Mission, Structure & Funding
Mission: Political Charter of EurAc
We, European Civil Society Organisations engaged in international cooperation with Central African countries, hereby assert that we wish to collectively work within the European Network for Central Africa (EurAc) with a view to contributing to (a) the establishment of peace, security, justice, democracy and sustainable development in the region.
Members of EurAc are European organisations that support or develop relations initiatives with Central Africa with a view to tackling the structural causes of the under-development of populations and supporting or backing local processes.
Therefore, we shall undertake to coordinate our efforts within the EurAc network to (b) promote more coherent European cooperation policies for promoting peace (see the text approved by nearly 50 organisations in December 2005, called in French "Pour une coopération européenne au service de la paix. Eléments de contenu et indicateurs de suivi pour un dialogue politique avec l’Afrique Centrale").
Members are active among the sub-region's populations and civil societies in various fields, whether with regard to development, human rights or humanitarian intervention when certain emergency situations require it. To this end, they shall undertake to (c) work in close partnership with civil society organisations and local players independent of governmental authorities and parties making up the national political landscape.
With a view to achieving the aforementioned objectives, members of the network shall undertake to contribute and actively participate in the fulfilment of the three missions that make up EurAc's mandate:
- Information: informing the network's members and European political players about the situation in the Great Lakes region with a view to facilitating their access to independent and trust-worthy information.
- Advocacy: organising mutual arguments and advocacy so that the diplomatic efforts and various intervention policies of lenders and international institutions (particularly European governments, the European Union, and UN) are more coherent and are based on the needs and realities expressed by the people of the Great Lakes region. These various activities are connected to the priority themes defined by members and the advocacy that members conduct at a national level in their respective countries.
- Consultation: provide coordination tools permitting members of the platform and their local partners to coordinate their interventions and projects on the ground, as well as their respective advocacy activities.
For over 20 years, Central African populations have been forced to live in a context of instability and conflicts: civil war and a fragile democratic process in Burundi, genocide and cordoning-off of the political sphere in Rwanda, and weakness of the State and bloody international and local conflicts in the DRC. Consideration of the regional dimension is essential to understanding the causes and consequences of these issues.
In addition, EurAc members share the same political vision, namely that the network's actions should mainly be directed at:
(a) The establishment of peace, security, justice, democracy and sustainable development in the Great Lakes region
The political stability of the regimes in power in the countries of the Great Lakes region cannot be the only response to the various challenges facing the country. Other necessary conditions have to be met so that sustainable conditions can be established in the region, namely: respect for the rule of law, consolidation of peace, democratisation processes, protection of human rights, and improvement of political and economic governance.
(b) More coherent European policies promoting peace
As European associations, EurAc members share the same vision and objective, namely that the policies of the European Union and its Member States in Central Africa be more coherent and attentive to the needs and aspirations of the populations of this region, particularly the most vulnerable and marginalised. These policies need to be reformed with a view to building shared prosperity between Central Africa and Europe. This change in policy should encourage support for the Rule of Law, good governance and democratisation in the Great Lakes region. It is motivated by the conviction that peace and development in Central Africa are of interest not only to the local populations, but also for the European Union itself.
(c) Support for partner organisations from local civil society
With a view to supporting or backing local processes, EurAc's role is to relay within Europe and reinforce the political advocacy of local civil society partners supported by members. In particular, partners' advocacy concern the monitoring of governmental policies in countries of the region and action by the International Community with regard to political dialogue and development cooperation with Central African countries.
Information-sharing, analysis, and development of EurAc policy positions are carried out through 3 Thematic Working Groups (so-called “TWG Democratisation, TWG Peace and Security and TWG Natural Resources). They allow members to participate actively in developing EurAc’s public positions and internal and external strategies.
The General Assembly, which is EurAc decision-making body, meets twice a year.
EurAc works almost exclusively on the basis of the commitment and support of its member organisations. Their annual member fees enable the Secretariat, based in Brussels, to perform its advocacy and information independently.