The European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO) held their bi-annual General Assembly meetings in April and October of this year. The independent civil society platform is composed of European non-governmental organizations (NGOs), networks of NGOs and think tanks committed to peacebuilding and the prevention of violent conflict. Nonviolent Peaceforce has been EPLO member for years and is actively participating in EPLO working groups.

EPLO aims to influence the European Union (EU) so that it promotes and implements measures which lead to sustainable peace between states and within states and peoples, and which transform and resolve conflicts non-violently. EPLO wants the EU to recognize the crucial connection between peacebuilding, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development worldwide, and the crucial role NGOs play in sustainable EU efforts for peacebuilding, conflict prevention and crisis management. EPLO’s strategy advances the interests of its 32 member organizations from 13 European countries through common policy positions and advocating for those common positions.

(Published Dec. 3, 2015)

The General Assembly decides on strategic multi-annual plans and bi-annual work plans and also decides on membership admission and the principle structure of the working groups and other groups that develop EPLO’s policy positions. In April and October, representatives from the member organizations reviewed EPLO’s work under each of the following policy objectives:

• Policy Objective 1: To ensure that conflict prevention and peacebuilding are prominent within the policies and structures of EU external affairs
• Policy Objective 2: To secure increased resources for conflict prevention and peacebuilding
• Policy Objective 3: To integrate peacebuilding into EU development policy and programmes
• Policy Objective 4: To promote the inclusion of a meaningful gender perspective in EU policy, programming and implementation related to peace and security
• Policy Objective 5: To promote peacebuilding in EU response to specific conflicts
• Policy Objective 6: To ensure conflict sensitivity is included in the EU’s trade policy and in EIB lending

Doris Mariani, NP CEO, serves on EPLO’s Steering Committee as Treasurer. She is contributing her professional experience on a voluntary basis, working with other members of the Committee in representing the best interests of EPLO and all its members.

In addition to a review of the policy objectives, the October meeting also covered new topics of consideration that had been discussed in small groups. These issues included mainstreaming gender in all aspects of EPLO’s work, Member State work, a focus on policy objective number six, and new and emerging issues.

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