SOLIDAR Middle East and North Africa Network mobilised for social justice in Brussels

Last week, from 5 to 8 December 2016, SOLIDAR hosted a delegation of 25 member organisations and partners from civil society organisations and independent trade unions from the Middle East and North Africa region in the framework of the EU- Funded regional programme on Freedom of Association, Decent Work and Social Protection. Delegates came from Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Syria, as part of a joint delegation headed by the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND).

 The objective of the visit was to organise a regional exchange in order to define the key issues for common work at regional level on Decent work, Social Protection and Freedom of Association. Also, in the light of the revised European Neighbourhood Policy – and its implications for migration, trade and investments, development and human rights, the visit was an opportunity to organise bilateral meetings with EU officials in order to provide policy recommendations regarding the drafting and finalisation of the Partnership Priorities (PPs).

As part of this, meetings have been organised with MEP Judith Sargentini, MEP Martina Anderson –Chair of the European Parliament Delegation for the Relations with Palestine, MEP Brando Benifei, MEP Ana Gomes, but also with the European External Action Service (EEAS) Desk Officers for Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, and with Mr. Colin Scicluna, member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Johannes Hahn.

In continuation of this work, on 11-12 December 2016, the Arab NGO Network for Development with the support of Fondation de France and Solidar, is organising a workshop in Beirut, entitled “Bridging the gap between the Euromed civil society and the EU: a Euromed civil society-led initiative on Structured Dialogue”. This workshop will aim to strengthen and diversify the involvement of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the Structured Dialogue process with the EU and increase the influence of CSOs in the decision-making process and promote alternatives based on the principles of human rights and equality.

More information can be found here.

For more information about SOLIDAR members and partners work in the MENA region, read the 2015 activity report.