Friday, 4 April 2008

Europe's Hidden Hand, NGO Monitor report

Too many powerful and highly politicized NGOs have became masters in the art of deception: the notions of transparency and accoutability are just not for them. It is time the EU reform its NGO financing procedures and stop pretending that it either doesn't know or that it is not responsible. The EU knows and its responsibility is fully engaged.

"NGO Monitor has published a highly detailed examination of European Union (EU) funding of political NGOs in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The fifty-page report, 'Europe's Hidden Hand', provides the first in depth analysis of this important area, and reveals that between 2005 and 2007, the EU provided tens of millions of Euros from public money to NGOs whose activities directly contradict EU policy. The report also uncovers and analyzes the lack of transparency and accountability in EU funding of NGOs in this region.
Read the executive summary in English [PDF] or in Hebrew [PDF].
Click here to read the full report, Europe's Hidden Hand."

"Red-lines for NGO Funding - Durban Review Conference 2009 (pages 31-32)

To ensure that EU funds for NGOs that are designated for promoting peace, human rights, democracy, and development are not misused in ways which promote conflict and demonize, it is necessary to define and implement "red lines" demarking the limits of acceptable behavior under these frameworks. To this end, the European Commission needs to write and adopt logical political "red lines" which prohibit funding for NGOs that violate them.

Such guidelines will require a coherent policy regarding EU funding for NGOs that pursue political objectives that are inconsistent with their stated goals. [Allocations] ... go to a number of NGOs that promote the "apartheid" campaign of delegitimization. Many participated in the 2001 Durban NGO Forum and are active in implementing the strategy of divestment, boycotts and sanctions against Israel. Clear red lines are needed to prevent NGOs from engaging in such destructive activity. The need for clear guidelines with respect to EU funding is highlighted in the context of the planned Durban review conference scheduled for 2009. Will the EU learn from the experience of 2001, and require NGOs that receive funding under one of the programs discussed in this analysis to forswear any involvement in the demonization of Israel? Other major NGO funders, have adopted such guidelines including the Ford Foundation which requires its recipients to ensure that "your organization will not promote or engage in violence, terrorism, bigotry or the destruction of any state, nor will it make sub-grants to any entity that engages in these activities." Ford also clarified in this memo that "this prohibition applies to all of the organization’s funds, not just those provided through a grant from Ford."

The EU should act in a similar manner to prevent NGOs from exploiting funds designated for peace, democracy, development and human rights for use in counterproductive and damaging activities."

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