Annual Report 2002

Mon 19 May 2003

EUROPEAN FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY AND SOLIDARITY

ANNUAL REPORT 2002

FOREWORD

The European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity has been working now for ten years. It was founded as a joint institution of social democratic parties and solidarity foundations to support the transformation and democratisation process in Central and Eastern Europe. Within this framework, the Forum served as a platform for cooperation between social democratic oriented personalities and groups in the region.

Now, Europe is at the threshold of a new era. The Central and East European countries will soon be members of the European Union. This already had its effect on the mission of the Forum. Our activities are more and more concentrated in East and South East Europe where there is still a lot to be done with traditional Forum cooperation (seminars, conferences, missions, publications). Of course, the work in clearly defined sectors in countries soon entering the EU will be continued.

The Forum has always tried to work through coordination of its member parties and foundations. Last year we focussed on the coordination role and less on activities of our own.

Furthermore, we concentrated the administration to one spot, linking our office to the Alfred Mozer Foundation in Amsterdam. With a very small staff a close cooperation with our partners is indispensable. I wish to extend our warm thanks to foundations and parties; to the PES for the excellent cooperation and to the staff of the Forum, that worked hard to overcome the administrative problems during last year. And a special welcome back – after a long sickness – to Maaike Timmers.

Lena Hjelm-Wallén

President of the Forum

INTRODUCTION

Strengthening social democracy

As before, the European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity had as its most important role the coordination and organisation of activities that supported the development of social democratic and socialist parties in east, central and south-east Europe. Given the situation in the Balkans, in some EU candidate countries and in the western CIS, there was and is still an urgency to continue this work of the Forum.

At the beginning of the year 2002, seven priority were outlined, according to which the projects or events were planned.

Priorities:

· frontier role/ debate / political platform

· ethnic minorities and social democratic answers

· networking for democracy / youth

· Tirana process / Stability Pact / Balkans

· information service

· party – trade union links

· election coordination

Changes

The year 2002 was marked by some significant changes within the Forum. Emphasis was on the coordination role and less on the own activities. The Steering Committee remained the platform for the exchange of ideas, information and activities involving the parties and the foundations. This course will be continued in the upcoming period.

Concrete restructuring within the European Forum

A beginning was made to concentrate the coordination of the Forum on one spot. From the first of January 2001, the coordinator is based in Amsterdam, with an office linked to the Alfred Mozer Foundation. The creation of some secretarial assistance in Brussels with the PES party is under way. Conny Fredriksson retired from his post as Secretary General in April 2002. Both he and Friedrich Roll are still linked to the Forum as advisors.

Other restructuring concerned the financial system, which was simplified. The budget line "running costs" was only used to finance the office and salaries; all activities had to be cofunded by the foundations and others.

Information service

The Forum continued to improve the information service (country updates and web site). Within the country updates, more emphasis was put on the changes in the political landscape (within the parties) and the in 2001 introduced news update service was continued and refined. We received many positive responses to the news flashes and hope to continue to provide the foundations and all those working in the region with adequate information.

A. FRONTIER DEBATE / POLITICAL PLATFORM

RUSSIA – PARTIES IN PROGRESS

Theme : Economic, social and political trends in the Russian Federation

In co-operation with : Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and VSB+

Financed by : Westminster Foundation

Venue : St. Petersburg

Date : June, 14

Political context

The year 2002 was crucial in the development of the Russian political parties. The new law on political parties had as main effect that only parties with a real nationwide organisation and substantial membership have a future. To address this important issue an international conference named ‘A Change of Paradigm in European Russian Relations: Economic, Social and Political Trends in the Russian Federation since 2000' was organised to analyse the prospects of (party) democracy in Russia and the political, social and economic trends in the Russian Federation.

Report

The goal of the seminar was to form an opinion about the political landscape, to have an exchange of ideas with Russian and international experts and politicians and to get in contact with both Russian politicians and representatives from civil society.

The event was combined with the First Saint Petersburg Future Festival (organised by Club for Young Politicians, Alfred Mozer Foundation, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, VSB+ and Labour Party/Westminster Foundation for Democracy), which took place on 15 June. The underlying ground for this was, that it would be both logistically and financially advantageous, since all the international parties and organisations were to be invited for both occasions. Around 120 young politically active Russians were participating in workshops with the following themes, Mass Media and Politics, New Technologies and Politics, Fundraising, Women in Politics, Civic Rights and Freedom. The aim of the festival was to stimulate the participation of youth in politics.

Conclusions

According to both participants and organisers, the conference was a success. The level of analytical contributions of the speakers was very high and the speeches offered an adequate picture of the political landscape and the social and economic developments in the Russian Federation. The combination with the youth festival worked out well, as it was good to alternate the theoretical analysing part with workshops, involving many young politicians. It is certainly a concept to use again in the future.

YOUTH AND THE FUTURE OF KALININGRAD

Theme : The political, social and economical situation of Kaliningrad and the region within the framework of the EU enlargement

In co-operation with : Olof Palme International Center, University of Kaliningrad, Alfred Mozer Foundation

Financed by : Olof Palme International Center

Venue : Kaliningrad, Russia

Date : October 18-20

Political context

When Poland and Lithuania join the EU, Kaliningrad will become a Russian enclave within the EU. This future situation raises particular challenges and opportunities for Kaliningrad. The movement of Russian citizens between Kaliningrad and the rest of Poland and Lithuania after EU enlargement is an important issue. Another issue will be the increased attention from the EU for the region. To address these issues and to discuss – together with Kalingraders of all ages – the future of this region, a conference was organised in Kaliningrad on 18-20 October.

Report

The goal of the conference was to discuss the situation of young people living in Kaliningrad and to find out how they see their future. Emphasis was put on priorities of the current situation and the needs of the future. Various Russian and international speakers gave a contribution to the conference. Their speeches concentrated on the political, economic and social situation of Kaliningrad.

Workshops offered the possibility to discuss specific topics more thoroughly. Despite the many problems Kaliningrad is struggling with, the tone of the speakers was hopeful. The enlargement of the European Union is seen as a chance to improve the socio-economic situation of both young and older Kaliningrad inhabitants.

Conclusions

The conference ‘Youth and the Future of Kaliningrad’ offered the participants the possibility to discuss in an open manner the difficulties Kaliningrad ànd its youth are struggling with. The speeches offered an adequate picture of the political, economic and social situation of Kaliningrad For the foreign (and Russian) participants the event was a good opportunity to learn about the views of Kalingraders on their problems and their future.

The conclusion was drawn that the politically active youth from Kaliningrad should be more involved in regional projects of the European Forum, such as the Networking for Democracy seminars.

B. ETHNIC MINORITIES

BEYOND RIGTHS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Theme : The Roma Issue

In co-operation with : Bulgarian Socialist Party

Financed by : Westminster Foundation

Venue : Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Date : 7-9 November

Political context

The upcoming enlargement of the European Union will bring between five and six million new European citizens from Roma origin. The Social Democrats in Europe regard it their duty to help Roma people in an enlarged Union, and to keep their situation high on the agenda of the EU.

Report

Representatives of social democratic parties and Roma organisations from Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, the Netherlands, and Romania took part in a fact-finding mission on behalf of European Social Democracy in the four Roma districts of the town of Plovdiv and then convened on a round table. The practical problems of Roma, such as housing, health care, education and unemployment, were addressed. Particular emphasis was put on the participation and emancipation of the Roma.

The mission was set up in two parts. A theoretical part with contributions from experts and an interactive part with a visit to two different Roma neighbourhoods in the town of Plovdiv. Subsequently, the experiences of the two groups were presented and the problems and possible solutions were discussed in a round table.

Conclusions

At the end of the mission a large set of recommendations were written. The European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity made a pledge to engage itself to use its influence in the European institutions and NGO’s to highlighten the need of European-funded projects on employment, education, housing and health care in the Plovdiv Romani districts.

The Fact Finding mission to Plovdiv was an event within the framework of the Roma conference series. These series will be continued in the new format, whereby the theoretical part is combined with an interactive part.

C. NETWORKING FOR DEMOCRACY

THE NEW POLITICAL GENERATION: INVESTING IN SKILLS

Theme : Networking for democracy

In co-operation with : Dmitrije Tucovic Foundation and Karl Renner Institut

Financed by : Karl Renner Institut and Alfred Mozer Foundation

Venue : Belgrade, Serbia

Date : March 27 - 31

Political context

The Networking for Democracy youth seminar is organised each year by the European Forum to train new contact persons for the Forum. The first seminar in the series of these youth seminars was organised in 1997. Its main aim was to train communication and technology skills to new contact persons for the European Forum. At the same time it brought the European Forum into cyberspace. From 1997 up to now, the "Networking for Democracy" youth seminars were held once or twice a year. During this period the character and contents of the trainings have changed. At the earlier seminars, the main focus was on the use of internet. In 2001, when the seminar took place in Sofia, the organisational set-up was changed. Since then, the seminar includes a practical and a theoretical part. In the practical part, the participants are trained in writing skills and use of internet. The theoretical part deals with politics in general, networking and communication. After the seminar, the new contact person keeps the Forum updated on the political developments in their country. In addition they help to organise international events.

Report

The 2002 Networking for Democracy seminar was organised in co-operation with two of last year’s participants. Fifteen young representatives of the Stability Pact countries attended, including one participant from Greece. For the practical part two trainers were asked to introduce and practise the SWOT analysis with the participants, writing skills and objectivity in writing reports. For the theoretical part, two speakers gave a lecture - Olaf Tempelman (journalist for the Dutch Volkskrant ) and Mr Prokopijevic (Serbian political scientist). The overall picture of democratisation that was drawn by Olaf Tempelman and Mr Prokopijevic was rather pessimistic, but the way to improve the situation according to the speakers, would be to connect the small democratic ‘islands of hope’ to each other. The participants agreed with this and together with the organisers drew the conclusion that exactly this is the main aim of the Networking for Democracy-seminar.

Conclusions and evaluation

During the evaluation the participants made clear that the seminar had lived up to their expectations. Great enthusiasm was shown when it came to the practical character of the training – the participants had the idea to have learnt concrete things and to have improved their writing skills. The proportion practical – theoretical sessions was considered to be a good one. Moreover, the networking-aspect of the seminar was very much valued; it was considered a positive experience to meet young people in a similar situation with the same kind of problems.

The trainers and organisers also considered the training a success. According to the trainers it is always a good sign when participants show willingness to actively participate in the seminar. The organisers were very content with the active participation and with the improvements the participants showed. Furthermore, they trust to have invested in the skills of valuable future contact persons, since some critical comments on the existing country-updates were made as well as promises to update the present country-updates. Moreover, some participants offered their help to organise the seminar in their country next year. In the mean time they have followed up by establishing e-mail networks between themselves and with the staff of the European Forum.

The plan is to organise three networking seminars in 2003 according in three regions: Eastern Europe, South-East Europe and the Caucasus region.

D. ECONOMIC WORKING GROUP

THE CHALLENGES OF SOCIAL DEMOCRACY IN EUROPE AND IN ESTONIA

Theme : Modern welfare politics

In co-operation with : Johannes Mickelson Center and the Möödukad party

Financed by : Olof Palme International Center

Venue : Tallinn, Estonia

Date : April, 25

Context

The economic programme of the Forum started in 1994. It aims at strengthening the political and economic base for democratic and sustainable reform in the Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC).

In 1999/2000 the Forum economic group – John Eatwell, Michael Ellman, Mats Karlsson, Mario Nuti and Judith Shapiro – finished its third book, "Hard Budgets and Soft States - Social policy choices in Central and Eastern Europe" (IPR), on the transition of the CEEC economies and the future role of the CEE welfare state. The book identifies the most efficient structure for the new welfare states, within the newborn social market economies in Central and Eastern Europe. This involves enormous challenges, since there are crucial choices to be made.

Report

The Tallinn event was an introduction of the Forum book “Hard Budgets, Soft States” to the Estonian public. Professor Michael Ellman, one of the authors of the book, held an elaborate introduction. Erkki Tuomioja from the Finnish SDP, Morgan Johansson and Conny Fredriksson from the Swedish SAP lectured about the Nordic welfare policies. There was a good gathering of about 100 politicians, academics and journalists, who actively participated in the debate.

Conclusions

In general the whole event was a good introduction to a nation-wide debate on modern welfare politics, that the Estonian Möödukad party is trying to initiate.

E. OTHER EVENTS



ELECTORAL SUPPORT

Theme : Campaigning and elections

In co-operation with : SAP Sweden

Financed by : Olof Palme International Center

Venue : Bratislava, Slovakia

Date : February 15-16

Context

In the run-up to the September 2002 general elections in Slovakia, our sister Party of Democratic Left (SDL) asked for election training.

Report

This training conference was the second part of a training which began in October, 2001. It was directed toward people involved in the election campaign of the Slovak SDL. The first part had been a preparation for the second. In February 2002, in total 23 activists from the different districts in the country came to attend the event. Two trainers from the Swedish SAP trained them in election preparation and election strategies both for the national and provincial level.

Conclusions

The training was of a good quality, and targeted to the right group. Unfortunately, there was a six-months time gap between our seminar and the elections themselves. In this period the public opinion and the political mood in the country changed. At the elections in September 2002, SDL gained only 1.4% of the votes and subsequently did not get into Parliament. In this context, we have to continue our support to the social democratic movement in Slovakia. The PES working visit to Bratislava in February 2003, which called for unification of the left parties, is an excellent example in this direction.

F. PES NETWORK FOR SOUTH EAST EUROPE

Theme : Regional cooperation and integration as part of the Stabilisation and Association Process

Venue : Belgrade, Serbia

Date : October 11 - 12

Political context

The aim of the PES Network for South East Europe is to promote the development of closer political co-operation both between parties of the region and with parties from the EU and countries that are a candidate for EU membership.

The Network serves two purposes. Firstly it provides a forum whereby the PES and the European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity can meet with social democrats from the region to asses their needs and what support European Social Democrats can give them in the process of developing strong party organisations. More importantly, it provides a forum in which social democrats from the region can meet together to discuss the important political issues that effect the whole region.

Report

In 1992 the European Union adopted the Copenhagen Criteria for membership of the EU. This first meeting, the Network sought to address these criteria by discussing key questions such as the importance of independent media; the rights of minorities; human trafficking and organised crime; civil control over the military and the dangers of nationalism.

Conclusions
To build on the above mentioned discussions and to provide a stable base for the continuation of the Network it was agreed that the Network will meet every 6 months and will set up a web site to promote information, discussion and co-operation between social democrats in the region. Further agreements were made about the structure of the network itself and about the key subjects for the future debates.

In 2003 the PES Network for South East Europe will meet in Macedonia and Croatia and will have an open fact-finding mission to Albania.

G. COUNTRY UPDATES AND THE NEWSFLASH

Political context

The year 2002 was a hectic political year. In most of the countries in Central and Eastern Europe elections were held. In some countries, such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Macedonia, social democratic parties were victorious, whereas in others, such as Slovakia and Latvia, sister parties lost the elections devastatingly. These were important political developments of which our social democratic partners throughout Europe should, and would like to be informed. The country updates provided this information.

Report

Since the beginning of 2002 an important shift in emphasis has been made in the updates. Whereas the earlier updates used to provide more general information about a country, in the new structure emphasis is on the political landscape. Due to the contacts of the European Forum throughout Europe, this political information is after all the speciality of the European Forum and it is the information our partners are most interested in.

Two groups of countries are given priority by the information service staff of the European Forum.

Accession Countries

In 2004 ten countries will become new member states of the European Union. In both the European Union and among the accession countries there is a need to learn about the political situation in the new member states. A certain level of mutual knowledge is essential for establishing a good cooperation between the new partners in the European Union. Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia and Estonia all belong to this group of accession countries. Next to this, in most of these countries elections were held in 2002.

New neighbours in 2004

In 2004 the European Union will have new neighbours. Many of our political partners are already active in these countries. Since recent years the work of the European Forum also moved eastwards. Eastern Europe, South Eastern Europe and the Caucasus are the regions where we will face the challenge of helping to build social democracy. Updated information about political developments in these regions is essential to do this.

Production

The aim of the information service staff was to write at least 10 country updates in 2002. This goal has been achieved. In total 11 new country updates were produced: Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Latvia, Poland, Bosnia Herzegovina, Estonia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia and Georgia.

For next year our aim is again an amount of 10 country updates.

Newsflash 2002

At the end of 2001 the first steps were taken to create the Newsflash. The Newsflash is a twice-monthly distributed news update which offers an easy-reference overview of the latest political developments in the different countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The emphasis of the Newsflash is on inside information about political parties which is obtained through the contact persons of the European Forum. This information is written on a confidential basis and is distributed by email to the network of social democratic partners (foundations, M(E)P’s, international secretaries) of the European Forum.

In 2002, in total 24 issues of the Newsflash were distributed. The number of recipients has increased from 50 in the beginning of 2002 to around 300 at the end of the year. The European Forum has received a very positive response to the Newsflash. The service will be continued in 2003.

H. CEE NETWORK FOR GENDER ISSUES

The CEE network for Gender Issues is an autonomous part of the European Forum. It has its own Board, chaired by Dasa Silovic. In 2001, the Network decided to re-organise and divide the tasks among three sub-offices (see below). The Gender network disseminates its own Annual Reports, which can be downloaded from their website (www.europeanforum.net/gender_issues) or requested from its staff.

The Gender Network initiated, organised and implemented a variety of activities throughout 2002, including election support, lobbying, conferences, training activities, and publicity. Below the highlights of the latest report, covering the activities in 2002.

· Women Can Do It I - Train the trainer seminar and 10 local seminars in Arhangelsk Oblast

· Women Can Do It II - Training for 18 social democratic women’s organisations in 9 SEE countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, BiH, Macedonia, Croatia and Slovenia).

· Organised election trainings and local campaigns in Hungary (with participants from CEE) with French media expert seconded by Jean Jaures Foundation.

· Implementation of the Women Can Do It I project in Hungary for the local elections, 2 trainer the trainers seminars and 10 seminars across the country Q3-4, 2002.

· Organising the 2 nd CEE Network for Gender Issues conference of EU women MP-s and MP-s from the transition countries with more than 50 participants representing 18 organizations and countries, September 2002 in Budapest

· Supported and participated at the opening event in the Romanian Parliament of PD’s Women section in August 2002

· Co-organised a conference inviting 461 women mayors on the 13 th of February (Women Mayors Link) More than 300 participants were present at the Hungarian Assembly

· Prepared and published a new Fact sheet of the CEE Network for Gender Issues, published in September 2002 (Founder: Olof Palme International Center)

In 2001 and 2002, the CEE Gender Network experienced major institutional and network growth. Most importantly, the Network decided to re-organise and split up into three sub-offices; a sub-regional office for South East Europe in Ljubljana, Slovenia; a sub-regional office, responsible for Central East Europe in Budapest, Hungary and a Baltic sub-regional office in Tallinn. The Tallinn office became operational in 2002, however with limited opportunities due to inefficient funding.

The most important sponsor of the CEE Gender Network continued to be the Olof Palme International Center.

The cooperation between the European Forum and the Gender Network intensified during the year 2002. The plan for 2003 is to include more Gender issues in the Country Updates and Newsflashes of the Forum.

I. FINANCES

The sources of income for the European Forum are the contributions from the parties of the Steering Committee. These are used for paying the running costs of the Forum. In 2002 the following parties contributed: SPÖ Austria; CSSD the Czech Republic; SDP Finland; SPD Germany; MSzP Hungary; DNA Norway, and SAP Sweden.

The costs of the Forum seminars and conferences were completely covered by contributions and grants from the democratisation foundations: Westminster Foundation (Labour Party - United Kingdom); Alfred Mozer Stichting (PvdA - the Netherlands); Fondation Jean Jaurès (PS - France); Olof Palme International Center in Sweden and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung from Germany. Furthermore, the PvdA hosted, both financially and logistically, the information service and coordination facilities.

The Westminster Foundation gave the financial support for the Country Updates Project, the maintenance of the Forum web site and the Newsflash service.

As was mentioned above, the most important sponsor of the CEE Gender Network continued to be the Olof Palme International Center.

The PES provided administrative and secretarial services.

ANNEX I: LIST OF PARTNERS (MEMBERS OF STEERING COMMITTEE)

Parties:

SPÖ Austria

CSSD the Czech Republic

SD Denmark

SDP Finland

SPD Germany

MSzP Hungary

DNA Norway

SAP Sweden

Labour Party Great Britain

PvdA The Netherlands

SP France

PES

Foundations:

Alfred Mozer Stichting

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

Fondation Jean Jaurès

Karl Renner Institut

Olof Palme International Center

Westminster Foundation

Istame Andreas Papandreou

ANNEX II: WORKING STRUCTURE 2002 AND 2003

January 2002 – December 2002

President Lena Hjelm-Wallèn

Treasurer Jan Marinus Wiersma

Coordinator Maaike Timmers

Interim Coordinator Liesbeth van de Grift

January 2003 – December 2003

President Lena Hjelm-Wallèn

Treasurer Jan Marinus Wiersma

Co-ordinator Arjen Berkvens

Project manager Liesbeth van de Grift

Information officer Maaike Timmers

Information/Project officer Matilda Nahabedian

PES - European Forum

Contact person Nick Crook

Central and East European Gender Network

Chair Board Dasa Silovic

Main contact addresses:

European Forum

c/o PvdA

PO BOX 1310

NL-1000 BH Amsterdam

Tel: ++31 20 5512 121

Fax: ++31 20 5512 250

ANNEX III: POLICY PLAN 2003

In October 2002 the principle decision was taken by the European Commission to enlarge the European Union with eight East Central European countries. This historic moment will change the European Union. It will also have an effect on the mission of the European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity. Our work will enter into a new phase. When the enlargement will be a fact in 2004 our activities in the eight future EU states will change. In the framework of the Willy Brandt programme we will support our partners in these countries in the run-up to the 2004 European elections.

This does not mean that the “traditional” work of the European Forum will become less important. In 2004 the EU will have new neighbours. We are already active in most of these countries. With the help and experience of the new member partners we will face the challenge of building (social) democracy in these states as well. These states often have a long totalitarian tradition and so-called hyper-presidential systems. Social-democracy is still almost non-existent in these countries, while in principle it has a lot to offer as a movement that both rejects harsh liberal Thatcherite policies and conservative socialism.

In the next two years we will finish our work in the 8 new member states, while at the same time stepping up our work in:

1. Eastern Europe: The Russian Federation, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova

2. South East Europe: Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia & Montenegro, and FYROM.

3. Caucasus Region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia

Mission

The European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity has a three-fold mission:

1. To support social democratic parties and movements in East Central Europe

2. To promote the (regional) co-operation of social democratic parties in Europe

3. To inform the international social democratic movement of the developments in East Central Europe and in particular of the development of social democracy in this region.

Functions of the European Forum bureau

The Alfred Mozer Foundation will coordinate the activities. Responsible for this will be the coordinator (Arjen Berkvens) for 2 days a week. The coordinator is also responsible for the contacts with the Steering Committee, the parties and foundations, the acquisition of projects, project management (together with the project manager) and financial reporting. The Alfred Mozer Foundation will carry out the projects of the European Forum. Responsible for this will be the project manager (Liesbeth van de Grift) for 1 day a week.

The Alfred Mozer Foundation will carry out the communication services of the European Forum. Responsible for this will be the information officer (Maaike Timmers) for 3 days a week. She will be responsible for the Information Unit. The information unit of the European Forum is responsible for producing Country Updates, Newsflashes and managing the European Forum website. The European Forum information officer is responsible for this work and the implementation of the communication strategy. To be able to deliver valuable and up-to-date information, it is necessary to gather as much relevant information as possible. The Internet, newspapers and other information sources are important, but just as important is a network of contact persons in all the countries we are interested in. For this purpose we have organised in the past a number of seminars we have called ‘networking for democracy.’ We will organise three of these seminars in 2003 in the three crucial regions we are working in.

In achieving our goals, the European Forum closely co-operates with political foundations and political parties in Western Europe and in East Central Europe. The Forum has an added value to the important work that the Foundations are already doing. Westminster Foundation, Olof Palme International Center, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Fondation Jean Jaurès, the Dr. Karl Renner Institut, ISTAME and the Alfred Mozer Foundation have their own networks and are specialists in tailor-made material support and training and schooling programmes. Bilateral initiatives are in principle the work of these foundations, but we will take the initiative when we receive signals that action is needed. In 2003 we will do so in the case of Slovakia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine and Albania. Special attention will also be paid to Moldova. There is a need to discuss the political situation in Moldova and our future activities in this country.

The unique selling point of the European Forum is to bring together social democratic parties in regional and international programmes. The Networking for Democracy seminars are a good example of this. A big international event in 2003 will be the celebration of 10 years European Forum in which all our partners will be invited. We will also organise another Roma confrontation, this year in Romania. Together with the PES two regional South East European network meetings will be organised in Skopje and Zagreb.

ANNEX IV: WORKING PROGRAMME 2003

Organisation and communication

· Two or three meetings of the Steering Committee of which one in Bratislava. This will be combined with a fact-finding mission.

· 20 newsflashes

· New country updates for the new neighbours of the enlarged EU.

Regional and international meetings

· Ten Years of Forum (with Westminster and other foundations). Meeting with foundations and parties in Slovenia. Organisation Slovenian Kalander Foundation (will also celebrate 10 years anniversary.)

· Networking for Democracy, three regional seminars:

· One seminar in Velenje, Slovenia (connected to the 10 years European Forum celebration), involving the Former Yugoslav countries, Albania, Romania and Bulgaria.

· One in St. Petersburg (connected with the St. Petersburg Elections 2003 Festival), involving the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus.

· One in Armenia (connected with a Caucasus Fact Finding mission) involving Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

· Roma meeting (on the Plovdiv model in Romania).

· Training of CEE candidates for the elections of 2004 (optional/Willy Brandt programme).

· Meeting with the Belarus opposition in Latvia.

· The Forum will co-ordinate a training programme in Ukraine.

· The Forum will initiate discussions with the Romanian PSD on transparency and party reform and renewal.

Special emphasis should be given to Bulgaria and Moldova. There are at the moment no projects scheduled but when extra funds are available we should try to give these two countries more priority.

Cooperation PES and European Forum

· Fact Finding mission to Albania (with the PES).

· PES network South East Europe meetings (Skopje and Zagreb).

Other activities

· Social Democracy in Latvia: a restoration attempt.





Editors of the report:

Maaike Timmers

Liesbeth van de Grift

Matilda Nahabedian