Though their efforts are often overlooked, from cultural exchange to capacity building, local players are a key part of the European integration of Western Balkan and Eastern European countries and need more support.
Cities across the world have chosen to go beyond fulfilling their citizens’ needs and contribute to development by engaging in international cooperation. EURACTIV has looked into local and regional leaders’ motivation to do so.
The Government of the province of Barcelona (Spain) and six municipalities in Marrakesh (Morocco) have been working together to strengthen participatory democracy and upholding women’s rights in the region through decentralised cooperation for three years.
The geopolitical Europea Commission ambition would turn cooperation and development policy into an internal and external interest-driven policy, Alexei Jones, Senior Policy Officer at the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) told EURACTIV.
Decentralised cooperation has been a pillar in international development for the past 10 years but stakeholders fear the new EU long-term budget might threaten the role of local authorities in the field.
Decentralised cooperation has allowed to better adapt EU’s cooperation policies to the needs of the people in the field. However, with the new negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework, the role of local authorities in cooperation policies might be at stake.
The Cotonou agreement has regulated cooperation between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries since 2000. With negotiations on its successor about to start, the results so far seem mixed. EURACTIV France reports.