The specific objectives of the fund were:
1. To increase the capacity of NGOs in NMS to engage in, co-operate on and execute actions/ activities such as advocacy, public-awareness raising, campaigning and lobbying; over time contributing to a strengthened EU Development Co-operation. In particular, to enable the engagement of NGOs from NMS in:
Political debate in the EU centred upon institutional recognition of EU ODA;
Policy formulation on EU Development Co-operation, with reference to provision in the current Treaty and in the European Constitution.
Debate on the implementation of EU development co-operation.
Europe’s commitment to the International Development Agenda and in particular its contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Issues needed to be addressed:
The limited understanding and involvement by some NMS governments in EU development co-operation.
Civil society within the NMS was alienated from the EU Institutions and EU Policy as a result of the complexity of processes and jargon associated with it.
To stimulate concerted action through a joint European approach to elicit commitments from NMS governments, MEPs and the EU Commission on EU development policy.
Demystifying the EU and its policies for the public through creative means.
The Fund aspired to engage NGOs in the NMS to engage with their MEPs and governments to achieve a greater awareness of the EU Development Policy issues in general and in particular the issues relating to the EU Constitution towards actions on the Millennium Development Goals and other International Development Targets.
The Fund encouraged collaboration with NMS MEPs and governments to facilitate their recognition of the role of NGOs and other civil society organisations in EU Development Policy.
The existing public opinion in NMS countries strongly favoured values of justice, human rights and equal opportunity. These values had to be put in the context of European Development Policy, which itself had to be broken down into simple understandable units for public understanding.
An increased level of interaction between NGOs in the NMS and their MEPs, State Administration and Permanent Representations in Brussels to achieve:
The increase in media coverage within the NMS on European Development Policy Issues.
A positive change in general public awareness within the NMS on EU development policy issues and on the EU’s contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
The creation of a national consensus on issues related to the EU Development Policy.
2. To facilitate engagement of NGOs in the NMS with civil society actors from developing countries leading to actions and activities that include perspectives from the Global South countries. These engagements should be within the context of strengthening EU Development Policy.
Issues needed to to be addressed:
There was a limited interaction between actors of NMS with the Global South.
To facilitate NGOs engagement with the Global South on EU Development issues.
NGOs were encouraged to develop interaction with actors from developing counties involved in development initiatives. These engagements could increase understanding about realities facing people and societies in developing counties, strategies for addressing these and the role that European Development Policy can play. Such actions created opportunities to bring political representatives - including MEPs and MPs, state administrators, and others related to national and EU co-operation with developing countries into contact with civil society actors from the Global South.
More direct and indirect interactions between NMS civil society actors and those from the Global South to facilitate a deeper understanding of development issues.
The increased engagement of representatives of official institutions in initiatives organised by NMS NGOs directed at the Global South
3. To support, within the context of EU Development Co-operation, existing efforts to build partnerships and coalitions with other civil society actors involved in development, and to promote new ones where these do not exist or are inadequate.
Issues needed to be addressed:
NMS NGOs with their limited resources were expected to participate on equal terms with NGOs from the old member states in advocating for greater commitments from the EU in relation to carrying out the commitments laid out in the European Development Policy.
The National Platforms of NGOs in NMS were limited in their membership and influence.
Strengthen existing networks and create networks where lacking.
The Fund encouraged the creation of Coalitions and Partnerships, which would provide a wider base for sharing experience and resources.
Such Coalitions should create a formidable source of influence leading to more effective participation in national or EU-wide debates and campaigns on development.
The increase in working partnerships established between NMS NGOs and more established European NGOs.
The effectiveness and the sustainability of structures and mechanisms set up through these networks to stimulate awareness and debates on development issues.
The degree to which identifiable partnerships and coalitions have been established nationally as a result of projects financed by the Fund.
4. To support the active participation of NMS NGOs in Europe-wide networks with particular focus on enabling their fair representation at and access to EU institutions.
Issues needed to be addressed:
The NGOs in NMS had limited capacity to participate in dialogue over the EU Development Policy.
Facilitate greater alliances with European level Networks.
The Fund recognised the various initiatives across the NMS fostering collaboration at European levels. The Fund aimed at strengthening these European networks with a specific focus on promoting NMS NGOs influence in EU Institutions within the context of strengthening EU Development Policy.
Active association with European level networks in terms of participation in these networks as well as inputs of the NMS NGOs in these collaborations.