Our 17th General Assembly was the first of its kind as our Confederation came together virtually from all corners of Europe. In the shift towards international partnerships, our Members jointly exchanged on the future development cooperation in a geopolitical world. 

The statutory sessions 

Our General Assembly elected Rilli Lappalainen as CONCORD’s new President. Rilli is the Director for Sustainable Development at FINGO, our Finnish National Platform. We would like to thank our outgoing President, Johannes Trimmel, for his ten (ten!) years of leadership as both President and a Board Member.

Our General Assembly elected four Board Members: Bijay Kumar from Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR), Branka Juran from CROSOL (Croatian National Platform), Ida Ragnarrson from CONCORD Sweden (Swedish National Platform) and Marta Iglesias López from Coordinadora (Spanish National Platform). Welcome! We’re looking forward to working together with you!

We would like to thank outgoing Board Member Claire Godfrey, as well as the Board Members who ended their mandates since the 2019 General Assembly: Els Hertogen, Bruno Rivalan and Delphine Moralis.

The General Assembly approved the membership of a new organisation: Wetlands International – European Association! We are thrilled with this new addition to the CONCORD family.



The thematic sessions


Each General Assembly is an opportunity for our Members to exchange expertise on specific topics. This year, our discussions centred on the future of development cooperation in a geopolitical world. The changing narrative around our sector towards international partnerships is both exciting and daunting. Will the EU transition from primarily transactional relationships to transformational ones? How can we, as civil society, ensure that this narrative is translated into action?

To kick-off our discussions, the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, joined us virtually to share her thoughts. Our Members put forth thought-provoking questions on leaving no one behind, ensuring transparency in the use of official development assistance (ODA) and the role of civil society.

Our exchange with Commissioner Urpilainen was followed with the valuable insights of our panelists: Lorena Cortes Vazquez from Arlenica, Dr. Moira Paul from NORRAG and Ezra Mbogori from Africans Rising. Through their expert knowledge and testimonies, each speaker engaged us to collectively address our history, hierarchies and challenges in co-creating meaningful partnerships.

During the second day, our Members focused on the way forward. In small groups, we exchanged ideas for building transformational partnerships. With these ideas and energy, CONCORD is equipped not only to challenge the EU, but also ourselves. 

These discussions mark a starting point. We are engaging with Members to discuss this topic further in other fora such as our Innovative Partnerships Forum in March.