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In recent years, an increase in authoritarian regimes and the introduction of restrictive laws have resulted in a shrinking space for civil society in over a hundred countries. Engaging civil society actors at the international level and including their say in development policies can counter these worrying trends.
Last October, Marcus Cornaro left the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) to take up a new post as Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to South Africa. In this interview he shares some of the challenges of working in a graduating country and how South Africa can serve as an example to the region.
Capacity4dev Team created a new Article 12 November 2014
What does it take to bring together Israel and Palestine, or Armenia and Turkey? Despite geopolitical conflicts, local authorities from these historical foes are among those working together on Cross-Border Cooperation projects as part of the European Neighbourhood Policy. 
EuropeAid – or DG DEVCO – is responsible for designing EU development policies and delivering aid to reduce poverty in the world, while ensuring sustainable development and promoting democracy, peace and security. In November last year, EuropeAid welcomed new Director General, Fernando Frutuoso de Melo. Earlier this week, capacity4dev.eu took a camera to his office for an informal conversation on the context of European development cooperation in 2014.
The Practitioners’ Network of European Development Cooperation is an informal platform that brings together European public agencies and institutions in charge of executing bilateral and EU development cooperation. They have joined forces to share their experience and good practice, and work on European Union policy issues with regard to development.
Capacity4dev Team created a new Article 13 January 2014
GIZ, a German federal organisation, assists the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. At the recent European Development Days, Managing Director Dr Christoph Beier reflected on the changing landscape of development cooperation, and what he considers to be the priorities of the Post-2015 Agenda.
Capacity4dev Team created a new Article 18 December 2013
The Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations, a unique, interdisciplinary research community chaired by former World Trade Organization head, Pascal Lamy, released their long anticipated “Now for the Long Term” report in October. It offers frank discussion on how to break gridlock on major global challenges. At the recent European DevDays, Lamy spoke with us about the report, offering a line of thought that may resonate in the upcoming debate on the post- Millennium Development Goals framework.
African think tanks prove useful in researching, influencing, designing and implementing policies and can therefore be used by development practitioners in project cycles, said Dr Frannie Léautier, Executive Secretary of the  African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), a Zimbabwe-based organisation that supports 39 think tanks in 25 African countries.
The European Commission has opened a public consultation addressing civil society organisations to contribute to the future EU policy on "Civil Society Organisations in Development Cooperation".  Kristian Schmidt, Director of Human and Society Development at EuropeAid, comments on the need for improved dialogue at various levels to realise the new role foreseen for civil society organisations.
With more than half of the world’s population now living in cities, experts agree that the continuing trend towards urbanisation is both inevitable and irreversible. New EC guidelines propose a fresh mindset to assist the development of better cities.

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