The FPA Watch Group
The Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) defines the contractual relationship - regulations and responsibilities - between the European Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and humanitarian organisations. There is an ongoing consultation process between ECHO and its NGO partners on the FPA. The current FPA entered into force on 1st January 2014. Originally due to end in 2018, the 2014 FPA has been extended for 24 months in order to offer more time for the preparation of the next FPA, to which the FPA Watch Group is actively contributing through the consultation process and ad hoc meetings of the FPA Task Force with ECHO.
The FPA Watch Group represents the views of all ECHO’s NGO partners in the monitoring, review and consultation of all matters relating to the FPA. It works towards a common interpretation and consistent application of the FPA. Composed of a smaller number of members elected by the Watch Group, the FPA Task Force is the "executive" of the FPA Watch Group. The FPA Watch Group is subject to regular renewal as per its Terms of Reference.
As well as the technical aspects of the FPA WG, it is necessary to underline the importance of the Watch Group as a platform for cooperation, exchange of information and reflection. This dynamic of cooperation solidifies the strength of the Group but above all improves the level of professionalism of NGOs allowing them to retain and protect their unique status.
Contact for questions relating to the FPA WG
+32 (0)2 541 13 60
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For more about the history and impact of the FPA Watch Group, see the briefing produced by VOICE "Partners in Humanitarian Aid: The FPA consultation as a model of EC partnership with NGOs" (December 2004).
The role of VOICE
Through its membership, VOICE represents about half of ECHO partners and acts as main interlocutor for humanitarian NGOs with EU institutions. To date, the role of VOICE regarding the FPA consultation process has included:
- Facilitate the work of the FPA Watch Group and organise the contacts between the FPA Watch Group, the FPA Task Force and ECHO;
- Contact with all ECHO partners in order to ensure that they are informed and have an opportunity to express their opinions;
- Inform the VOICE members who are not participating in the FPA Watch Group (circulation via the VOICE website and the FLASH);
- Supervise the preparation of preliminary documents and draft the reports of meetings and other documents;
- Correspond officially with ECHO’s management, as required;
- Facilitate the (re)constitution of the Watch Group.
As part of the consultation process, VOICE attempts at all times to ensure that the interests of humanitarian NGOs are protected and defended. It provides information to its members and acts as a point-of-contact for NGOs which may have sensitive questions they do not wish to address directly to ECHO. Comments and concerns from NGOs, whether they are members of the Watch Group or not, can be sent to programme[at]ngovoice.org.
Click here to access the ECHO website dedicated to humanitarian partners