Our 2019 International Conference and General Assembly
On 3 and 4 June, Eurodad held its International Conference, followed by the General Assembly on 5 June in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Thanks to our excellent co-host Ekvilib Institute and the support of Focus, SLOGA Platform and EnaBanda, we were able to accommodate over 150 attendees to define our network’s way forward to achieve economic justice for all.
Here are the key take away messages from three crucial days of strategising, planning and networking.
New Eurodad members
The General Assembly approved the membership of three new organisations: Wemos, Focus, and The Equality Trust. We welcome them to the finance development movement and look forward to joining forces on strategy, policy and advocacy work!
New Board member
The General Assembly elected one new Board member Mareen Buschmann from Save the Children UK. Two Board members Jürg Staudenmann from Alliance Sud and Oliver Pearce from Oxfam GB were re-elected. All our current Board members can be found on our website.
2018 Annual Report
In case you missed our last special edition newsletter, the General Assembly adopted the 2018 Eurodad Annual Report. The report highlights key achievements from tax justice, ending debt crises, effective aid and publicly backed private finance.
Hopes for the future & being part of the #EconomicJustice4All movement
We asked our members at the General Assembly to be bold and express their dearest hope for the future. You can discover their messages in our photo story on Exposure. You can also have a look at what it feels like to be part of the #EconomicJustice4All movement in our conference video.
How to achieve #EconomicJustice4all?
Members and allies have asked us for more background information on the workshops and discussions that were held during these three days. Below you can find a summary of each topic’s highlights. We want to thank all the speakers, facilitators and of course participants for making these workshops a success!
- At the workshop “The missing link between climate finance and development finance” over 40 members, allies and partners learned about the state of play of climate finance issues. To kick-off discussions, Rachel Simon, Policy Officer at Climate Action Network Europe, provided a comprehensive overview of what is happening at global and European levels related to climate finance. Participants then explored in different groups the key issues where climate finance and development finance overlap and made suggestions on how Eurodad can integrate climate finance in its current work areas.
- At the “Global citizenship education for tax justice” workshop, participants tried out a Global Citizenship Education for adults module focused on tax justice. Participants pinpointed as key opportunities: making the education materials available in different languages (especially English), working with schools to find entry points for tax justice and involving young people in the tax justice debate. For this to work, materials need to be adjusted to the target groups’ level of knowledge and open to everyone.
- The “New approaches for a new context: the value of CSO networks” workshop reflected on the need to adapt our language and messages as well as our practices in engaging with interlocutors as we confront the resurgence of populism and nationalist movements. Participants identified the lack of resources and capacity as internal challenges and the decreasing level of trust and the rise of populism as external challenges. To address these challenges, the cooperation between and within networks need to be revisited. Capacity building for both organisations and individuals in non-violent communications and coordination/facilitation were two more considerations to take forward.
- At the workshop “Commercialisation in public services threatening human rights and equality: how to turn the tide?”, participants selected the following key elements to move our work forward: legal actions related to corporate accountability, challenging state aid and tax exemptions, and adequate regulations in both the global north and south. The Abidjan Principles can help defining which public services to engage with and where to draw the line in terms of public-private sector cooperation. Lastly, participants agreed that public money shouldn’t be used for profit companies and debated around lobbying for a new European Parliament resolution.
- The “Creating change for tax justice” workshop shared experiences and ideas for the future, including being country specific in terms of audiences and actors while keeping an oversight on the big picture; choosing for systemic change rather than piecemeal solutions; lobbying for a progressive tax system; and making use of the movement, sharing information and ‘joining the tax justice party’.
- The “Private turn in aid” workshop discussed challenges for international public finance post-2015. According to the workshop’s participants, the issues at stake range from how to measure impact on results and the need to gather more evidence, to the defense of official development assistance’s (ODA’s) integrity. The group defined the promotion of private sector instruments and difficult resource mobilisation for research as the main challenges. In order to make progress, linkages with broader movements should be made and campaigning and lobbying strategies towards institutions, policy makers and the broader public should be developed.
- The workshop “Watching the wave unfurl: how can we turn institutional anxiety over new debt crises into genuine policy reform?” identified the following challenges and opportunities: African and Caribbean debt are not visible enough, the negotiation system is broken (there is no action, whereas solutions are needed), and civil society needs to act to bring attention to the issues. In the future, China’s work in the area needs to be closely monitored, transparency is crucial, as are local and international campaigning.
- Finally, the “Putting evidence to work to create systemic change” workshop identified that the mistrust in science and lack of access to data are often the key challenges that researchers have to tackle in collecting and selecting evidence to support policy change. Most agreed that strategically prioritising the areas to focus on, playing to one’s strength and collaborating with other organisations that add value to an advocacy strategy, could be important ways to start changing the narrative. To create systemic change the following elements are key to success: thoughtful engagement with different target groups, a systematic approach to the evidence or data you need and a constant curiosity to keep asking critical questions.