Vilnius, Lithuania | European development cooperation organisations gathered at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in Vilnius on 11-12 May at the Annual Meeting of the General Assembly of the Practitioners’ Network for European Development Cooperation (PN). This year’s meeting marked the 15th anniversary of the network and the end of the PN co-Presidency by the Lithuanian Central Project Management Agency (CPMA) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Celebrating 15 years of the network
Founded in 2007, the PN has served as a platform for exchange, coordination and harmonisation between European development cooperation organisations and the European Commission. In celebration of the 15th anniversary of the PN, Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, conveyed her well wishes to the network at its annual meeting in a video message: “You [the PN] embody the Team Europe spirit and you have lived up to your motto ‘Stronger Together’. Together, we have responded to the needs of people around the world and worked towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.“
Highlights of the CPMA-GIZ co-Presidency 2021-2022
In keeping with its year-long priorities, the co-Presidency emphasised “inclusiveness” as a guiding principle and approach within the network by fostering exchanges in its Working Groups, as well as ensuring agile participation opportunities for all PN Members in the network’s activities. This also applied to (online) meetings of the PN CEOs that focused on the importance of Public Sector Expertise (PSE) as a form of technical cooperation and the future ambitions of the network. The latter resulted in an overarching strategic framework that was officially endorsed in Vilnius and will guide the network for the next eight years. Throughout the various exchanges, the co-Presidency focused the network’s exchanges in the areas of digitalisation, mobilising PSE from EU Member States’ administrations to promote reform, and exchange with partner countries, as well as the external dimension of the European Green Deal. Further, GIZ and CPMA brought key players together in dialogue forums, such as the European Development Days or the Finance in Common Summit, contributing to aligning financial and technical assistance providers and supporting the effectiveness of international cooperation.
Passing on the baton
At the AMGA, CPMA and GIZ passed on the PN Presidency to the next co-Presidents: the Spanish Fundación Internacional y para Iberoamérica de Administración y Políticas Públicas (FIIAPP) and the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV).
About the Practitioners’ Network
The PN is an open platform for exchange, coordination and harmonisation between 17 European development cooperation organisations with a public service mission (Members), 5 Associates (e.g. Ministry) and the European Commission (Observer). Via its Working Groups and Task Force, the network fosters horizontal and sectoral exchanges – well in line with priority topics for the European Commission and partner countries. For example, it covers areas such as financial and contractual issues, effective partnerships and implementation, collaboration with the private sector, mainstreaming gender equality, climate or cooperating under the Team Europe approach. Members take over the Presidency on a voluntary rotating basis and define respective priorities for their term to guide the work of the network.
The Annual Meeting of the General Assembly
As the main body of the PN, the General Assembly marks the one time in the year when all 23 Members gather to discuss and take strategic decisions and formally endorse future “offices”. In a well-established tradition, the first day is dedicated to a strategic exchange among the CEOs and the European Commission, while the second day focuses on the more operational decisions of the network with the PN focal persons and co-leads of the Working Groups and Task Force discussing their achievements.
The Central Project Management Agency (CPMA) is a European Commission pillar-assessed public institution established in 2003 by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania. CPMA is a development cooperation agency of Lithuania in charge of implementing and administering development cooperation programmes and projects of Lithuanian public sector institutions and beyond. CPMA has 20-year long experience in administering and implementing complex EU and other donor funded projects. Since Lithuania’s accession to the EU in 2004 the CPMA implements and administers the EU funded development cooperation projects mainly in Eastern Partnership and Western Balkan countries. Apart from development cooperation activities, CPMA is in charge of management of public investment programmes and Public Private Partnership methodology centre in Lithuania. The current portfolio of CPMA programmes is around 16 billion EUR.
As a provider of international cooperation services for sustainable development and international education work, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Gmbh is dedicated to building a future worth living around the world. As a German public-benefit federal enterprise, GIZ has over 50 years of experience in various areas, including economic development and employment, energy and the environment, and peace and security. The diverse GIZ expertise is in demand worldwide, with the German Government, European Union institutions, the United Nations, the private sector and governments of other countries all benefiting from the services.
FIIAPP (Fundación Internacional y para Iberoamérica de Administración y Políticas Públicas) is a public sector foundation, part of the Spanish and European public cooperation systems. FIIAPP is specialised in promoting and managing the participation of institutions, public administrations and their associated bodies in international cooperation programmes and projects in more than 100 countries within the framework of the 2030 Agenda. By accompanying the reform and the improvement of public policies, FIIAPP directs these actions towards institutional strengthening and sustainable and inclusive development results for the benefit of the people and the planet.
SNV is an international development organisation that applies practical knowledge to make a lasting difference in the lives of people living in poverty. SNV uses its extensive and long-term incountry presence to apply and adapt its expertise in agriculture, energy, and water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH) to local contexts. SNV has annual revenues of over €120 million, and 1300 staff working in 25 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America. SNV is a not-for-profit organisation that uses project financing to implement its mission.