Mission, Structure & Funding

[MISSION]

Created in 2003, the European Network for Central Africa (EurAc) gathers member organisations from civil society in several European countries. These organisations work on and in the Great Lakes region of Africa and wish to tackle the structural causes of under-development and instability in the region.

They support civil society organisations in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda in their efforts to promote peace, the respect of human rights and development by making local voices heard and taken into consideration by European Union (EU) policy and decision-makers at all levels.

EurAc’s mission is to carry out advocacy towards the EU to contribute to the development and the implementation, by the EU and its members States, of strong and coherent policies promoting peace, inclusive political participation, the sustainable and equitable management of natural resources and the full respect of human rights in the Great Lakes region.

 

 

EurAc’s strength lies in the fact that EurAc benefits from a solid and multi-faceted expertise in its thematic areas of work and from long-standing relations with key local civil society actors from the Great Lakes region, as well as policy and decision-makers in EU institutions in Brussels, in EU capitals and in UN agencies, notably in Geneva..

EurAc is in a unique position to monitor EU relations with the Great Lakes region and to send clear and fact-based messages that can shape the EU agenda and actions in accordance with EurAc’s mission and principles.

[MANDATE]

The three missions that make up EurAc's mandate are the following:

  • Information: Inform EurAc member organisations, as well as European and international political stakeholders about the situation in the Great Lakes region with a view to facilitating their access to independent and trustworthy information.

  • Advocacy: Develop targeted advocacy strategies, as well as coordinated and sound analysis, policy positions and recommendations so that the diplomatic efforts and intervention policies of EU and international institutions (particularly European governments, the European Union, and the United Nations), as well as the main donors, are more coherent and are based on the needs and realities expressed by the people of the Great Lakes region, particularly the most vulnerable and marginalised. With a view to supporting or backing local processes, EurAc's role is also to reinforce the political advocacy of local civil society partners supported by members, and to relay their concerns and recommendations at the EU and international community level. These various activities are defined in EurAc’s triennial Strategic Plans, and the priority objectives developed and agreed upon by members. They are also connected to the advocacy that members conduct at a national level in their respective countries.

  • Consultation & Coordination: Provide coordination tools which allow members to better coordinate their interventions and projects on the ground, as well as their respective advocacy activities.

 

[THEMATIC PRIORITIES]

EurAc’s political advocacy work is conducted along the following three thematic priorities:

 

 Inclusive political participation (Democracy) & Human Rights 

 

 

 

 Peace & Security

 

 

 

 Sustainable and equitable management of natural resources

 

 

The choice of these thematic issues is based on the main challenges and risks identified above for the region, as well as EurAc’s in-house expertise and member organisations’ areas of work. These overarching themes entail a series of interconnected issues that have significant consequences on the situation in the region. Purposefully broad, these themes allow EurAc to adapt its work depending on the evolution of the context. 

EurAc’s advocacy work also follows a few cross-cutting priorities, such as the reinforcement of the role and participation of local non-state actors, including civil society organisations, and of the role of women, as well as the promotion and protection of human rights and finally, the fight against impunity.

Our advocacy mission is based on EurAc’s Political Charter, adopted by the General Assembly in December 2015. 

For more information on the network and our work, read our presentation leaflet.

 

[ACHIEVEMENTS]

EurAc produces reports and policy briefs and organises public and expert events aimed at promoting EU policies that foster respect of human rights, inclusive political participation, peace and the equitable management of natural resources in the Great Lakes region. From the issue of conflict minerals to the challenges of shrinking democratic space in the three countries of the region, we strive to make sure that the voices of local civil society are heard at every level of European decision-making process. Here are some examples of our recent publications and advocacy events:

 

 

EurAc successfully advocated for the adoption of a binding European regulation on the responsible sourcing of minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.

Through advocacy events, publications, and by working in coalition with other NGOs, we made a strong case for a regulation that works in the interests of artisanal miners and civil society in the DRC. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EurAc strives to keep peace, development and the respect of human rights in the Great Lakes at the top of the EU agenda.

We routinely organize public conferences bringing together European decision-makers, civil society from the Great Lakes and Europe to foster dialogue and international cooperation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EurAc believes that fair, transparent and peaceful democratic elections are fundamental for ensuring that people in the Great Lakes make their voices heard, and that governments are accountable to and work for the interests of their people.

In this regard, EurAc closely monitors electoral processes and relays with civil society in the Great Lakes to make sure that all voices are heard,  including at the EU level.

 

 

 

 

[STRUCTURE] 

The flowchart of the European Network for Central Africa (EurAc) is composed of a Board, a Secretariat and member organisations.

The General Assembly, which is EurAc’s decision-making body, meets twice a year. Board members are elected among member organisations by the General Assembly and they meet four times a year.

The Secretariat, which is based in Brussels, is composed of three employees and one intern, who carry out EurAc’s everyday work, such as coordinating the three Thematic Working Groups (so-called “TWG Human Rights & Inclusive Political Inclusion”, “TWG Peace & Security” and “TWG Natural Resources”), conducting policy research and analysis, as well as carrying out advocacy and communications work.

Information-sharing, analysis, and development of EurAc policy positions are carried out through the Thematic Working Groups. They allow members to actively participate in developing EurAc’s public positions, and internal and external strategies.

 

[FUNDING]

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.

EurAc also receives punctual funding from international foundations such as Humanity UnitedOpen Society Foundations and National Endowment for Democracy (NED).