News | Jun 12, 2024

European Development Cooperation Organisations Lead the Way: Practitioners' Network came together for 17th Annual Meeting in Marseille

European Development Cooperation Organisations Lead the Way: Practitioners' Network came together for 17th Annual Meeting in Marseille
  • The general directors of 24 European development organisations and the European Commission gathered in Marseille for the 17th Annual Meeting of the General Assembly
  • This event not only marked the end of Expertise France's Presidency but also inaugurated the co-Presidency of Austrian Development AgencyExpertise France for the tenure of 2024-2025.
  • The general directors reflected on the role of development cooperation in the implementation of Global Gateway, with a specific focus on coordination between technical and financial cooperation in fragile contexts and on strategic corridors. 

The AMGA proved to be a crucial moment for the Network, providing a platform to reflect on the achievements of the past year, outline plans for the upcoming year, and ratify significant initiatives to address both internal and external challenges. 

Starting from left to right, Hugh Moffat, Director of Global Partnerships of British Council; Lidija Kašubienė, CEO of CPMA; Martin Heather, Policy Team Leader of FCDO; Elke Kaschl Mohni, Regional Director Southwest Europe and Delegate for European Affairs of Goethe-Institut; Michal Čornak, Director of SAIDC; Daniela Dobre, Director of RoAid; Marco Riccardo Rusconi, CEO of AICS; Jean Van Wetter, CEO of Enabel; Luc Bagur, Director of DG INTPA; Mathieu Bousquet, Director Thematic Support, Coordination of Policy and Financial Instruments of NEAR; Cassilde Brenièr, Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Operations of Expertise France; Jérémie Pellet, CEO of Expertise; Dr. Friedrich Stift, CEO of ADA; Anita Krumina, CEO of CFCA; André van Ommeren, CEO of RVO; Francisco Tierraseca, Director of FIIAPP; Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, Director of GIZ; Blanca Yañez Minondo, Head of Multilateral Cooperation and the European Union of AECID; Simon O'Connell, CEO of SNV; Juha Savolainen, Deputy Director General, Department for Development Policy of MFA Finland; Ricardo Vitória, Vice-President of Camões; Manuel Tonnar, Director of LuxDev; Torbjörn Pettersson, Deputy Director General of Sida; Klen Jäärats, CEO of ESTDEV; Bernard Jaspers Faijer, Directorate-General for International Cooperation of MFA The Netherlands; and Michal Minčev, Director of CzechAid.

In the rapidly changing global landscape, the Practitioners' Network has emerged as a leader network in European development cooperation, embodying the collective commitment of its Members to foster a more sustainable future. Over the past year, amidst geopolitical shifts, the Network strategically navigated internal and external endeavors, resulting in commendable achievements, and setting the course for future initiatives.

The Network reaffirmed its unwavering dedication to advancing European development cooperation. Noteworthy accomplishments included:

  • Development of a Position Paper on the Global Gateway, articulating the indispensable role of European development cooperation organisations in fostering international partnerships and unlocking the full potential of the Global Gateway initiative.
  • Active participation in European dialogues and consultations, including engagements with the EU Development DG and CODEV-PI Financial Counsellors session, underscoring the Network invaluable contribution to shaping European development policy. 
  • Co-organisation of crucial consultations such as the mid-term evaluation of the NDICI-Global Europe programming. 
  • Organisation of the second Country visit to Albania, driving Albania's sustainable development agenda forward and meeting with Albanian authorities to discuss how technical cooperation can foster Albania integration process to the EU
  • Expansion of relations and partnerships with external stakeholders, including engagements with AUDA-NEPAD and various working groups, reaffirming the PN's status as a trusted partner in the global development community. 

As the Practitioners' Network embarked on a new chapter under the co-Presidency of ADA-EF, it will continue promoting the Team Europe approach, strengthening cooperation, particularly with key partners such as European Development Finance Institutions and Joint European Financers for International Cooperation.  

One of the main outcomes of this year's AMGA is the approval in principle to establish the Network as an international non-profit association based in Belgium. This will enhance the Network's visibility and strengthen our ability to contribute our know-how and expertise to European Development Cooperation ecosystem and the European Commission. CEOs will be invited to meet in person in Brussels during the fall to endorse officially the PN as an association.

Read the full joint interview with Friedrich STIFT, Director General of ADA, and Jérémie PELLET, Director General of Expertise France, about their views on the Network and their ambitions for this year of co-Presidency here.