The ACP-LG Platform
When governments in the ACP countries came up with a development partnership with the European Union (EU) years back they did not include local government (LG). In theory local governments were assumed to participate in ACP-EU development cooperation. In practice this was not the case.
In May 2001 – during the 35th World Conference of the International Union of Local Authorities [IULA] held in Rio de Janeiro – a general meeting of ACP delegates formally established the ACP Local Government Platform, thereafter called the Platform, a representative structure to defend the interests of local governments from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific in ACP-EU cooperation.
The Platform was established in the form of a light apex structure whose ‘raison d’être’ is to defend the common interests of ACP LG in relation to ACP-EU cooperation. The Platform has however evolved since its establishment in 2001. In February 2008, it took stock of where it is and where it is going. The Platform also reflected on how it will evolve in the coming years as a structure, membership organisation and interlocutor of the ACP-EU institutions. The current format and resource base has served well in the initial years of setting up the Platform and acquiring some visibility. Yet now that the Platform is a recognised player and expectations are likely to increase (from various sides), it needs to strengthen its overall institutional base, including the issue of membership development and financial sustainability.