The CARE International representation office in Brussels strives to ensure that CARE’s expertise and advocacy priorities are represented towards the European Union (EU) institutions.
The office works closely with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to influence key decision making processes, as well as with the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission (EC), in particular the International Cooperation and Development department (DEVCO), which designs and implements the EU’s international cooperation and development policy, and the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), which provides emergency assistance to victims of natural disasters and armed conflicts. In addition, CARE engages with EU Member States, both at capital level and in Brussels, via meetings with Permanent Representations and members of relevant Council Working Groups.
CARE's engagement with EU institutions is both bilateral and through informal and formal NGO coalitions and networks, based on common advocacy objectives. CARE International is a member of CONCORD (European NGO confederation for relief and development), VOICE (Network representing European NGOs working in Emergencies), and a partner of Crisis Action.
In addition to its advocacy work, the CI EU office also serves as an information and coordination focal point within CARE on EC funding opportunities, grant compliance and capacity building to strengthen the effectiveness of CARE’s EC contract management and audit preparedness.
Key priorities for CARE International’s advocacy work at EU-level include gender equality and women's empowerment in EU external action, gender in emergencies, humanitarian crises, climate change and migration.
To support CARE International's advocacy objectives at European level, CARE initiated a Study Tours programme in 2015 to enable European policymakers to visit CARE programme countries. CARE Study Tours allow policymakers to get a deeper understanding of the importance of European development cooperation investments by providing a comprehensive view of the country visited, offering time and space to meet communities and local policy makers for discussion and exchange. The European Study Tours programme was inspired by CARE USA's successful 7-year experience of organising "Learning Tours" for members of US Congress. The programme is funded with the generous support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Visits organised to date:
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