BSF 2018 – Putting European Consensus on Development into Practice

11/09/2018

At this year’s 13th International Conference of the Bled Strategic Forum (BSF), the European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP) had the opportunity to host a side event. In cooperation with ENoP’s Slovenian member Društo Progresiva and Institute Dr. Janeza Evangelista Kreka the side event discussed the European consensus on development in practices, with a focus on political foundations as bridge-builders for the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Among the discussants were ENoP board members, representatives of political foundations and EU institutions as well as local civil society organisations: Dr. Florian Lütticken, a policy coordinator at the European Commission (DG DEVCO), Sabina Wölkner, a representative of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, ENoP member foundation, and Ðuro Blanuša, a representative of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), as well as Gudrun Kopp, an active board member at ENoP, former Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and also former member of the German Bundestag.

As the panelist showed a wide expertise in international cooperation and development, they were able to shed light on a topic that is not often on the political agenda: The discussion highlighted once again the importance of providing a global context to the Agenda 2030 and SDGs and the understanding that SDGs are not only about external development cooperation. They also apply to Europe and the EU MS as well, covering important fields, such as peaceful societies, rule of law, good governance, strong institutions or transparency. Therefore, creating an understanding of their importance and interlinkages between internal-external dimensions, is the key for achieving coherent EU policies in the long-run.

The panel also explored the role of political foundations as bridge-builders between political actors and civil society and discussed how political foundations can stimulate pro-development views among the wider public as well as from decision-makers. During the panel discussion it was also pointed out that the mandate of political foundations is not always clear, even within the EU.

Lastly, the panel also explored opportunities to better involve local authorities in the development discourse and engage them in mainstreaming development awareness.

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