The joint GIZ-CPMA co-Presidency of the Practitioners‘ Network – ready for take-off


As of May 2021, GIZ will assume the one-year co-Presidency of the Practitioners’ Network for European Development Cooperation (hereinafter PN) together with the Lithuanian Central Project Management Agency (CPMA). GIZ and CPMA will officially take over the role from their predecessors Enabel and LuxDev during the annual PN General Assembly, scheduled to take place for 20 and 21 May.  

While the main tasks of the Presidency are to represent the network vis-à-vis the Commission and other stakeholders and to convene and chair internal meetings, thematic and organisational priorities are also proposed for the one-year term. In this respect, Tanja Gönner, GIZ spokesperson, and Lidija Kašubienė, CEO of CPMA, agreed on the following strategic topics, in order to jointly enhance the PN’s relevance, voice and visibility. 

The Six Strategic Priority Areas of the co-Presidency

  • Inclusiveness will serve as the key approach to bring PN members closer together, ensure active participation and the inclusion of respective strengths. 
  • As the European Green Deal is a top priority of the Commission, the co-Presidency wants to put more emphasis on the impact and implementation of its external dimension and further strengthen synergies and cooperation on the green transition in partner countries. 
  • Complementing the Digital for Development (D4D) Hub, the co-Presidency strives for an intensified exchange on digitalisation projects in the partner countries (especially in Africa), knowing that a regular exchange is key to a successful cooperation and implementation. 
  • The co-Presidency considers Public Sector Expertise as a crucial tool in maximising the potential of EU international cooperation. It will therefore build on study recommendations put forward by its predecessors. 
  • The co-Presidency intends to build closer partnerships between technical aid providers and financial actors in line with the programming and implementation of the European development cooperation and in the spirit of Team Europe. 
  • Alongside DG INTPA – the PN’s main entry point to the Commission – the co-Presidency regards closer cooperation between the PN with DG NEAR as pivotal, as it represents a key partner in the members’ implementation activities. 

Relevance of the PN  

Overall, the PN, as the voice of practitioners, maintains a regular, direct and close dialogue with the Commission, thus benefiting on the one hand from the possibility of a privileged exchange, but on the other hand showcasing valuable experience from the field. The PN itself not only provides a platform for regular exchange on EU external action among its members, it also contributes to greater dialogue and complementarity among European development actors with a public mandate, thereby fostering the creation and enhancing of strategic partnerships among like-minded organisations, also at bilateral level. Through the activities of its working groups, the PN promotes an integrated, pluralistic and innovative approach to European development cooperation and contributes to the provision of European solutions to global problems, fully in line with the recently embraced Team Europe approach. 

About the PN 

The Practitioners’ Network was founded in 2007 as an open platform for European development cooperation organisations aiming to create harmonisation and complementarity of the organisations’ actions in partner countries. Moreover, it forms an important channel for cooperation with the European Commission - which is an observer to the network – in particular with DG INTPA and DG NEAR. The PN currently consists of 17 members and 4 associates. The PN builds its (main) activities around thematic working groups and task forces, which organise regular workshops and exchanges. It is governed by a Presidency and steered by a Steering Committee composed of 6 of its members. As a founding member of the PN, GIZ last held the Presidency in 2017-2018. As last time, the (co-)Presidency will be managed centrally by GIZ in Brussels with technical contributions from our HQ. 

Our co-Presidency Partner 

CPMA is Lithuania’s main implementing agency managing EU development programmes and EU Twinning projects. Following its 5-pillar-assessed in 2018, CPMA joined the PN as full member. Its (thematic) portfolio includes, amongst others, public sector expertise, EU twinning and digitalisation, with a regional focus on the Balkans, Caucasus and Eastern Europe.  


Read the CEO double interview with Lidija Kašubienė (CPMA) and Tanja Gönner (GIZ) Practitioners’ Network: Joint European solutions for global challenges (
Watch the video “Practitioners' Network: Who are we?” (YouTube) 
More information on Practitioners’ Network |  ( 
Read also the PN’s charter  


Authors: Marina Peters, Francesca Fondi, Inka Zeuzem