Strengthening social democracy
As before, the European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity has as its most important role the co-ordination and organisation of activities that support the development of social democratic and socialist parties in east, central and southeastern Europe. Given the situation in the Balkans, in some EU candidate countries and in the western CIS, there is still an urgency to continue this work of the Forum.
The work of the European Forum remains based on close co-operation with the PES and its parliamentary group, as well as with the foundations close to PES member parties and associate and observer member parties.
An intrinsic part of the work is the stimulation and facilitation of political debates and discussions amongst party leaderships.Concrete priorities:
- frontier role/ debate / political platform
- election co-ordination
- ethnic minorities and social democratic answers
- Tirana process / Stability Pact / Balkans
- information service
- party – trade union links
- youth / networking for democracy
Special attention and co-ordination:
Special attention and (if required) co-ordination will be directed to the foundations’ activities in countries, like Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova as well as Georgia and Armenia (Azerbaijan).
The year 2002 will be marked by some significant changes within the Forum. More emphasis will be put on co-ordination, less on own activities. There will be a greater reliance on the foundations. The Steering Committee will remain the platform for the exchange of ideas, information and activities involving the parties and the foundations. The co-ordination mechanism of the foundations should deal with the activities with the Forum co-ordinator as liaison.
Concrete restructuring within the European Forum
The co-ordination of the Forum will be concentrated on one spot. From the first of January 2001, Maaike Timmers is the co-ordinator, with an office linked to the Alfred Mozer Foundation in Amsterdam. The creation of some secretarial assistance in Brussels with the PES party is under way. Conny Fredriksson will remain Secretary General until he leaves in April 2002. Both he and Friedrich Roll will remain linked to the Forum as advisors.
The budget will be simplified. The budget line "running costs" will only be used to finance the office and salaries. All activities will have to be cofunded by the foundations and others.
The Forum plans to change the information service (country updates and web site). More emphasis will be put on the changes in the political landscape (within the parties). The recently introduced news update service will be continued and refined. We hope to be able to still provide the foundations and all those working in the region with adequate information. A new working structure is being discussed and tested.
On the basis of the above mentioned new working method, we propose the following Forum activities for next year. For each activity an advance input – output analysis, a clear budget and a clear division of responsibility should be made.
ACTIVITIES EUROPEAN FORUM 2002
Frontier debate / political platform:
- St. Petersburg, Russia.
Prospects of Democracy in Russia; political, social and economic trends in the Russian Federation. New frontiers of EU debate. June. In co-operation with FES Moscow and FSB+.
- Kaliningrad, Russia
Youth and the future of Kaliningrad. New frontiers of EU debate. October. In co-operation Olof Palme Center and University of Kaliningrad.
- Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Roma and the EU: a working plan. Confronting the issue. November. In co-operation with BSP Bulgaria and Westminster Foundation.
Networking for Democracy:
- Belgrade, Serbia
Networking for Democracy in the Balkans. Sofia Follow up. Youth training seminar. March. In co-operation with Renner Institute, Alfred Mozer Foundation and Dimitrije Tucovic Foundation.
- Tallinn, Estonia
"Hard Budgets, Soft States". Translation into Estonian and seminar on the book. Taken over from 2001. April.
Year 2002 Gender Network
- Further regionalisation of the Gender Network. Start operation of Archangelsk, Tallinn and Ljubljana office.
- Building social contract for justice and equality in the post-conflict region. Training in Novi Sad. March/April.
- The social and economic status of women in North Western Russia. Workshop. Archangelsk, June.
- Accession for additional countries. Follow-up to Budapest meeting. September.