Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Listening a key element when communicating Europe's development efforts

Brussels, 5 June. I am very pleased to welcome you at this first communication network meeting meeting on behalf of Concord, Euforic and ICCO.

Speaking these words of welcome as board member of the both CONCOIRD and Euforic, one cooperative and one confederation, and as staff member of ICCO I am saving you also two additional speeches. I shall limit my words as for me communication starts with listening not talking.

Ten years ago the former EU NGDO Liaision Committee was one of the founding members of Euforic together with other networks such Eurostep, Aprodev and institutions like ODI and ECDPM.

Euforic is a multi stakeholder network, long time before the European Commission thought about its definition of non state actors.

We as Euforic are very glad that Concord renewed it's membership of Euforic and we are very happy with positive cooperation with Concord which results among other in these meetings today and tomorrow

The wide NGO involvement in this meeting is a tribute to the mobilising efforts of Concord.

Communication starts with listening, listening requires an open mind:

Important for us is the multi-stakeholder elements, to avoid 'ghettos' - whether official or NGO, not we against them.

It important precisely to use information exchange and knowledge sharing and communication as tools to build dialogues and understanding based on mutual trust and respect, as well as more coherent actions - in policy arenas or on the ground.

From the experience of Concord, representing more than 1600 NGO's in Europe united in more than 35 networks, platforms and associations we know how important and also how difficult this is.

We as Concord are very pleased to work with Euforic in the field of knowledge sharing and communication. The cooperation with Euforic gives us Concord access to tools and know-how. Euforic as a specialised network brings an added value to us and an open window to a wealth of information on the role of Europe in the world, seen from various angles.

It also fits in the Concord approach, don't do what others can do for you, don't duplicate.

I would also like to say a word of thank to my employer ICCO, not only because ICCO allows me to spend so much time in Brussels and Maastricht, but for the continuing support to and collaboration with Euforic, also in difficult times, and for its support for this event.

For many years, ICCO has been involved in building networks and knowledge management systems with our Southern partners. This meeting is a good opportunity to build up further learning networks among different stakeholders in development and to share our experiences.

Sharing experiences is what we are going to do today and tomorrow.

We are looking forward these days to stimulating conversations to better:

CONNECT Europe's development efforts [to those of its partners, to one other],
COMMUNICATE its priorities and results, and BUILD effective COOPERATION.

Ad Ooms,
Concord, Euforic and ICCO

No comments: