Europe for Peace – Preparatory Meeting in Jarandilla de la Vera, 31th July - 1st August 2010
From 31th July to 1st August 2010, Associació per la Defensa de l'Objecció de Consciència del País Valencià (ADOC-PV) hosted an Europe for Peace Partnership Preparatory Meeting in Jarandilla de la Vera (Cáceres, Spain) with about 40 participants from the different project countries.
The reason to choose this place, far from ADOC's home region Valencia, was to make it easier for Portuguese peace groups to attend the meeting. Some groups from Lisbon and Porto were invited to participate in the meeting as observers because of their interest in being included in future Grundtvig partnership applications and in exchanging resources and information in view of the public awareness raising activities on peace issues they were planning during the next NATO summit in Lisbon in November.
After a presentation go-round, the meeting started out by reviewing the last partnership activities using a timeline graph. The evaluation then focused on the most recent activity: the seminar in Milton Keynes in February, whose main theme was opposition to military bases, and the mapping of military infrastructure.
After a short break, the meeting plenary splitted in small groups in order to deal with more deeply and inclusively what was the main point of the meeting: a SWOC analysis of our project so far. SWOC (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Challenges/Threats) Analysis is a powerful tool developed as a component of the Harvard Policy Model for strategic planning in businesses. It has been included in the business policy course taught at the Harvard Business School since the 1920s. SWOC Analysis has since been expanded to address a wide variety of purposes including assessment and development of both for-profit and non-profit organizations, public agencies, and communities. The SWOC analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the viability of a project or campaign. It can help groups identify internal and external factors both favourable and unfavourable. Once identified these factors will provide a rudimentary map sketching the lay of the social change land and offer ideas about next possible steps.
Back in the plenary, debriefing showed commitment of people, involved ability to share experience, diversity of knowledge and experience, coordination work, political awareness in choosing activities, and consensus decision making, as the main Project strengths. Regarding Weaknesses, asymmetrical task sharing, and the lack of Eastern European countries in the project were mentioned. Among the Opportunities some people pointed out the IT possibilities, the links with other groups i.e. migration, environment related issues, and the possibility to use the already existing media attention i.e. Summits and other international events. Finally, the Challenges/Threats the project faces were discussed. Participants agreed that the lack of awareness in general population, the economic crisis and the lack of long-term commitment challenge the project aims.
The second day of the Preparation Meeting was dedicated to schedule the project activities for the next months. Project partners realised that public awareness raising campaign concerning the new NATO global role to be discussed at its next Summit in Lisbon in November would offer a useful and inspiring example of how civil society got to know and took a stance on an issue that is of interest to a larger European public. In Jarandilla project partners confirmed to organise local public awareness activities (including joined press work) jointly on a European level in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, Sweden and in some other European countries outside the scope of our project like Portugal.
Minutes of the preparatory meeting were disseminated using the e-mail list: http://lists.vredesactie.be/mailman/listinfo/grundtvig.
The meeting was part of the Grundtvig project Europe for Peace, in which ADOC-PV co-operates with War Resisters' International, Vredesactie, ofog, Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft-Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen, and the Transnational Institute. Although funded by the European Union, the European Union or the European Commission are not responsible for the content of the meeting, or any publication related to Europe for Peace.