As part of its dialogue with civil society, the EIB organized a Workshop for NGOs in Marseille on 31 October 2003. The Marseille Workshop followed the one in Thessaloniki on 21 February 2003 as part of a series of regionally organized meetings with NGOs. The one day Workshops, taking place in principle twice a year, provide EIB staff and NGOs with a platform to discuss topics of common interest and to learn about each others objectives and activities.
The agenda of the Marseille Workshop included sessions on balancing development and environmental objectives in financing investment, with a focus on poverty alleviation; water issues in the Mediterranean region; waste management in the same region; and EIB's public information policy.
The agenda was drawn up in co-operation with interested NGOs. EIB and NGOs both delivered presentations. The Workshop was chaired by EIB Vice-President Peter Sedgwick, Member of the Bank's Management Committee with responsibility for EIB's relations with NGOs. Jean-Michel Severino, Director General, Groupe Agence Française de Développement and Member of the EIB Board of Directors for France, delivered an address on development. EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive introduced EIB's activities in the Mediterranean. In addition to the plenary meeting, EIB staff and NGO representatives held informal bilateral talks.
Participants totalled over 30 people, including 17 NGO delegates. Most of them represented regional and local NGOs, while three international advocacy NGOs also participated with speakers. In addition some observers from EU institutions (the European Commission and the Economic and Social Committee) were present, as well as some academics and researchers from the region.
Next NGO Workshop
The next NGO Workshop will in principle take place in Spring/Summer 2004. As to its agenda, the Chairman of the Marseille Workshop already identified some items that might be discussed as these had attracted a particular interest in the discussions in Marseille. He mentioned climate change and renewable energy; quality control of large projects in developing countries; and the application of EU water regulations in third countries. The final programme will be established together with interested NGOs. An announcement of the next Workshop will be advertised on the EIB website for interested NGOs to register and to contribute to the agenda.