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International seminar on the role of new donor countries in the European development policy

An international seminar on the role of the new EU member states in the European development policy will take place in Warsaw on April 18 and 19, 2007, at 6 Foksal Street (The Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Pałac Przeździeckich). The seminar is organised by Development Co-operation Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

By joining the EU in 2004, Poland accessed the world's most elaborate system of development assistance. The European Union, providing over 55% of the world's Official Development Assistance, (ODA), is the largest aid donor, with Development assistance constantly gaining importance as an element of EU's foreign policy. Three years after the 2004 enlargement the time has come to reflect upon and redefine the role of the new member states in the European development policy.

The seminar will be an attempt at identifying the role that the new aid donors (new member states) play in the construction of EU's development policy, particularly in the context of planned efficiency improvement and coherence of DA at European level.

The participation of Mr. Koos Richelle, Director-General of EuropeAid Co-operation Office of the European Commission,  as well as other top officials representing assistance organisations from Holland, Austria and Ireland will ensure appropriate substantial content of the debate as well as contribute to elaboration of practical recommendations.

The seminar will be composed of three thematic parts covering political, institutional and partnership issues related to development co-operation.

The first part will be devoted to the role of the new EU member states in the European assistance system and will look into how the new members meet and implement the criteria set out by common EU commitments (among others, the European Consensus on Development).

The second part will cover institutional issues which constitute the key factor of effective assistance management and successful fight against poverty. The Seminar will create an information exchange platform on which the donors will be able to discuss some institutional aspects of assistance systems and their internal structure as well as advantages and disadvantages of setting up assistance agendas separate from ministries.

The third thematic part will be devoted to the relationship between governmental institutions of the new EU member states and other entities engaged in assistance activities, predominantly with reference to project implementation and raising awareness of development assistance-related problems. Representatives of NGOs, business and academia active in the field will take part in the debate during this part of the Seminar.

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