Part 2 of Mobilization of Resources for Co-operative Development Aid (1994) 4.4 External mobilization - the European Union *********************************************** As previously defined, the external resources for development aid are those which are mobilized from governments and international donors. These donors are so different in so many aspects, that it is not possible, nor considered necessary, to make a presentation of them in this report. Of interest to us however, is the fact that, within most of these donors organizations, there has been a growing awareness of the important role being played by the civic society in the Third World. Governments alone cannot be responsible for all development aspects in the society. This has led to an increased recognition of the importance of the NGOs in the South, and their need for support from their counterparts in the North. As a consequence, the NGOs have, in various manners, been allocated an increasing part of the official aid budgets. Of greatest interest for the European co-operatives and their aid agencies are the government donors and the European Union, which have specific votes for co-financing the NGO development aid. The UN system, including the World Bank and the regional banks, not having this facility, will have to be approached in a different manner. And, according to our proposal, ICE should here assume a leading role. We can for obvious reasons leave the government donors aside, these are best known by the individual CAA, and here concentrate on the possibilities offered by the EU. 4.4.1 The European Union: The volume of development aid provided by the EU is by any standard large. In 1991 the total volume of EU aid amounted to USD 3,8 billion distributed among more than 100 countries. This aid represents approximately six percent of the total expenditures of the EU. The main beneficiaries are the countries in sub-Saharan Africa, which in 1991 received 58 percent of the EU aid, followed by Southern Asia and Latin America, these two regions received about 10 percent each. More than half of the aid (56 percent in 1991) is for long term development projects, primarily for the rural areas, while food aid amounted to some 21 percent during the same period. Other large components are support through the NGOs, emergency relief and assistance to refugees and displaced persons. 4.4.2 The EU support to NGOs in 1993: The NGO sector is receiving an increasing part of the EU aid, in 1993 no less than ECU 702 million was distributed through the NGOs collaborating with the EU. This represents an increase of 46 percent of the NGO allocation two years earlier. These figures confirm the importance the EU is attaching to the work of NGOs. Emergency relief and food aid are the two dominant types of aid provided by the NGOs with contributions from the EU. These two sectors accounted for almost 53 percent, or ECU 369 million, of the total NGO contributions by the EU in 1993. Of the total EU emergency relief aid in 1993, the NGOs distributed 44 percent. The EU considers the work of the NGO in this field to be of great value, and it is the intention to further stimulate and develop this collaboration. The votes of emergency relief and food aid do not require any financial contributions by the NGOs. The third largest NGO allocation made by EU in 1993 was for small-scale development projects, amounting to ECU 121 million, or 17 percent of the total. This vote presupposes co-financing, since EU is prepared to cover only 50 percent of the project cost. It is also the most obvious vote for co-financing of co-operative development projects. We will therefore need to be observant on the fact that total applications from NGOs for funding from this vote amounted to ECU 215 million last year. This means that the EU was able to approve only 56 percent of the NGOs requirements on this particular vote. Other important NGO votes provided funding for victims of apartheid (ECU 90 million), refugees and displaced persons (ECU 40 million) and the NGO assistance to the West Bank and Gaza strip (ECU 35 million). The balance in 1993 was made up of support to public information campaigns in Europe, combatting drugs and assistance earmarked for certain countries; Vietnam, Cambodia and the frontline states in Africa. The firm impression of the NGO development work supported by EU in 1993 is that efforts and activities aiming at long term development and growth are in a clear minority, possibly as low as a quarter of the total. 4.4.3 Funding opportunities for NGOs within the EU: The brief account above of the EU support to the NGOs in 1993 clearly indicate that, not only are substantial funds available to NGOs within the EU system, but there is also a very wide range of activities which are supported. This is confirmed by the great number of votes (budget lines in the EU language) to which NGOs have access. According to the EU aid budget for 1994, NGOs may have access to no less than approximately 50 different votes. These votes are, with a few exceptions, earmarked for very specific purposes or regions/countries and seem to cover all types of needs for development aid. The votes are too numerous to list here, but they can be arranged under the following main headings; Economic and Social Rehabilitation; Food Aid; Refugees and Emergency Humanitarian Aid; Democracy and Human Rights; Migrants and Racism; Environment; Health; Women; Drugs; and 13 Specific Countries/ Regions. To this should be added the two votes for unspecified purpose: 1) NGO Development Projects, combined with Information Campaigns in Europe, and 2) Decentralized Cooperation. The former of these two is the "ordinary" NGO vote requiring co-financing by the NGO, mentioned above, and has an allocation of ECU 145, million in 1994. The latter is a new facility under the Lom' convention and other cooperation agreements with non-Lom countries, and is financed out of the official EU and budget at the disposal of each individual country, and there are no absolute requirements on NGO contributions to the project costs. Adding together the 1994 allocations of the above votes, we reach the impressive amount of more than ECU 1, 1 billion. It should however be underlined that this would be the total amount NGO may have access to, which do}s not necessarily mean that NGO projects will qualify for the full amount. We shall conclude this section by making a few observations. As can be seen above, most of the funds available for NGOs are designated for particular purposes and countries/regions. In 1993 less than 20 percent of funds allocated were for unspecified activities. Ostensibly the EU is very much determining which development needs to address in the Third World, giving the NGOs limited leeway in this respect. Going through the purposes and the activities the votes for 1994 are to support, it seems as if the funding options of relevance to ordinary co-operative institution building programmes are limited. The above mentioned impression of long term human and institutional development support being very much in minority is confirmed by the budget for 1994. Agriculture, being the backbone in many economies and particularly in Africa, is for instance not even mentioned. It is on the other hand conceivable that a number of co- operative development programme would qualify for support under a number of votes e.g. the vote for social and economic rehabilitation, women, training and the country specify appropriations. The above mentioned budget line of decentralized cooperation would also seem as a good possibility for supporting co-operative programmes. This is however very difficult to ascertain without closer contact and dialogue with the EU. We will return to this in the following section. 4.5 The European Union and the co-operatives ******************************************** 4.5.1 Prerequisites for funding: Of the 15 Co-operative Aid Agencies in Europe 12 are within the EU. These organizations have different origins and their work programmes vary considerably, some of them put emphasis on resource mobilization for own development programmes, while others function more as development consultancy firms. Their development work in Africa is not comprehensive and there is a limited amount of exchange of experience between them. Some of them have a very limited contact with ICA. They also vary considerably in size and resources. Few of them have established contacts with the EU and the NGO networks lobbying with the Commission. What is here proposed are certain coordination efforts though ICA, which are intended to put co-operatives on the map of EU, increase the prospects of the CAAs to obtain funding from EU and thus enable them to provide additional co-operative development aid to Africa. More concerted efforts of these organizations should also enrich the collective efforts through the diversity and the variety of knowledge and experience the organizations are able to bring into the joint work. As we have shown in the first chapters of this report, the co-operative scenario of today is very much different from the one of yesterday. Previous development policies and methods are not relevant today. Co-operative donors will have to adjust their strategies and modes of support. We believe that national and international donors will increasingly require co-operative development policies and donor strategies, which take the new situation into account, as prerequisites for funding of co-operative support programmes. We believe it is of greatest importance to recognize this. The fact that one of the most obvious EU votes for co-operative programmes was heavily over subscribed in 1993, makes this point even more obvious. It is therefore essential that the African and European cooperators, the latter represented by the CAAs, have a common perception of the: a) situation the African co-operatives are facing today, b) basic strategies to be pursued by the African cooperators and the revised role of co-operative development assistance. We are not talking about an absolute streamlining, there are local and regional variations and some donors may look upon their role different from what we have proposed in this report. But, as we have tried to show, there are a sufficient number of common denominators in many African countries justifying a common description of the situation in general and a common perception of the remedies to apply. And, again, this will prove to be the most convincing arguments for mobilizing external resources. The first step is now to shift the debate on these issues to Africa so as to obtain the inputs of the African cooperators on these issues. We have in this report endeavoured to secure the opinions and perceptions of the African cooperators. But there are still considerable limitations in this respect. It is therefore recommended, that ICA, as a first measure, consults the African cooperators, particularly with regard to our description and analysis of the current situation and the strategy on co-operative development in the near future, with a view to ensuring that their views are fully reflected in future documents before EU and other donors are approached. Similarly, it is recommended that ICA consults the CAAs on these questions, particularly with regard to our proposed co- operative donor strategy, so as to have this discussed, amended and agreed upon. With these two exercises completed, it would be possible to approach the EU and claim, with full justification, that the African and European cooperators have a common understanding of the current situation and that they in principle agree on the measures to be taken. It goes without saying that the development perspective and the donor strategy will be adjusted to each specific situation, when applying for funding for a specific project. But the basics will remain the same. 4.5.2 Contacts with EU: Co-operatives do not have well established links with the EU and do not participate in the approximately 30 Development NGO networks, which are lobbying on a wide range of interests with the organization. EU present funding of co-operative development aid is very limited, and there are, as far as can be ascertained, only two co-operative NGOs which make use of the EU funding possibilities. Considering the magnitude of the co-operatives in the Third World and their importance, it is no exaggeration to state that the interests of the cooperators in Africa and elsewhere in the Third World are grossly under-represented in the EU and the NGO networks. The European CAAs are not large organizations, compared to many other development NGOs, they are in fact rather small. If we on the other hand look upon them as representing the interests of the co-operatives of the Third World, which need development assistance, the picture is different. But despite this, it might be difficult to influence the EU and the networks when your own organization is small, and particularly if you are rather new in the game. We should also be aware of the fact that there are more than 1.000 NGOs listed as having contacts with the EU, of which about 670 receive support. There is consequently a great number of interests represented by the NGOs, competing for the EU resources. We would like to draw the following conclusions from these observations. ICA, being the global co-operative organization, will have to take a lead and play a very active role in the contacts with the EU. In order to pave the way for the co-operatives into EU, it is therefore recommended that ICA opens up a high level dialogue with the EU. This would aim at creating a better general understanding of the co-operatives in the Third World, their role in the national economy and the democratization process, the present position of the co-operatives in Africa as well as their needs for development assistance. If our impression that funding of programmes for long term and sustained development efforts is at a disadvantage, as compared to emergency aid and similar types of assistance, ICA has a very important lobbying role to play. There are approximately 30 NGO networks, affiliated to the "Liaison Committee of Development NGOs to the European Communities" (LC). They represent a wide range of interests; trade, food aid, children, religious, environment, women, medical, youth etc. Although the co-operatives in the Third World and development assistance to them is of such importance that one might argue that it is justified to establish a network on their own, the first logical step would be to join one of the existing NGO networks. ICA is in the best position to do the preparatory work, and it is therefore recommended that ICA investigates the NGO network system and their lobbying priorities, so as to be able to establish which networks are suitable for ICA and interested CAAs to join. As has been indicated previously, the number of funding options within EU for NGOs is great. Some of them will obviously be of relevance to the CAAs, but this is difficult to establish by only reading the various presentations of these options, since practice and routine may differ. The rules for NGO participation also differ between the different budget lines. In order to assist the CAAs on this issue, it is recommended that ICA compiles a small guide on the various votes of relevance for co-operative development aid, rules and regulations governing the various funding options as well as application procedures and practices, etc.