SOLIDAR Weekly Round Up 06-11-2015
Apologies? And then?
06 November 2015
In our post-modern societies giving apologies has become a frequently used way of expression justified by its political correctness. Politicians after having stepped back from office more and more apologize for wrong decisions taken while in office although these apologies have rather more impact on their own conscious than on tackling the consequences of these wrong decisions. When a former UK Prime Minister apologized for the agreement with the Bush administration to join the Iraq War we may we may tend to remind them that civil society organisations and movements have always alerted on the possible risks and consequences, namely that an important number of European countries, like France and Germany, had not joined the coalition, that the justification was based on assumptions rather than risks.
It is outrageous to think that those who’ve asked for absolution think of doing so while the Arab populations suffer from the wars and conflicts, the whole region is completely destabilized and even modest progress as a result of the Arab Spring is threatened to be undermined.
As Europeans we want and will continue to support the efforts High Representative Mogherini who seems to follow a multipolar approach and who acknowledges the involvement of stakeholders. The Nuclear agreement with Iran and the fact that Russia and Iran are associated to the Vienna conference represent progress on the diplomatic level, however not yet a breakthrough. Nevertheless when the work programme of the European Commission is neglecting development policies and reduces them to trade and economic cooperation, it seems that a major misunderstanding prevails.
Last week SOLIDAR together with its members and partners organised a conference in Beirut to discuss the EU-Arab Partnership (see article and report) and we will continue in November to work on the revision of the European Neighbourhood Policy insisting on an economic, social and human rights based approach.
Together with Gianni Pitella, President of the S&D Group, we’ve visited last Saturday the place of the 1982 massacre of the Shatila camp to see our member ARCS’ education project and met children, young and less young people who still have hopes and clear expectations towards Europe, we should not disappoint them at the risk of seeing some joining DAESH or desert the region.
Our regional partners need support, need empowerment to play a role in the conflicts and transition processes. Enough of reports and reporting procedures because we know about the realities. Our neighbours need support, need recognition. Europe needs a master plan and not a Quire of many diverging voices. Like in Europe the only alternative is empowering democratic civil society forces, investing in sustainable social, educational, economic and political development!
Together for Social Europe
Stepping up efforts for a truly inclusive Europe – Lessons learnt from SOLIDAR members contributing to integration of migrants
04 November 2015
The exceptional refugee and migrant flow to Europe of the last months represents a set of challenges and opportunities which cannot be solved by emergency measures alone, it must be accompanied by comprehensive investment plans to facilitate long-term integration of the newcomers and social cohesion
…but how to do that? How to empower migrants and refugees to truly participate in the life of their communities? How to support their socio-economic integration? How to promote a culture of peace and intercultural coexistence in the hosting communities? The programmes and activities implemented by our committed and competent members in the field of integration deliver concrete and inspiring examples.
Join us on 1st December for the book launch of ‘Progressive structural reforms – Proposals for European reforms to reduce inequalities and promote jobs, growth and social investment’
During the crisis, Europe’s focus was narrowly concentrated on financial and fiscal consolidation, leaving aside the urgently needed social consolidation exposed by the failure to reach the anti-poverty and employment targets of the Europe 2020 strategy. Despite this, the European Commission keeps promising it will earn a social AAA rating, while necessary reforms to achieve a meaningful shift towards upward social convergence, predistribution and equality are absent. (Neo-liberal) austerity measures that hit public services, education, health and social services, can no longer be an option to restart the European economy.
Building Learning Societies
Validation of learning outcomes
06 November 2015
On 5-6 November members of SOLIDAR Education Experts` Network are meeting in Helsinki to look at the current state of play on validation and recognition of learning outcomes of non-formal and informal learning. The meeting is hosted by SOLIDAR member organisation Työväen Sivistysliitto (TSL) – Workers’ Educational Association WEA of Finland that is one of the biggest Finnish educational associations (study centres), by the volume of activities and by the participation in studies. TSL – WEA of Finland focuses on team work skills, communicative skills, IT skills and self-actualisation and promotes educational activity in the Finnish society. TSL – WEA of Finland provides general adult education especially for the less-educated adult population hit hardest by the ongoing structural and socio-economical changes.The organisation offers advisory services and consulting on education, trains tutors and leaders for study groups, organizes cour ses and publishes study material; and has many years of experience in organizing distance teaching and multi-method training.
Organising International Solidarity
SOLIDAR at the third regional conference on the EU-Arab partnership in Beirut
05 November 2015
From 30-31 October 2015, the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), together with the EuroMed Non-Governmental Platform and SOLIDAR, organized a two –days regional conference in Beirut, in order to discuss the ongoing challenges related to the EU-Arab Partnership, in the framework of the upcoming revision of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).
The regional dialogue brought together around 80 participants from CSOs from the Arab region and Europe, including SOLIDAR members active in the MENA region, representatives from the Trade Unions, including CGIL, Arab trade Union Confederation (ATUC), and UGTT. The event was attended also by Maciej Golubiewski, from the EU Delegation in Lebanon, and the members of the European Parliament Pier Antonio Panzeri, Richard Howitt and Kashetu Kyenge.
SOLIDAR and its members and partners are organising the European Neighbourhood Days that will take place from 16th & 17th November 2015 in Brussels.
You can register now for our two public events;
- ‘Defending Civil Society Space. EU-Arab Dialogue: Rebuilding relations with European Southern Neighbourhood Countries’
Seminar organised by CONCORD, Euromed Non-Governmental Platform and the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND).
16 November 2015 , 09:30 – 16:30 at the EESC
- ‘The EU as a peace promoter in the Middle East and North Africa: between human rights and security’
Roundtable debate organised by SOLIDAR, Euromed Non-Governmental Platform and the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) hosted by Pier Antonio Panzeri , MEP.
17 November 2015, 18:00 – 20:00 at the European Parliament