30 May 2023

V4DevCo conference report

On May 25, at Clarion Congress Hotel Bratislava, the conference entitled “Involving V4 actors in EU development cooperation: prospects, opportunities, and challenges” concluded the V4DevCo project. This hybrid event brought to the spotlight the problems related to the issue of V4 non-state actors’ relatively low engagement in the EU development cooperation.

The conference was attended by development cooperation experts, policy-makers, members of academia and think tanks, representatives of businesses, civil society organisations, and the broader general public from V4 countries and elsewhere. The event was inaugurated by Daniel Kaba, Executive Secretary at Ambrela – Platform for Development Organisations which hosted the event. This was followed by the presentation of the V4DevCo Guide, delivered by  Oskar Chmiel, Specialist in Social Sciences  at CASE – Center for Social and Economic Studies. The Guide is the main output of the project, and includes an analysis of the current problems in the field of the V4 non-state actors’ participation in the EU development funding programs, and provides recommendations on the ways to overcome them.

Afterwards the conference moved to the first panel discussion on “Opportunities and challenges of V4 contribution to the EU development cooperation with African partner countries”, moderated by Istvan Tarrósy, Professor and Director at the University of Pécs. Prof.  Tarrósy asked the panelists to share their opinions on the cooperation, experiences and good practice from this area.

The second panel discussion focused on the EU development cooperation with Ukraine and the role of V4 non-state actors. This discussion was moderated by Ondřej Horký-Hlucháň, Senior Researcher at the Institute of International Relations Prague. The participants had an opportunity to talk about their experience of cooperation with the EU institutions, Ukrainian partners, as well as partners from the V4 countries since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion. In addition, they shared their thoughts on what should be done so that V4 state and non-state actors can better use the EU financial tools for assisting Ukraine.

The conference closed with concluding remarks of Agnieszka Kulesa, Vice President of Management Board at CASE. She noticed the overlaps between the key recommendations presented in the V4DevCo Guide and some ideas shared by the panelists, and also thanked the consortium partners for good cooperation on the V4DevCo project.

The event was organized by CASE in cooperation with Ambrela – Platform for Development Organisations.

The conference was an activity of the “V4DevCo - V4 Development Cooperation Trialogue: Reinforcing Synergies, Sharing Good Practices” project co-financed by the governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from the International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.

Please find the full conference agenda here: https://www.case-research.eu/files/?id_plik=7582.