we consider further: What techniques for "bringing up information", how to connect the different intervening parties and social contexts, how to reconcile the interests of all on a territory?
Several proposals have been made for the weeks to come: to tell how one ensures a relay between the forum and its outside environment, to test criteria of the quality of project transparency by giving examples, and to multiply information sharing thanks to the forum.
In parallel the topic of education has been discussed. From the first contributions it stands out that development education must be conducted as much in the North that in the South and that in these two cases, it must lead to another view on poverty and the Third World and must contribute to the dignity and capacity of initiative of populations.

Summary II - 4 - (14 - 27 February)

For a cooperation forum on a bigger scale:
  • To have the press play a role of relay is an initiative to be encouraged. The different proposed initiatives should be better linked together and assorted with actions at a local level. However, it is necessary to take account of constraints and specificities of the press, and to manage to convince it that it is necessary to tell the stories of projects and not the scandals on which the readers are keen. This challenge is also true for Europe. It would be necessary to also take in account the more classic media such as the rural radio. Internet must be used in order to improve everyday life. An organization supports the setting up of telecenters.
  • Most important is that information is exchanged, and not circulated one way. The forum must make possible a bigger transparency on the financial flows of cooperation, and to explain to the public how cooperation works in an accessible language.
  • It is not necessary to limit actors of cooperation to those that are involved in projects of development. The forum allows those that wish it, whether they are journalists, officers, schoolmistresses, or members of a professional network, to be relays of information. A discussion comes back on the question of the definition of actors and their legitimacy. Actors of the context in the chain of mediation find their raison d'etre in the function of mediation that they play every day.
  • We signal some questions to which you can answer, to go farther in the precision, with the sign ==>

Summary II - 3 - (27 January - 13 February)

Discussion and actions continue concerning the mediation of the press through networks of journalists. The actions launched concern the mobilization of the general population (ACP in particular) on the results of the forum and information on EU-ACP cooperation by using the added value of this forum. A strong mobilization of participants is noted on these subjects.
An idea to compare with: the experience of sensitization to EU-ACP cooperation in Europe with the support of teachers and students in Austria, a decentralized process to get out of discussions restricted to experts.
A perspective: What represent the actors of our forum and those that negotiated the new EU-ACP partnership? If one displays the political determination of struggle against poverty, can one consider that one has created a dialogue with those who live with less than one dollar per day?
An international meeting on the topic of the NICT takes place in Bamako next week. The EU-ACP forum will be present as well as the opinions that you gave out during the discussion.
A solution has been presented to facilitate the access to documents on the Web via electronic mail.

Summary II - 2 - (24 December - 27 January) How can we develop functions of information and mediation of the forum at the service of EU-ACP cooperation?

In this second phase, the forum becomes a place of experimentation. The Forum Coordination, following discussions with participants, proposed lines, methods and tools.
Participants are speaking, and words are quickly becoming action. First of all three different ACP initiatives (individuals or groups) established strategies aiming to develop relations between the forum and the media. Contacts began. The press is the media mainly targeted at this stage. Leaning from their experiences, initiators insist on the double role that can be played by the press with regard to cooperation: to inform the general population on the EU-ACP cooperation and to relay in return opinions on actions of cooperation. These initiatives are organized currently and you will continue to be informed very shortly. In return, initiators ask for your reactions, advice and support.
The articulation between the different means of communication at our disposal, the role of mediators, and the type of information raise numerous questions on which we should focus.

Summary II - 1 - (23/11 - 23/12) Reopening of the Forum

The reopening of the forum gave way to a discussion, sometimes sharp, on the need to back actors of countries of the South further in their effort of connection to Internet. Proposals have been formulated but some questions remain unresolved. Participants to the forum sent two accounts of missions. Ana Larregle takes stock on the experience base reports that were at the origin of this debate. The pursuit of the forum has been confirmed officially by the financial backers (DG8 and FPH) until April 2000.

PHASE 1 : 19 April to October 1999
Debate and propositions on the EU-ACP cooperation, on the diagnostic and results of the seminar 'Actors and cooperation processes between the EU and the ACP'

Monthly Summary 5 - (3-23 October and 3-8 November)

Proposals of participants concerning the following of the forum -ACP EU, around the management of information on cooperation.

Monthly Summary 4 - (6 Sept. - 3 Oct.)

Thème 3.10 - Making of Budgetary Aid a Collective Process of Evolution of Governance. Participants insist on the complexity of this instrument of aid, which must change deeply to become really collective as well as a set of continued support measures making possible internalization and control. Financial backers should also modify their behavior and their ways of doing things.

Thème 3.11 - Backing the Actors and the Processes by Combining the Lome Convention and the European Union's Own Budget. It would be necessary to consider a way to join the considerations on the evolution of these two types of aid. The principle of co-management must change toward the principle "public places of co-management" while increased efforts of communication and information must be made to encourage this evolution. Given the size of changes of mentalities and practices to achieve, it is proposed that important financial means (on the EDF) and human means be affected to certain test countries or regions.

Thème 3.12 - Sparking off, with Officer Involvement, a Dynamics of Change within the Commission. Efforts of officer innovation should be gotten the best out of to create synergism in the ACP countries and to disseminate the advances.

Thème 4 - The Need for a Joint Effort of the European Parliament and the European Commission. To the difference of other multilateral organizations, the political system of the "more experienced" European union should be gotten the best out of to develop a mutual understanding between EU and ACP societies.

Life of the forum. Efforts to make to go beyond the linguistic barriers.

Summary 19 - (27 September-3 October)

For or against the budgeting of the EDF? The budgetary aid can give back to the states their autonomy in the choice of their priorities of development. So that it can encourage the learning of good governance, it must support learning at the level of administrations and the civil society. In addition of the already proposed elements (See Summary n°17 : training, transparency, dialogue …), the participants remind us of the need for the financial backers to harmonize their approaches, possibly around a common integrated framework (PCI) and to make sure the budgetary process is well executed. National control of the use of allocated funds must be social. Financial backers should be able to exercise ex-post control. A Europe-ACP authority should have the power to sanction in case of diversion of funds.
How to summon the skills of officers to create synergism with actors of cooperation?
Return to the topic of the partnership regarding dissymmetry. It is necessary to go beyond the African specificities to come out of the relation of subordination.
Life of the forum: English-speaking and French-speaking worlds: a wealth of the Convention also leads to difficulties of communication between the two worlds. A bit of effort is needed on the two sides to be understood and to speak.

Summary 18 - (20-26 September)

To build good governance with the whole of the society must be a priority of the budgetary aid to states, in order to avoid drifts and the reinforcement of social tensions.
To support actors and processes by combining Lomé Convention and Community budget: These two forms of financing of the European cooperation forms a whole that must change substantially. The state is the organizer of societies and the principle of joint management of the aid must be noted, but it must change in the practice by the creation "public spaces of joint management" where controls and arbitration are possible.
On the Community budget, it is necessary, in the same spirit, to encourage the active citizenship and the backing of actors according to their nature and their function (specific line). Changes must be deep, they will be progressive and complex to implement. It would be necessary that Commission and Parliament (In the EU-ACP cooperation, the European system has the advantage to make possible a citizens control) agree to launch this dynamics. Why not accept in the next Convention the principle of experimenting this renewal of cooperation in test countries or test regions?
It is necessary to go beyond the incomprehension and suspicion toward officers of institutions and in the ACP administrations and to identify, to get the best out of the positive actions and to create a pulling effect.

Summary 17 - (13-19 September)

A democratic reality that allows citizens to have their voice heard is a condition for budgetary aid to be able to support good governance.
To reinforce actors and processes, the future Convention should help to build and to facilitate the dialogue between state and civil society. The traditional role of the National Authorizing Officer should be reviewed, making possible more flexibility vis-a-vis the civil society. In parallel to the evolution of the Convention (Lomé), aid on the Community's budget should be increased. The backing of actors requires new essential orientations of cooperation (support to the local, national, and regional networks and people's training/education).
Information and communication are keys to a democratic control but they will also contribute to the rebalancing of the partnership ACP-EU.

Summary 16 - (6 to 12 September)

Backing civil initiatives is necessary in parallel to the development of the budgetary aid. Without this, budgetary aid would only be a solution of facility for the management of aid, which would risk in fact to go in opposition to the political principles otherwise proposed in the future EU-ACP cooperation framework.
Some precision on the terms of budgetary aid, aid on the EU's own budget and aid on EDF funds.

Monthly Summary 3 - (3 August - 5 September).

Abstract: The third monthly summary deals with a new set of 3 topics discussed. During this month, 10 new people introduced themselves and 14 contributions have been published.

Topic 3.7 - Take a fresh start from the local level, a clear enough consensus among participants but warnings and principles to develop for practical application (complexity, potential deviancies, means to test new forms of action..).

Topic 3.8 - Public information on aid is the key of a democratic control, it is just as necessary at a local level as at a global level, at the local level it encourages involvement and the assumption of responsibility.

Topic 3.9 - Develop a Europe-ACP partnership in the management of flows of goods and people. And if the EU-ACP cooperation could contribute to what African teenagers dream of living in Europe? Is there a possibility that the ACP and the EU defend some common positions within the WTO? What impact of Internet for the development of virtual flows with the South?

Topic 3.3 - Transform procedures and practices: some working leads are formulated concerning conditions of the local action, criteria of financing and the role of Internet

Summary 15 - (30 August -5 September)

Starting out from the local, pursuit of the advocacy for a thorough identification of local actors, of power relations, and of the legitimacy of recognized local representatives. The language and procedures of cooperation must be adapted to each of the actors.
Reactions to the presentation of negotiations of the next framework of EU-ACP partnership: The rebalancing of the partnership should be a whole separate line of negotiation (political objectives, financial and institutional conditions, possibilities of experimentation). Is the UE-ACP framework specific with regard to relations between the EU and other regions of the world? Otherwise compensation mechanisms of falls in export revenue could be useful to offset the marginalization of the ACP countries within the WTO. It would also be necessary that the EU-ACP organization push in this direction within the WTO. In their execution these mechanisms should be accompanied with more precaution. Finally, considerable progress is to be highlighted in the framework of the currently negotiated cooperation.
Development, cooperation and Internet What are we waiting for to speak of it? The development of the Internet is only marginal in the South (5% of Web sites are non-OECD). Yet this tool could serve as a lever for development and cooperation should be able to find a means of improvement it.

Summary 14 - (21 to 29 August)

In answer to the call to collaboration of a participant on the definition of quality criteria of projects jointly financed by the EU with development NGOs, it proves to be necessary that this thinking is led with all actors involved (decision-makers, intermediaries, beneficiary communities) and that it concerns actions of cooperation more extensively.
Some elements of criteria are proposed to participants of the forum. They concern the assumption of responsibility by different actors, the control of information, real contribution, the participation in decision making.
To take a fresh start from the local level to put actors at the heart of cooperation only makes sense if there is a deep reorientation of the cooperation strategy. It must lean on a systematic analysis of relations between the different types of existing power (traditional, democratic of the modern state, associative, local representative of financial backer) in order to really decentralize the sharing of responsibilities among the different actors involved in the action of development. Conversely, it is not necessary to duplicate top-down and directive practices at a local level.

Summary 13 - (14-20 August)

To start out from the local level is a necessary condition to a real development. But wareful with the myth or drifts of the " all local " which must not overlook the existence of other actors than the classic " actors " or of other levels of intervention. The balances are fragile, and the power struggle is also present elsewhere.
For a strategy encouraging the local development to be really set up, the political determination must be clear and must be the object of a consensus. Principles must be discussed (delegation of financial skills for example).
To start out and to act at a local level are a means to increase the control of the public aid to the development.

Life of the forum: A downloadable text presenting the progress of negotiations between the EU and the ACP group on the future partnership framework is proposed on the Web site. A call to collaboration for research on quality criteria of NGO projects is launched by a participant.

Summary 12 - (9-13 August)

To put actors of cooperation, an emergency as recalled to us a recent drama. But " to start out from the local level" is a reversing of the current strategy of cooperation, and suppose a decentralization of the organization of the European aid system.

Monthly Summary 2 - (5 July - 6 August).

Abstract: The second monthly summary focuses on the second set of 3 topics discussed. This month of July, we reached about hundred participants and many English-speaking joined us (26 out of 100 participants on August 6). contributions point all simultaneously to ethical aspirations and concrete proposals on the organization of of EU-ACP relations but also to a necessary evolution of mentalities. A publication agreement has been given concrete expression with Euforic <> to provide to participants a direct access to numerous EU-ACP documentary sources via the Web site.

Topic 3.4 - Giving Partnership back its Meaning: the dialogue and the respect are the main words. It is not about imposing one's vision but to find the common challenges and to define a new " deontology of the continued support ".

Topic 3.5 - Globalization wih a human face: a rebalancing or a dialogue on the founding values? The development cooperation must make possible such a dialogue; it is bearing of a real political project. The European Union could take this direction.

Topic 3.6 - Putting Actors at the Heart of European Co-operation: it must be translated to all phases of the life of a project. It supposes a change of mentalities as much in the North as in the South. The reflection on actors is indissociable of the one on mediators. It is necessary to redefine the role of the different actors of cooperation progressively and to give to the " beneficiary " actors the responsibility of their acts and the management of funds that are confided them. A series of modifications in practices is necessary.

Summary 11 (31 July - 6 August)

Cooperation should be a political and cultural project. Is the north able to accept to learn from the south?
A true partnership requires a dialogue among all, recipients, decision-makers and performers, to come out of alienating preconceptions.

Summary 10 (24-30 July) To put actors at the heart of the partnership, and Life of the forum

So that actors, that is to say the local recipients, are to the center of cooperation, their implication must be real as early as the stage of the conception of actions and must continue during the implementation and the assessment of these.
News of the forum, discussions become more concrete but exchanges between French-speaking and English-speaking world are developed little. Several intervening parties pronounce themselves in favor of a pursuit all along the discussion on the improvement of procedures and practices.

Summary 9 (17-23 July) The role of cooperation for a globalization with a human face. For a recognition of informal structures as actors of cooperation.

To make globalization with a human face supposes that populations of the North and the South recognize that they share the common challenges of development. One cannot be limited to discuss the technical and financial aspects of cooperation. An in-depth discussion on values that found our societies must take place and must bear as much on the political and ethical questions as on the cultural ones. Cooperation can contribute to this refounding by proposing places of discussion. It is necessary for this that it is carried by a political vision.
To put actors at the heart of the European cooperation: It is dangerous to wish at all costs "to institutionalize development". Cooperation should recognize the informal structures of self-promotion and should make possible that they enter in dialogue with donors.
In the economic globalization, Africa must find the means to meet specific challenges.

Summary 8 (10-16 July) Putting actors at the heart of the European cooperation: Proposals " to leave the fool's bargain of cooperation actors"; to give back its meaning to partnership: " for a new deontology of continued support to social movements"

Participants propose complementary considerations that position actors concretely at the heart of the European cooperation. Starting from interactions between development agents (operators) and recipients, one proposes as a principle to recognize and to encourage the local knowledge, motors of development dynamics. Others expose a form of contract and of control, of identification of actors' systems in which the beneficiary is a proxy. The sharing / transfer of responsibility on the guarantee of the good execution of the project is a means to leave " the fool's bargain of cooperation actors" that quarters the local actor in a role of passive "spectator."

Summary 7 - (3-9 July)

- The interest of this forum for a European parliamentarian rests on the democratization of methods of the partnership and feedback from the ACP countries. The renovation of cooperation should target, more than renovations of political principles, precise lines of procedures.
- The forum should concentrate more on actors of cooperation. Today the forms of mediation lead the European cooperation into a logic of " incomplete cooperation" as to the choice of its partners. It would be necessary to put more accent on the decentralized cooperation.
- The current dissymmetry is the result of a historic evolution.
- Proposal of definition of criteria defining cases of " good governance ".

Monthly Summary 1 - (10 May – 2 July).

Abstract: The first monthly summary focuses on the launching of the discussion, and on the three first topics discussed. Participants (71 people on July 2) insisted on specifying some definitions of which some are at the heart of discussions such as the notions of project and process, governance and regional integration. The discussion led to some varied and pragmatic points of view. Some concrete proposals were formulated.

Topic 3.1 - Moving from Project Support to Supporting Processes: Participants agree to recognize that to come out of the assistance-type aid, it is necessary " to liberate the initiatives ", to come out of exogenous and pre-established models, to move to a logic of supporting processes. It would be necessary to pay attention however to the risk of peoples' losing their sense of responsibility linked to the length of time that could take such a form of aid.

Topic 3.2 - Backing a Twofold Dynamics of Decentralization and of Regional Integration: Most participants agree on the need of a bigger mobilization of the echelons of local decision, without penalizing the state, which would generate unbalances. The strong idea is that processes of decentralization should anchor with the processes of regional integration to which they are closely linked. But it must especially not become one more conditionality for aid.

Topic 3.3 - Transforming Procedures and Practices: Some plead for the maintenance of privileged institutional relations between ACP countries and European Commission so that the management of the aid is adapted. For participants that have a close experience "on the field ", it is necessary to arrive to practices that are "simpler, more direct and more transparent ". Mediation is questioned. Some pose as a prerequisite the political recognition of the lack of transparency of the system in the past. A number of concrete proposals were formulated (see the detail of the summary).

Summary 6: Cooperation practices, new tools and intermediation, institutional reorganization and ACP groups, territory, scale of contribution, recognizing responsibilities of the political class - (26 June - 2 July)

Abstract: The discussion on the project aid and the support to the process turned this week around the role of mediators, of the failure of giving responsibility linked to the aid project, of the advantage of the specific support, the need and the existence of new practical approaches (and instruments). On the institutional level, the ACP group pleads for a consistency between reform and the common and negotiated nature of the Convention of Lome. An intervening party proposes the territory as scale of contribution. To modify cooperation, partners need to acknowledge their responsibilities in failures of cooperation as well as the current impact of the policies of decentralization or support to governance. Recognize the traditional balances that have been destroyed in order to rehabilitate them?

Summary 5: Does not support to the twofold dynamics of regional integration and decentralization carry risks if it is linked to a conditionality or if it imposes some outside models? Does not definition of governance conceal "a certain cultural decolonization"? (19- 25 June)

Abstract: Several intervening parties inform of the dangers that could be presented by supporting the twofold dynamics of regional integration and decentralization if it only corresponds to one more "fashion" in development policies. A fashion that would be imposed by a system of conditionality and would not be wished by the States, very different from each other, in which new relations between administrations and populations would not have been constituted. A fashion that has already led to the creation of institutions unknown to the populations that they represent. Others answer that this twofold dynamics must be an endogenous "process". An intervening party, who specifies a definition of governance proposed, sees in it a "certain cultural decolonization". Would not governance make possible to societies, to individuals to endow themselves with capacities to manage themselves, to develop their right to question, to initiate their local development? A warning is also issued on the seeds of inequality that are included in Internet, if a process encouraging accessibility is not quickly set up in the next EU-ACP Convention.

Summary 4 : two lines of discussion: basic questions and definitions (12-18 June)

Abstract: Some different messages determine two lines of discussion: (1) a basic question on decentralization and the regional action. (2) a methodological question of concept definition to center discussions and proposals (process, project, support to the process, exchange and symmetry of relations, governance).

Summary 3 : decentralization and governance (5-11 June)

Abstract: questions of terminology summon some participants and particularly the term of Governance. The mobilization of the local echelon is wished when building the new logic of exercise of the democracy.

Summary 2 : Participants’ expectations (28 May - 04 June)

Abstract: This is a partial summary of the expectations expressed so far by participants who have sent their introduction to the forum. It is now up to you to complete it.

Summary 1 : subscriptions and introductions (10 - 28 May)

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