At a meeting in the headquarters of the European Parliament in Dublin, MEPs sat down with representatives from International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) to discuss a range of issues affecting the sector.
The meeting, convened by Dóchas, was attended by Mairead McGuinness MEP, Frances Fitzgerald MEP, Maria Walsh MEP and Barry Andrews MEP, who has just recently taken up his position in the European Parliament. It was chaired by Dóchas CEO Suzanne Keatinge.
As well as discussing the new-look Commission and Parliament, the aim of the event was to discuss INGO concerns around a number of policy issues relating to development, human rights and humanitarian action. The topics covered included financing for sustainable development, the green deal, conflict and humanitarian action, migration, and gender equality.
As the European Union negotiates its next 7-year budget, all of these issues are seen as critical to ensure a strong poverty-focus, and one that will genuinely transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised.
Speaking after the event, Suzanne Keatinge said that she had been impressed by the willingness of all the MEPs to talk openly and honestly about the challenges that lie ahead.
Keatinge said “I hope that this meeting showed the value of our members talking directly to the elected reps, in order to influence, but also to be better informed about some of the processes that will enable us to have an urgent voice at the table. I want to thank all of the MEPs who came to the meeting and engaged so enthusiastically with our members. I hope it’s the start of a shared journey to make sure that Europe offers a global leadership that truly puts solidarity and human dignity at its heart.”