report: PGA European november convenors meeting , MRG/Eurodusnie

PGA European convenors meeting , MRG/Eurodusnie
17th- 22th of nov 2001, Barcelona

There were people from the global supportgroup present as well

(separate from this there is a report on the supportgroup and one on communicationtools)

There were mainly discussions about:

  1. Brainstorm on what the PGA is and/or can be and the role of the european convenors within this process
  2. Communication
  3. Supportgroup
  4. Campaigns
  5. How to continue

1. Brainstorm on what the PGA is and/or can be and the role of the european convenors within this process

Discussion process (ideology/politics/methods of organising)

Task for the convenors:

* Plan Colombia, state terrorism and anti-militarism, defense & recognition of sovereignty of indiginous people, privatisation of land and water, consulta social

Technical (mostly done by global supportgroup, groupnames after tasks)



2. Communication


  1. very simple tools, such as directory of struggles on paper, kind of yellow pages & regular updates
  2. suggestion: At the beginning of each month make a concrete agenda
    Communication line
  3. listserver for the workinggroups from MRG and Eurodusnie
  4. use internet translator as much as possible (
  5. suggestion: next meeting in Leiden in December?
  6. Concrete proposal to make a questionaire for the groups in the network to give input.
  7. Have regular bulletins, were problems with the former bulletins with languages and centralization

Remark: split the discussion between communication within the network & communication to the general public.

There's politics involved and there are cultural differences. There was a long discussion about open/closed meetings and about open for whom. Are these meetings not very inexcessive for most groups?

3. Discussion about the (global) supportgroup

(there is a seperate report on this discussion):

The supportgroup is a never formally implemented group, which is very active within the PGA.

In the supportgroup there are some ex-convenors, some groups who were very involved in the PGA network and some individuals. In Bangalore it was stating the existance, but it only consists in northern people. It needs more decentralization and people from the south. In Bolivia the global support group called for more people to help.

It's not obvious that the convenors need to do all this work with the current support group and sg non-structure. There is a suggestion to make working groups that are open to people who want to support this, instead of around personal affiliation. But the main problem is that we then very much need a skill sharing process that is not all that easy. We could use all the meetings for technical workshops. The regional conference should be as well for skill sharing.

Use the consulta tools for arranging the support work.

4. Campaigns:

Question: the campaigns, which were presented in Cochabamba, by whom are they going to be implemented? This is not clear at all, they are just proposals for campaigns, no specific groups is working on it except for the Plan Colombia and antimilitarism campaign.

Ya Basta Milano started to implement the issue of water: what are rights of any person, how does this reflect the Italian situation. Now they are presenting the vision of Cochabamba on this in Milan in a public evening. So in a conference, where groups are often represented by only one person, it is not the right setting to implement it, this can only be decided locally.

The gender issue needs to be promoted by the working group to be implemented in all the campaigns.

A presentation about the anti-militarism campaign and the consulta was given and discussed. (minutes can be send on request)

What is the relationship between the campaigns and PGA? The function is to create a dynamic of interrelation and for the convenors to facilitate in terms of tools. "We" are not setting up campaigns...

5. How to continue

We need to make a plan that does not just go to the next meeting, but which can be an agenda for this convenor period. This would be the thing to finalise in december.

Suggestion to create a new structure for communication on different lists, abolishing the caravan99 list, but make topical / workinggroup lists. (Similarly, the Saragossa meeting of Spanish groups will make people come because it's about the EU presidency.) Divide the support work into different categories and form people around that with their own communication platform.

Have a European meeting some time next year with everyone doing or wanting to support work for the network.

Discussion on what to do with the technical workshops. There's an idea to have a skill sharing get together combined with the idea to have a get together on support group.

Also look at what's concretely moving in the network and see how to strengthen that.

Consensus on having a meeting in Holland that is focused on MRG people getting to know the Dutch groups and networks, and to create the timeframe for the rest of the period, to decide on the process of consultation for the European conference and to organise another meeting to prepare for this.

Decision to put the report on the caravan list, create open space / roundtables for presentation and discussions.

Some people with affinity from Barcelona may come with MRG to participate.

The meeting will be flexible depending on the amount of repression in Bruxelles.

Also, sessions will not be longer then 4-5 hours.

We should also have a working group to orientate on better facilitation, also towards the conference.

Mon 17 arrive in Leiden, the Netherlands and start with evening roundtable
Tue 18
We 19
Th 20 leave (or stay, for who wants to...)

Afternoon meetings on Tue + Wed, evenings roundtables in different places.

Dutch group will make a proposal for an agenda.

Catalunian group will make a proposal for a questionaire, related to the meeting.

EYFA and Rising Tide people want to give an introduction on linking their network with PGA. EYFA concretely wants to support financing functions. We will ask them to prepare a presentation onm one of the roudntables.

PGA Europe Convenors Meeting, Barcelona | PGA Europe | PGA