International Conference ‘Development Assistance Operators from EU New Member States: Experiences, Trends and Challenges’
A two-day conference, titled ‘Development Assistance Operators from EU New Member States: Experiences, Trends and Challenges’ concluded on 4th of June in Ljubljana. The conference was organised by Slovenian development assistance operators – Centre for European Perspective (CEP), Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF), Foundation “TOGETHER” and International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF).
Over 100 domestic and foreign guests, among them representatives from the European Commission, ministries of foreign affairs, development agencies and operators from European Union member countries, recipient countries of European Development Assistance, bilateral and multilateral donors, and academic world discussed the trends and future challenges in the field of development assistance.
As Anita Pipan, Director General, Directorate for Policy Planning and Multilateral Relations, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Slovenia, pointed out, the EU is the world's leading donator. The new EU member states are bringing to the development policy new dimension and therefore they should be included in all levels of development cooperation. EU should also increase the amunt of money and the efficiency of the development aid.
Orsalia Kalantzopoulos, Director for the Central Europe and the Baltic Countries, Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region from The World Bank, emphasised that the EU new member states have only recently shifted from being recipients of development assistance to a role of international donors. However, they don’t bring just money to the developing policy but also their own experiences. Therefore they are a model for other potential EU member states, especially those from the Western Balkan region. The EU member states are committed to increase their development assistance to 0,17 % of its gross national income until 2010, and to 0,33 % of its gross national income until 2015.
Maciej Popowski from the European Commission, DG Development, stressed that the main problem regarding development policy is the lack of sense of ownership and low awareness about the importance of development aid across the EU.
The conference was one of the events of the Slovenian Presidency of the European Union Council.