Launch of EU co-funded project ‘Strengthening ENoP as actor in support of democratic and pluralistic societies’
On 06th June 2019, the European Network of Political Foundations marked the official launch of its new EU co-funded project, called ‘Strengthening ENoP as actor in support of democratic and pluralistic societies’. The project will be implemented in the context of a Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) that ENoP has concluded with the European Commission in 2016 and that distinguishes the Network as a privileged partner in working on development cooperation and democracy-related issues with civil society and political parties.
The formal launch was inaugurated by Dr. Cornelia Hoffmann, ENoP Coordinator, who expressed her enthusiasm of the start of the project and the ambitious goals set in it. Among the distinguished speakers at the event was Ms. Rosario Bento-Pais, Head of Unit A6 Civil Society Organisations and Foundations, European Commission.
Bento-Pais, whose unit signed the agreement with ENoP, expressed her delight of the commencement of the project. She highlighted that in a multilateral world, it is important to create lasting partnerships for the implementation of the SDGs and to work towards safeguarding democratic principles. She outlined three main priorities of the partnership with ENoP, namely: 1) working on the improvement of enabling environment for civil society and political actors ; 2) providing capacity-building for political foundations; 3) increasing the participation of smaller political foundations in the area of sustainable development. In her speech, the Head of Unit also stressed the importance of the universal Agenda 2030 and the need to be inclusive in order to achieve the SDGs. Having a multi-stakeholder approach, including civil society, local authorities and the private sector, is the only way forward to implementing the Agenda 2030. In this context, Pais also highlighted the role of ENoP and political foundations as a crucial part of this processes and as a structural part of civil society that can help engage with political actors. ENoP and its expertise should be instrumentalised to help attain the SDGs both inside and outside of the EU.
ENoP Political Board member Gudrun Kopp, former Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, congratulated the Network for the hard work and the commencement of the new project. She expressed her concern regarding the current political landscape in Europe and abroad, and highlighted the importance of not taking the EU values for granted. We need to actively work for protecting the EU values of good governance, rule of law and human rights, and make sure that women and minority groups are empowered and included. In this endeavor, political foundations have a strong stance. They serve as bridge-builders between civil society and political actors. Through this project ENoP will strengthen its manpower and capacities in order to have a stronger and farther outreach on development and democracy-related topics. ENoP will pursue its role in supporting civil society in partner countries and raising awareness on the need of enabling environment for CSOs and political actors.
This project represents a milestone for ENoP and its partnership with the European Commission. It promises to bring fruitful results within the implementation period March 2019 – September 2024 and beyond.