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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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.