From the Editors
Following the erruption of the Arab uprisings, the European Union has quickly responded by announcing its intention to allegedly assist North African and Middle Eastern countries in their efforts to democratise. One of the main tools proposed for such assistance has been lending by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), originally created to help post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe transition to democracy and market economy. The EBRD, however, has a mixed record in its current area of operations. It has often promoted economic liberalisation at the expense of human rights and environmental concerns since its lending usually goes to big commercial actors with no guarantee that any of the benefits trickle down. In the energy sector, it lends more to fossil fuels than to sustainable energy. Are loans in general and particularly loans from the EBRD the best means through which the EU can provide assistance?
CEE Bankwatch Network, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) that has been monitoring the EU for two decades, is organising a training to familiarise reporters from Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries (SEMED) with the EU institutions and European financial architecture tasked with aiding the democratisation efforts after the Arab Spring.
Following two days of preparation, participants will attend an annual EBRD meeting in London, where they will be able to pursue stories while having access to expert guidance from two experienced trainers affiliated with the Guardian Foundation.
For this workshop applicants must be SEMED journalists currently working as reporters or regular contributors to print, broadcast or online media organisations. They should be able to publish one story following their participation in this training.
Bankwatch offers funding for participants that includes economy class travel expenses, transfers and accommodation for the duration of the event. Please note that there is limited space for this training, and participants will be selected on the basis of information in their application.
Deadline for Applications
Applications close 1 April 2012.
Application form and agenda of the training are available at:
If you prefer, email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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