PRESS RELEASE 067
State Secretary for International Cooperation inaugurates General Assembly of network of European international development agencies focused on cooperative response to COVID-19
04/05/2020

The State Secretary for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno Bau, inaugurated the annual meeting of the General Assembly of the Practitioners’ Network – the European development agencies network, which the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Spanish acronym: AECID) has held the Rotating Presidency of over the last year.

The Practitioners’ Network is an open platform for the exchange, coordination and harmonisation of European development agencies. Set up in 2007, it is currently made up of 19 agencies from 15 European countries that are accredited to carry out delegated cooperation on European projects, and which also includes the European Commission as an observer. The Presidency over the last year by AECID is recognition of the approval of the work of Spanish Cooperation by the European cooperation agencies, and it has focused on boosting coordination between European agencies around the 5 “Ps” on the 2030 Agenda – people, prosperity, peace, planet and partnerships.


This annual meeting, which was initially scheduled to be held in Palma de Mallorca, but was finally held by video-conference, focused on coordinating the response by European agencies to the effects of COVID-19 in developing countries and more vulnerable populations.

In her speech, the State Secretary for International Cooperation stressed the need to provide a coordinated global and effect response to the global crisis caused by the pandemic, under the leadership of the United Nations and in which Europe, as the main global development cooperation party, plays a key role.

In this regard, she thanked the initiative “Team Europe”, launched by the European Commission to tackle this crisis in developing countries and underlined the need for coordination by European agencies on the ground to provide an effective response to the challenges posed by this crisis.  Ángeles Moreno also set out the main strands of the Response Strategy by Spanish Cooperation to COVID-19, which is being consulted by parties to Spanish Cooperation, and the need to address the problems in both the short term, particularly with vulnerable populations such as migrants and women, and in the medium- to long-term to maintain the socio-economic systems of developing countries that will be hard hit by the pandemic. The long-term goal is to strengthen the capacity to respond to future crises, and integral compliance with the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

Furthermore, this annual meeting of the European Practitioners’ Network approved the declaration entitled “Cooperation in Culture for Development: towards a Sustainable Transformation”, which underlines the ties between culture and development, promoted under the Presidency of AECID. Finally, AECID passed on the Rotating Presidency of the network to the Co-presidency of the Belgian development agency Enabel and the Luxembourg development agency (LuxDev).

For its part, the European Commission, through the Director-General for Development, Koen Doens, highlighted the importance of the effective action of European cooperation to strengthen a global response to the crisis instead of adopting the approach by some countries and sectors of society to withdraw, and the opportunity to improve coordination between agencies within the framework of the EU’s 2021-2027 financial outlook. The other managers of the development agencies thanked Spain for its active role in the network and stressed the need to improve coordination between agencies within the framework of the Commission’s initiative “Team Europe” to combat COVID-19.

 

 

-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-

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