EAPN Ireland to Partner in New Initiative To Link Community Groups to European Union Policy

EAPN Ireland is delighted to announce its participation in a new initiative from the European Commission: NGO EU Connect. This initiative, which provides information on funding, policy, institutions and contact points is a welcome development for NGOs involved in anti poverty work, and especially for EAPN Ireland in meeting the needs of its 250 members. Crucially, at a time when collective action has never been so important, NGO EU Connect will help to build more effective coordinated engagement with European policy and politics. EAPN Ireland will act as one of the custodians in what marks an important development in strengthening NGO-EU interaction.

Although Europe continues to be an important policy space, to some extent we have lost the comprehensive grassroots connection that was so important during the earlier Structural Funds period. In these difficult times we need to rediscover the innovation, risk taking and partnership processes that came with European membership; attributes that were considered the norm in those dynamic days.

Social inclusion NGOs like EAPN Ireland are essentially about participation, ensuring that the voices of the most marginalised are heard and form an important part of policy formation and decision making. To that end EAPN Ireland has sought to build and support information systems that encourage community groups and equality focused organisations to engage with the European policy dimension. Our web-based information systems are widely used for this purpose, but our particular expertise is the interpretation and analysis of EU policy, so there is a strong complimentarily between EAPN Ireland and NGO-EU Connect.

This development will enhance the links between NGOs and European institutions and policy processes, and will help to address the frequently cited weakness in the democratic connection between the citizen and the institutions of governance.

We look forward to working with the European Commission, our partner NGOs and our members on this project into the future. We’re particularly excited about the interactive shared learning opportunities and we’ll be doing our bit to ensure that the site develops into a living, organic and immediately useful contact point for community and voluntary organisations. We have already had some discussions with the European Commission Office on how this initiative can be developed to meet the needs of our members and community and voluntary organisations in Ireland. We’ll be releasing information on those plans next week so keep an eye on our activities through the website, or our facebook and twitter presence. Drop us an email if you’d like to subscribe to news, analysis and information from EAPN Ireland.

Visit: http://www.ngoeuconnect.ie

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Blog Managed by European Anti Poverty Network Ireland

Equity House
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