Taking Stock of Valletta: ICMC Europe and MADE Africa organize civil society consultation

Brussels, 7 February 2017 - On the occasion of the one-year follow-up of the implementation of the Joint Valletta Action Plan and the EU Trust Fund for Africa, and one week ahead of a Senior Officials Meeting taking place on 8-9 February in Malta to evaluate progress made, ICMC Europe and the MADE Network Africa organised a two-part conference on 30 January in Brussels.

The Valletta Summit took place in November 2015.The Valletta Summit took place in November 2015. Photo: European Council The aim of the conference was to consider the outcomes of the Valletta Action Plan so far and seek concrete ways for future involvement of civil society in its monitoring and implementation and related processes. The conference brought together representatives of African and European civil society and institutions, as well as member state governments, intergovernmental bodies and international organizations.

In the morning panel and three ensuing thematic breakout sessions, African and European civil society gathered to present their views on the governance processes of the Valletta Action Plan and the EU Trust Fund for Africa. Many African participants shared their experiences of how the Action Plan has been translated “on the ground”. After focused consultation, civil society participants issued concrete recommendations on how to achieve a structured, institutionalized and high-quality engagement between governments and civil society on both sides of the Mediterranean.

In the afternoon sessions, the event was opened up to include representatives of African and European institutions, the government of Mali as the current Chair of the Rabat Process, the government of Germany and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development. The Chair of the conference, Mr. Gibril Faal of the diaspora organization ADEPT, presented the recommendations of civil society to the afternoon panelists to serve as the basis of a focused debate on the current status of implementation of the Action Plan and the prospect of a structured engagement with civil society. Panelists included Birgitte Markussen (European External Action Service), Philip Bob Jusu (African Union), Till Blume (German Permanent Representation to the European Union) and Stefano Signore (European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development).

Prior to this event, and in order to gather the views and recommendations of African and European civil society organizations affected directly or indirectly by the implementation of the Valletta Action Plan and the EU Trust Fund for Africa, ICMC Europe had conducted a short survey among over 80 civil society organizations (of which over 50 are based in Africa). The results of the survey can be accessed on MADE's website.

The discussions and recommendations gathered through the survey and at the conference will be collated in a summary paper and a final report. Four representatives of both African and European civil society will present the position of civil society in a 10-minute statement at the Senior Officials Meeting on 8-9 February 2017 in Malta.