Principles of cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and social partners as regards development cooperation
This proposal for good practice was developed to improve communication between the MFA and social partners involved in development cooperation and to supplement the formal dialogue carried out with partners of the MFA in the Development Cooperation Policy Council. The following describes the principles of the organization of regular meetings attended by the Under-Secretary of State in the MFA in charge of development cooperation and directors responsible for the implementation of the development policy at the MFA. The types of documents subject to consultation with social partners and forms of conducting such consultation have also been presented.
Social partners in the area of development cooperation
Social partners in the area of development cooperation are defined as non-governmental organizations, experts, academics and institutions involved or interested in development cooperation, global education, humanitarian aid, as well as organizations specializing in the areas covered by the thematic scope of development cooperation as defined in the Act of 16 September 2011.
Types of consultation
Ad. 1. Public consultation of draft documents and government positions
The following draft documents are subject to public consultation:
- The multiannual development cooperation programme and a document setting out changes to the programme resulting from the review of this document;
- Any proposals for amendments to legal acts concerning development cooperation, including the Development Cooperation Act;
- Government positions relating to development cooperation responding to EU documents published in the form of white papers, green papers and EC communications;
- Other documents related to development cooperation which will be subjected to consultation by the MFA.
Document consultation procedure
Documents for public consultation are published at http://www.polskapomoc.gov.pl/ (and where required by other provisions, also in the PIB of the MFA). The announcement of the opening of consultation is posted on the above-mentioned site and transmitted electronically to subscribers to the newsletter of the Polish Aid website.
Time for taking part in consultation required by the Development Cooperation Act should not be shorter than two weeks. The information about the opening of consultation shall contain contact details necessary to comment on the documents in question. Furthermore, comments to the document being consulted submitted in the manner provided for in the announcement will be made public at http://www.polskapomoc.gov.pl/. As part of the consultation summary, a new version of the document being consulted will be posted. The new version shall contain the changes resulting from the acknowledgement of submitted comments and a document presenting a summary of those comments and explanations concerning reasons for their inclusion or rejection.
Ad. 2. Consultation meetings at the level of the Under-Secretary of State in charge of development
Consultation meetings at the level of the Under-Secretary of State in charge of development shall be held at least twice a year, and it will be possible (if such a suggestion is made by social partners) to invite representatives of other departments at the MFA.
Consultation meetings with the Under-Secretary of State in charge of development may be related to issues such as the Annual Report, the mid-term review of the Multiannual Programme, as well as issues concerning the directions of the Polish development cooperation system. This type of consultation may also be used with respect to a draft Development Cooperation Plan for a given financial year, before it is sent to formal consultation in the Development Cooperation Policy Council.
Meeting announcement procedure
The announcement of the date of consultation at the level of the Under-Secretary of State in charge of development shall be published three weeks before the scheduled date of the meeting at http://www.polskapomoc.gov.pl/. Information about the planned meeting shall be sent electronically to subscribers to the newsletter of the Polish Aid website.
The invitation shall contain proposals for topics to discuss and is open to all social partners specializing in development cooperation. Not later than one week before the meeting, the participants can send to the MFA their positions to the proposed topics or submit proposals (with reasons) for other topics for discussion. The MFA shall prepare the final agenda of the meeting and send it to invited guests three days prior to the scheduled meeting.
Summary of meetings
After each meeting at the level of the Under-Secretary of State in charge of development, the host of the meeting shall draw up a note containing the adopted conclusions from the discussion. The note will be made public on http://www.polskapomoc.gov.pl/. Conclusions formulated during the meeting will not be binding, but they will serve as recommendations for further action carried out by the MFA.
Ad. 3. Consultation meetings at the expert level
Consultation meetings at the expert level can be carried out with the participation of directors and/or experts from the development department at the MFA and other departments implementing development measures. They are less formal in nature and can be convened ad-hoc with a selected group of experts by the MFA or at the request of one or more social partners.