Home News The Practitioners’ Network gathers on 11 and 12 May in Vilnius for its Annual Meeting of the General Assembly
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). SAIDC was represented at the meeting by its director, Tomáš Bokor.
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).
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.“
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 internationalcooperation.
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 SNV Netherlands Development Organisation.
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.
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.