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Weblinks - 13. Juli 2020 - 17:36

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  • Das Netzwerk fördert Austausch und Kooperationen zwischen zivilgesellschaftlich Engagierten. Die Beteiligten unterstützten sich gegenseitig, tauschen vielfältige Perspektiven aus und entwickeln gemeinsame Positionen und Aktionen. - Karsten Weitzenegger

Tags: hamburg, nro, bildung, deutschland, globales_lernen

by: Karsten Weitzenegger

BürgerStiftung: Fördertopf „Junges Engagement im Umwelt-/Klimaschutz“ (bis 26.8.2020)

#Nachhaltigkeit in #Hamburg - 8. Juli 2020 - 11:36
Mit der Einrichtung des Fonds hat sich die BürgerStiftung Hamburg zum Ziel gesetzt, junge Menschen aus Hamburg (10 – 25 Jahre) niedrigschwellig darin zu unterstützen, ihre eigenen Projekte und Ideen zum Umwelt- und Klimaschutz umzusetzen. Antragsberechtigt sind sowohl Projekte von [...]

SÜDWIND Newsletter

SID Blog - 5. Juli 2020 - 17:23

Africa and Europe: A Kenyan civil society perspective on our relations and expectations

VENRO - 2. Juli 2020 - 14:18

VENRO’s Digital Africa Forum 2020 mobilised African and European civil society to deliberate and develop practical recommendations to the German EU Presidency. Representing African participants during the kick-off workshop, Helen Owino reflects upon the potentials of the AU-EU partnership and calls for an inclusive participation of civil society.

In recent years, Africa has been recording steady economic growth. Thirty African States are middle-income or high-income countries. The continent’s economic expansion has the potential to accelerate and drive broader social and human development with new opportunities arising from the digital transformation, the demographic dividend, low-cost renewable energy, the green transition and a low-carbon, blue and circular economy.

At the same time, many challenges remain. Thirty-six of the world’s most fragile countries are in Africa and often weakened by conflicts. The continent hosts 390 million people living below the poverty line. Growth has not always been inclusive, notably due to governance challenges. Africa, as the rest of the world, is also affected by the consequences of climate change, environmental degradation and pollution, and the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Africa’s potential attracts increased interest from many actors. This is a welcome development, as it widens Africa’s options and creates room for synergies. On 9th March 2020, the President of the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy presented a draft for a new EU-Africa strategy. The document proposes to strengthen the cooperation between the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) through partnerships in five key areas: green transition; digital transformation; sustainable growth and jobs; peace and governance; migration and mobility. The proposal is part of an ongoing dialogue and will be the basis of discussion in the run-up to the next AU-EU Summit in Brussels in October 2020, which will be the occasion to define joint strategic priorities for the years to come.

The German EU Council Presidency from July to December 2020 is a window of opportunity for civil society organizations (CSOs) to advocate for responsible political decision-making. I happened to be meaningfully engaged in a virtual consultation process through the Digital Africa Forum 2020 organised by VENRO. It mobilised African and European civil society to deliberate and develop practical recommendations to the German EU Presidency.

How can we ensure the AU-EU partnership is beneficial to an ordinary citizen?

This engagement and participation was a reflective process on what the AU-EU partnership actually translates to at national and bilateral cooperation level. I kept thinking about what it would mean for an ordinary citizen. That small scale artisan worker that makes and sells steel doors and window frames for a living, who has trouble getting registration for his business and when he does, is taxed heavily because of the high public sector deficits and inflation rates. How can we ensure the partnership is beneficial to this person by addressing his needs?

Much as one would like to commend the regional blocs for policy documents outlining the foundations for their partnership after the end of the Cotonou Agreement, there are gaps and challenges that need to be addressed especially from the perspective of the ordinary poor citizen. The same is true for Kenya’s Vision 2030, which is the country’s development blueprint covering the period 2008 to 2030. Its main aim is to transform the country into a middle-income country by 2030. The blueprint vision is based on three key pillars: economic, social and political.

The economic pillar aims to improve prosperity of all. Kenya’s population is largely youthful. Many are completing school education and joining a labour market with no jobs. In the case of Kenya, cooperation must thus focus on economic relations that create jobs for young people, especially keeping in mind that the informal sector currently employs over 70% of the country’s workforce. In this sense, African-European cooperation should support agriculture because of its ability to create employment. Tourism, manufacturing for regional markets, inclusive wholesale and retail trade, financial and business support services are other sectors with a lot potential to provide jobs.

Unfortunately, Vision 2030 places the highest premium on stable macroeconomic environment. In the coming years, this is under threat by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic like high inflation, high interest rates, and increasing public sector deficits. A bilateral cooperation needs to consider strengthening policies such as the Macro Economic Stability Framework at national level in order to caution the ordinary poor citizen and investors from these negative consequences.

The political pillar, on the other hand, aims to realise a democratic political system founded on issue-based politics that respects the rule of law and protects the rights and freedoms of every individual. The government officially recognises that in an open democratic society like Kenya, the people themselves, parliament, civil society and a vigilant press are the ultimate defence against abuse of office.

Any bilateral relation must strengthen space of civil society

Kenya has a vibrant CSO arena with over 6,000 registered non-governmental organizations. CSOs play an important role in numerous sectors including education, gender equality, health, agriculture, manufacturing, housing, trade etc. Nevertheless, the role of civil society in national development and expanding democratic space continues to be challenged. Controls, intimidation and threats for deregistration from government continue. For example, CSOs operations are reduced by restricting their ability to provide education and information to citizens or by bringing in legislation to control registration and rules on generating 80% of resources locally and only 20% externally. Any bilateral relation must therefore acknowledge and strengthen space of civil society to increase its role in national accountability.

In conclusion, two key issues come to play: the need to ensure inclusivity in the EU-Africa Strategy development process by creating spaces for participation. Our CSOs call for meaningful engagement of African citizens in the consultation processes. Their recommendations will build on and enrich the partnership and deepen the AU-EU relations. Secondly, civil society will play a pivotal role in holding governments accountable to the commitments made at the global and regional level and thus their involvement throughout the process needs to be a focus for the German EU presidency. AU and EU must provide support and finance meetings to make inclusive participation of civil society happen.

Helen Owino is a Program Officer for Advocacy at the Centre for the Study of Adolescence (Kenya). She participated in the Digital Africa Forum 2020 and represented African participants during VENRO’s kick-off workshop on 29 June 2020.

EU-Haushalt: Flaggschiffe europäischer Interessen oder Leuchttürme nachhaltiger Entwicklungszusammenarbeit?

VENRO - 2. Juli 2020 - 11:02

Die Vorschläge der EU-Kommission zur Finanzierung und Ausgestaltung neuer Außeninstrumente stehen zur Entscheidung an. VENRO plädiert für eine Ausrichtung an Armutsreduzierung, den Nachhaltigkeitszielen der Agenda 2030 und den internationalen Klimaschutzzielen sowie für eine starke Rolle der Zivilgesellschaft.

Wird es am 17. und 18. Juli 2020 endlich soweit sein? Beim ersten Europäischen Rat der deutschen Ratspräsidentschaft 2020 wollen sich die Mitgliedsstaaten erstmals seit Wochen wieder persönlich begegnen. Das ist wichtig, denn Entscheidungen über Geld lassen sich schlecht per Video treffen.

Und es geht um viel Geld: Der Vorschlag für den Mehrjährigen Finanzrahmen der EU für die nächsten sieben Jahre (MFR 2021-2027) umfasst 1.100 Milliarden Euro sowie Zusatzmittel zur Bewältigung der COVID-19-Pandemie (“Next Generation EU“, NGEU) von 750 Milliarden Euro bis Ende 2024. Eine Entscheidung im Juli ist nötig, damit sich der Start der neuen EU-Finanzierungsprogramme im kommenden Jahr nicht unnötig verzögert.

Teil des geplanten Gesamtpakets sind die Außenhilfen in der Rubrik „Europa und die Welt“, die zusammen mit den anteiligen Zusatzmitteln aus NGEU etwa 118 Milliarden Euro ausmachen sollen. Die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit soll mit dem Finanzierungsinstrument „Nachbarschaft, Entwicklung und internationale Zusammenarbeit“ (NDICI) auf neue Füße gestellt werden. Die humanitäre Hilfe behält ein eigenes Instrument.

Das NDICI soll mit regulär knapp 75,5 Milliarden sowie zusätzlich mit 10,5 Milliarden Euro aus dem NGEU-Paket ausgestattet werden. Die humanitäre Hilfe soll regulär 9,76 Milliarden Euro und weitere 5 Milliarden Euro aus dem NGEU erhalten. Mittel aus dem Europäischen Entwicklungsfonds (EEF), der der Finanzierung des Cotonou-Abkommens diente, werden für die Umsetzung des Nachfolgeabkommens in das NDICI integriert.

Der Zeitplan ist ehrgeizig: Bis Ende Juli sollen die Rahmenzahlen vereinbart sein. Von Juli bis Ende November läuft der sogenannte “Trialog“ zwischen der EU-Kommission, den Mitgliedsstaaten und dem Europäischen Parlament zur Aushandlung detaillierter Vereinbarungen über die Rechtstexte der Finanzierungsinstrumente. Von Juli bis Ende April 2021 erfolgt der Programmierungsprozess, also die Ausgabenplanung zunächst für 2021 bis Ende 2024. Von besonderer Bedeutung wird hierbei die Bewältigung der sozialen und wirtschaftlichen Auswirkungen der COVID-19-Pandemie sein.

Was soll sich für die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit ändern?

Die wichtigste Neuerung ist die Stärkung der Förderung des Privatsektors über Kredit-, Garantie- und Blendinginstrumente (etwa durch den Europäischen Fonds für Nachhaltige Entwicklung, EFSD+). Die geografische Zusammenarbeit wird mit circa 75 bis 79 Prozent der vorgesehenen Mittel gegenüber der thematischen weiter gestärkt. Die Mittelvergabe soll vor allem an die EU-Nachbarschaftsstaaten und Afrika erfolgen, wobei die zu fördernden Themen noch umstritten sind. Einige Mitgliedstaaten fordern ein weiterhin eigenständiges Nachbarschaftsinstrument.

Auch die Integration des vormaligen EEF ist noch nicht sicher. Die Mittel sollen in den Partnerländern der EU für sogenannte “Flaggschiffinitiativen“ verwendet werden. Worum es bei diesen Initiativen geht, ist allerdings noch unklar. Die Ergebnisse der Verhandlungen der EU-Delegationen über den Programmierungsprozess sind nämlich nicht öffentlich. Als “Team Europe“ will die EU-Kommission ihre Entwicklungszusammenarbeit zwar noch stärker gemeinsam mit jener der Mitgliedstaaten über ein “Joint Programming“ definieren. Offen ist jedoch, welche Themen dabei im Vordergrund stehen werden: Digitalisierung, Green Deal, Migrationspartnerschaften, Wirtschaftswachstum und Beschäftigungsförderung?

VENRO fordert Priorisierung der Partnerländer und Förderung zivilgesellschaftlichen Engagements

VENRO hat die bislang bekannten Vorschläge der EU-Institutionen und der EU-Mitgliedsstaaten analysiert und fordert: Die Schwerpunkte in der Zusammenarbeit der EU mit ihren Partnerländern müssen Armutsreduzierung, die SDG-Agenda und das Pariser Klimaschutzabkommens sein. Zudem müssen die Prioritäten der Partnerländer Vorrang haben vor den strategischen Interessen der EU.

Außerdem muss der Richtwert, 95 Prozent der Mittel für Entwicklungszusammenarbeit anhand der ODA-Kriterien zu verausgaben, eingehalten werden. Die EU und ihre Mitgliedsstaaten müssen dafür ein unabhängiges und transparentes Monitoring ermöglichen, das an den Leitzielen Gendergerechtigkeit, Menschliche Entwicklung und Klimaschutz ausgerichtet ist.

Garantie-, Kredit- und Blending-Instrumente dürfen die Verschuldungslast der Partnerländer nicht weiter verschärfen. Privatsektorförderung muss verbindlichen menschenrechtlichen und sozial-ökologischen Standards folgen. Die geförderten Unternehmen sollten daran gemessen werden, ob ihre Investitionen entwicklungsfördernde, also vor allem armutsreduzierende, Wirkungen haben. Lokale Kleinst-, kleine und mittlere Unternehmen, die nachhaltig und umweltverträglich produzieren, sollten daher am stärksten unterstützt werden.

Nicht zuletzt muss die Rolle der lokalen und internationalen Zivilgesellschaft in der Formulierung und Umsetzung von Programmen über die thematische Säule hinaus in der geografischen Kooperation verankert werden. Die Bundesregierung sollte die deutsche EU-Ratspräsidentschaft nutzen, um die Perspektiven der lokalen Zivilgesellschaft immer wieder zu Gehör zu bringen.

In unserem Positionspapier „Für eine faire Partnerschaft zwischen Afrika und Europa“ haben wir zivilgesellschaftliche Forderungen zur deutschen EU-Ratspräsidentschaft 2020 formuliert. Die Publikation ist ebenfalls auf Englisch und Französisch verfügbar.

Building better without building back a broken system | Web conference

SID Hamburg - 1. Juli 2020 - 21:34
  With support from
Web conversation in the run-up to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Building better without building back a broken system Lessons from the global COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the SDGs Monday, 6 July 2020, 8:30-10:00am EDT

 

Please register here

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a massive impact on the implementation of the SDGs and the fulfilment of human rights. The looming global recession will dramatically increase unemployment, poverty and hunger worldwide. Moreover, the crisis threatens to further deepen discrimination and inequalities. In many countries the macroeconomic situation had already deteriorated before the outbreak of the virus. A vicious circle of debt and austerity policies undermined socio-economic development in many countries.

Many now demand to build back better. But does “building back” really lead to the urgently needed transformational change? What kind of policies and strategies are necessary to ensure that human rights, gender justice and sustainability goals form integral components of all stimulus packages and government responses to the current crisis? How to revalue the importance of care and to rebuild global public services?

These questions will be discussed in this year's report Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2020. It is closely related to the theme of the HLPF 2020. With this virtual side event, we will present preliminary findings to be found in the report later this year.

Brief Statements by

Roberto Bissio, Coordinator of Social Watch
María Graciela Cuervo, General Co-coordinator of Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)
David Boys, Deputy General Secretary of Public Services International
Kate Donald, Director Human Rights in Economic and Social Policy at the Center for Economic and Social Rights

Coments by

Ziad Abdel Samad, Executive Director of the Arab NGO Network for Development
Stefano Prato, Executive Director of the Society for International Development
Barbara Adams, President of Global Policy Forum

Moderator/Facilitator

Bodo Ellmers, Director of Sustainable Development Finance, Global Policy Forum Europe
Elisabeth Bollrich, Global Economy Expert at Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

 

Please register here: https://www. fes.de/veranstaltungen/?Veranummer=248 832
Participants will receive the login details for the web conversation upon registering for this event.

Sorry for cross-posting.

Fair trade and covid-19: Resisting resilience?

DIE Blog - 1. Juli 2020 - 15:41

New buzzword – why so popular?

Resilience has become increasingly popular in all dimensions of our lives and also in different academic disciplines ranging from ecology to psychology and social sciences. The resilience turn has also reached the EU: first in EU development and humanitarian aid policy in 2012, then European neighbourhood policy in 2015, after which it became the centerpiece of the EU’s Global Strategy of 2016.

Interestingly, since the Covid-19 crisis hit Europe in March 2020, also EU trade policy discourse is full of ‘resilience’. Announcing his new Trade Policy Review, which comes earlier than foreseen because of the Covid-19 crisis, EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan mentioned the concept six times. This popularity is not difficult to understand: we all appreciate its optimistic connotation in uncertain times. It is hard to be against resilience and more of it is always better.

However, there is a less innocent reason for its appeal. Resilience resonates very easily with the prevailing free trade paradigm.

Neoliberalism did it again

There is an extensive and sophisticated literature on what resilience means, which can be roughly divided in two views. The conservative view sees resilience as recovering from a shock back to the original stage, whereas the transformative view stresses how crises imply adaptation and eventually a new equilibrium. Both views have in common that:

(1) they present the crisis as something external – that cannot be fixed or prevented

(2) they shift the responsibility for dealing with it to individuals and communities – instead of addressing unjust structures at systemic level

(3) they cultivate neoliberal virtues of creativity and entrepreneurship – rather than recognizing people’s basic human rights

 

Hence, the transformative vision may not be that different from the conservative one. While it sounds positive and hopeful, ironically, it relies on the fatalistic assumption that crises will require us to change. As some scholars noted, it constitutes a ‘colonization of the political imagination’ and ‘offers hope in a hopeless world’.

Clearly, the focus is not on system change and preventing future crises. When the next crisis hits, we have to be better equipped to recover or adapt. Fortunately, we can organize trainings to develop resilience and develop indicators to measure progress.

Resilience enters EU trade…

Given the neoliberal tenets of resilience thinking, it may not be surprising that the EU Trade Commissioner and the Council of Trade Ministers have come to espouse the resilience turn. Also free trade advocates have discovered resilience as a key ingredient of the EU’s trade policy response to the crisis.

Just like other terms such as sustainability, transparency and inclusion, resilience can easily be molded to serve various agendas. Not only does it ignore the systemic flaws of neoliberal globalization, it also appeals to those advocating a stronger and more coherent EU foreign and security policy, and it has a progressive (transformative!) flavour to it. This fits in the EU’s wider trade response to covid-19: despite cautious and ambiguous emphasis on strategic autonomy for some products, ‘business as usual’ prevails.

For the Commission, the crisis shows the need to speed up the trade deal with the US (formerly called TTIP) and to revitalize liberalization in the World Trade Organization (WTO). An ambitious deal with Mexico was signed end April and negotiations with Australia and New Zealand continue. The resilience goal does not challenge the EU’s ‘hands off’ approach to fair trade – quite the contrary. Meanwhile, the resilience concept has been joined by ‘open strategic autonomy’, which leaves sufficient ambiguity to continue liberalization with some exceptions.

… including fair trade

More surprisingly perhaps: also fair trade advocates in Europe have embraced the resilience hype. To be fair, the movement also uses more radical language, arguing that the crisis provides ‘an opportunity to radically rethink the unsustainable and unequal global growth model’ and demanding binding EU legislation on business and human rights due diligence. More worrying is that resilience also sneaked into the fair trade discourse. It was remarkably quickly promoted to become a key element of the message of fair trade and trade justice movements. Until 2020, resilience barely appeared in key documents. It was absent in a 36-pages vision document on fair trade in Europe (‘sustainability’ was mentioned 172 times) and it appears just once in passing in the 19-page International Fair Trade Charter. The 20-pages Alternative Trade Mandate had only a single reference to the concept, which is entirely absent in the 39-pages Friends of the Earth report (‘sustainable’ and ‘sustainability’ appear 199 times).

Suddenly then, resilience appears everywhere. The brief Fair Trade movement statement to G-20 leaders of 15 April 2020 refers three times to resilience. The two-page summary of a webinar on the corona crisis and fair trade mentions it twice. A Fair Trade International Symposium online event was devoted to the impact of Covid-19 on ‘Fair Trade and resilience in supply chains’. Fairtrade International’s press announcement at the occasion of World Fair Trade Day has resilience in its title and ten times in the 1-pager, which highlights the creation of a ‘Fairtrade Producer Resilience Fund’ in response to the covid-19 pandemic.

Quo vadis fair trade

 However, resilience remains underdefined. Fair trade references to resilience refer to people (‘workers’, ‘farmers’ and ‘producers’) in the global South, or to ‘supply chains’. It is unclear what exactly resilient supply chains would look like. This confusion facilitates a discursive alliance between resilience and the free trade philosophy. Is this a problem? Perhaps not, but it puts the finger on past and ongoing debates on whether fair trade should involve radical change of the trading system versus specific reforms within the existing system. Fair trade against the market or in the market?

While proponents of ‘alternative trade’ demanded an overhaul of the global economic system in the 1960s, they shifted emphasis to the selling of products that would reap direct benefits for producers since the 1980s.

In theory, the long-term radical vision and short-term pragmatism could be combined. Over time, however, market activities came to overshadow social justice concerns and fair trade became increasingly associated with specific shops and product labels. Instead of an alternative to the market, it became a niche market in itself.

Towards a radical agenda

In the past decades, fair trade advocates have already included enough ambiguous concepts in its discursive armory, such as ‘fair’, ‘just’, ‘inclusive’ and ‘sustainable’. ‘Resilience’ now just adds another layer of fuzziness. Instead, it should be carefully reconsidered what fair trade means, how we can achieve it and how ‘resilience’ possibly fits in this picture. This inevitably involves a critique of neoliberal globalization, which has once again shown its vulnerabilities during the Covid-19 crisis.

First, changes or abolition of existing trade and investment rules could be advocated, with the purpose of subordinating free enterprise to social and ecological objectives and promoting less trade at regional scale. Second, instead of voluntary fairtrade labels, priority could be given to arrangements that regulate commodity markets and guarantee sufficiently high and stable prices. Third, key attention should go to UN and EU negotiations on business and human rights. Finally, the fair trade movement cannot be ignorant about the historical and colonial dimension of unequal trade relations, and should be at the forefront of decolonization debates and support claims for reparations.

While these suggestions might seem utopian, they merely undo the worst (and radical) measures of the past 30 years, revalue the critical and post-colonial roots of the fair trade movement, and add recent insights on global justice, de-growth and post-development.

Der Beitrag Fair trade and covid-19: Resisting resilience? erschien zuerst auf International Development Blog.

Dar es Salaam und Hamburg: Städtepartnerschaft in schwierigen Zeiten

SID Hamburg - 1. Juli 2020 - 13:04

Am 1. Juli 2020 feiern Hamburg und Dar es Salaam ihr 10-jähriges Jubiläum. Hamburg hilft der Partnerstadt in der Corona-Krise mit konkreten Projekten.

Staatsrätin Almut Möller, Bevollmächtigte Hamburgs beim Bund, bei der Europäischen Union und für auswärtige Angelegenheiten: „Leider können wir uns wegen der Covid-19-Pandemie in diesem Jahr nicht besuchen und unser Jubiläum nicht gemeinsam feiern. Hamburg ist den Menschen in Dar es Salaam in diesen schwierigen Zeiten dennoch eng verbunden. Der Senat unterstützt verschiedene Organisationen vor Ort finanziell, damit Schutzkleidung für Beschäftigte im Gesundheitswesen beschafft wird, Stoffmasken in Werkstätten von Frauen hergestellt und Hygiene-Stationen im öffentlichen Raum errichtet werden können. Hamburg leistet damit einen wichtigen Beitrag zur Virusbekämpfung in seiner tansanischen Partnerstadt.“

Aus Anlass des Jubiläums zeigt ein Kurzfilm die Vielfalt von Austausch und Zusammenarbeit, die sich innerhalb eines Jahrzehnts zwischen beiden Städten entwickelt hat. Dazu gehören Klimaschutzprojekte und wissenschaftlicher Austausch, Zusammenarbeit von Krankenhäusern, Schulpartnerschaften und Berufsbildung, Jugendbegegnungen und gemeinsame künstlerische Projekte. Der Kurzfilm, der auch eine Videobotschaft von Bürgermeister Tschentscher enthält, ist vom Hamburger Dokumentarfilmer Thomas Schlottmann mit zahlreichen Akteuren der Städtepartnerschaft produziert worden. Der Kurzfilm ist unter https://www. hamburg.de/dar-es-salaam/ zu sehen. 

Hintergrund

Die Partnerschaftsvereinbarung mit Dar es Salaam wurde am 1. Juli 2010 von Hamburgs Bürgermeister Ole von Beust und dem Bürgermeister von Dar es Salaam, Adam O. Kimbisa, im Hamburger Rathaus unterzeichnet. Heute pflegen rund 30 Hamburger Initiativen und Organisationen wie beispielsweise Sportvereine, Schulklassen oder Krankenhäuser  Austausch mit der Partnerstadt.

Foto (c) Senatskanzlei Hamburg

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