junio 8, 2012

Séminaire ANND – Plateforme civile Euromed

EUROPEAN-SOUTHERN MEDITERRANEAN RELATIONS; DISCUSSING POLICIES AND PARTNERSHIPS TO SUPPORT ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RIGHTS AND THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY

 

Seminar Organized by

The Euro-Med Civil Society Consortium and the Arab NGO Network for Development

 

 

 

11- 13 June 2012

Beirut, Lebanon

 

 

 

Background:

 

The Southern Mediterranean region has been witnessing a period of change and quest for new societal contract between the citizen and the state, based on respect of fundamental freedoms, rights, dignity, and rule of law. Along the multiplicity of factors including political repressions, corruption, and lack of accountability and legitimacy of Arab regimes, the peoples’ uprisings and revolutions in multiple Arab countries reflect a climax of failure of social and economic development paradigms. Indeed, citizens are calling for a new development paradigm, which re-enforces the right to development and economic and social rights and justice, including the right to work, social protection and the social dialogue, and simultaneously with the political and civil rights. Accordingly, the democratic process and practice in the region necessitates revising the approach to the economic and social policies and policy making, aligned with reforms of political systems and enhancing the role of civil society. Moreover, achieving sustained democratic processes and economic and developmental progress necessitate achieving stability in the region through prioritizing peace and a just and sustainable solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, with full respect to the relevant UN Resolutions and the people’s right to self determination and the right of return. Space, time, resources, and developmental leadership to nurture a national dialogue that identifies political, economic, and social reforms are core to this challenge.

These changes in the Arab countries necessitate a re-thinking of priorities and policy approaches in the cooperation and partnerships with the European Union, on various fronts whether political, economic, social, and cultural. Moreover, these changes in the Arab countries take place in the middle of a global crisis that is not only of financial nature, but also emphasizes the incapacity of the globalized economic system to ensure the world’s unwavering and sustainable development.

The crisis heavily impacts on Europe. Nevertheless, given the role of Europe as the main partner of the Southern Mediterranean countries, in the context of people’s revolutions and uprisings in the Arab countries, it becomes more than ever necessary to reflect on new approaches for the Euro-Mediterranean co-development and on the priorities in the light of the new economic, social, politic and cultural needs of the Southern Mediterranean countries. Indeed, such steps are essential for establishing the common future of prosperity and stability that the EU and the Arab countries can share.

The upcoming seminar will serve as an opportunity to deepen the discussions on the outlined issues, clarify the demands and propositions from civil society organizations, and elaborate on ways of cooperation and possible collective campaigning on priority policy areas. The meeting will contribute as well towards the preparations for a CSO visit to be organized by the Arab NGO Network for Development to the European Institutions in Brussels (including the Parliament and Commission), during September 2012. The visit will include civil society groups from a variety of Arab countries and will include meetings with European policy makers and civil society organizations.

 

 

AGENDA of WORK

 

11th of June

 

11:00- 15:00 Registration & Lunch  
15:00- 15:30 Opening Session:

  • Welcome notes by the organizers
  • Presentation of the Agenda
 
15:30- 17:00 First Session: Revisitingthe Social and Economic Challenges in the Arab Region

The unemployment challenge in the Arab region, the impact on youth and women, the lack of comprehensive social protection policies and violations of syndical rights among other challenges

 

 
17:30- 19:00 Second Session: Towards a New Development Paradigm and Societal Contract

The proposals for establishing rights-based economic and social policies, focused on sustainable development objectives, and productive job generating economic models

 

 

12th of June

 

9:30- 11:00 Third Session: The economic and social impact of Euro-Mediterranean Relations: Main Issues and Developments of Euro-Mediterranean Relations since 1995 (Part I)

 

This session will include an overview covering:

  • The progress from the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership to the European Neighbourhood Policy to the ‘More for More’ approach; politics, economic relations, and mechanisms of work
  • The policy positions of the EU towards the region since the start of the revolutions

 

 
11:00-11:30 Break  
11:30- 13:00  Fourth Session: The economic and social impact of Euro-Mediterranean Relations (Part II)

This session will discussion

  • Employment, decent work, and social protection rights within the Euro-Arab relations and partnership
  • Practical addition (ten minutes): The financial instruments within the partnership: a look into the ENI, benchmarking and programming
 
13:00-14:30 Lunch  
14:30-16:00 Fifth Session: The economic and social impact of Euro-Mediterranean Relations: Trade and Investment aspects (Part III)

  • Trade and investment relations
  • Current EU proposals on ‘Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements’; civil society demands
  • The role of European Financial Institutions in the Arab region

 

 
16:00-16:30 Break

 

 
16:30 -17:30  Sixth Session: New programs and initiatives post the ‘Arab Spring’

This session will cover:

  • The role and position of the European External Action Service in regards to developments in the Arab region
  • The ‘SPRING’ Program; its mandate and related challenges with the ‘More for More’ approach
  • The new institutions of the Civil Society Facility and Democracy Endowment; what mandate and mechanisms of work?

 

 
17:30 -18:30 Additional Session: EIB and EBRD; what role in the Arab region?

 

Objectives:This session will be organized after the end of the main agenda of work, and will focus on strategies of work on the EIB and EBRD.

 

13th of June

 

09:00 –10:30 Seventh Session: Towards an Inclusive Social Dialogue: The roles of traditional and new actors

 

This session will be organized in the form of an open discussion around the agendas of political parties in the region and newly in power, labour unions, and the challenges and opportunities for the civil society

 

 
10:30-12:30

 

(Coffee to be served during the session)

Eigth Session:What Issues to Focus on in the upcoming period? (Discussions in working groups).

  • Working group (1): Discussion on employment and social policies
  • Working group (2): Discussion on the advocacy and action plan of the civil society to strengthen EU-Arab partnership
  • Working group (3): Discussion on economic policies, trade and investment policies, and human rights
 
12:30- 14:00 Lunch  
14:00-15:30 Ninth Session: Wrap Up and Conclusions from working groups

The Role of Civil Society in Advocating for a Euro-Arab Partnership for Development – Issues at Stake

Ways of cooperation and possible collective campaigning on priority policy areas (PANEL DISCUSSION)

 
15:30- 16:00 Coffee Break

 

 
16:00- 18:00 Additional sessions:Planning advocacy steps on trade, investment, and role of international financial institutions

 

Objectives: This session will be organized after the end of the main agenda of work and will be attended by groups interested in discussing common strategies of work on trade and investment relation between the EU and Arab countries.

 

 

Fundación Asamblea de Ciudadanos y Ciudadanas del Mediterráneo
Calle San Francisco de Borja 20 – 8 - 46007 Valencia, Spain - Phone: +34 963 219 558 - E-mail: secretariat.facm@gmail.com