The Good Lobby Programe
On the 22nd of June I attended the Good Lobby Inaugural Event & The Launch of the EU Pro Bono Awards on behalf of Issues Without Borders.
This event brought together EU officials, lawyers and other professionals, civil society actors and academics to publicly build a case for pro bono in Europe. On this occasion, The Good Lobby and its partners also officially launch the EU Pro Bono Awards to acknowledge and celebrate the most successful instances of pro bono co-operation between citizen experts and civil society organizations carried out within the past twelve months at the EU level.
The speakers included: Emily O’ Reilly (European Ombudsman); Alberto Alemanno (Founder of The Good LobbyJean Monnet Professor of EU Law at HEC Paris, Director of the EU Public Interest Clinic, New York University School of Law ); Lamin Khadar (Co-founder of The Good Lobby, Pro Bono Associate, DLA Piper Amsterdam); Tony Venables ( Founder, European Citizens’ Rights, Involvement and Trust (ECIT) Foundation, Director of Maison des Associations Internationales (MAI); Onno Brouwer( Partner, Freshfields Amsterdam); Philip Buisseret (Secretary General, CCBE); Helen Darbishire (Vice-President and Executive Director, Access Info Europe) ; Ed Rekosh (Founder of The Global Network for Public Interest Law (PILnet), Director of Human Rights Initiative, Visiting Professor of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law); Michael Diedring Director (European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM) Maria Orejas-Chantelot (Policy and Programmes Director at European Foundation Centre (EFC).
Furthemore The EU Pro Bono Awards have recently received the High Patronage from the European Parliament.
The programme of the event was the following: after the registration of the participants there was a key note speech and Q&A section by Emilie O`Reilly (EU Ombudsman). It continued with a presentation of a survey: „ What do EU NGOs Need and Expect”?, a roundtable „ A need for pro bono at the EU level”, a presentation of the Good Lobby and Q&A, a launch of the EU Pro Bono Awards Ceremony, concluding remarks, lastly a reception at the place of conference, where participants were encouraged to network. The event ended in a very constructive way and the participants were already very excited to attend the „proper training” which took place the following day on the 23rd of June.
The following day , the 23rd of June was a busy day for us participants because we attended many trainings and workshops.
The first section was section intitled „ Make your voice heard” , where Alberto Alemano gave us some suggestions in how to state our case to EU policy makers.
The second section was called :” The Good Lobby Tool Box” which included the following presentations : the first tool box„ How to make a FOIA request”( Helen Darbishire-Acces InfoEurope &Onno Brouwer-Freshfields Amsterdam); the second tool boox „How to lauch a Citizens Initiative” (Carsten Berg-Citizens Initiative); and the third tool box „How to submit a complain at the EU Ombudsman” (Fergal O`Regan-EU Ombudsman Office)
The third section of the conference was called „How to spread the word” and this involved a workshop „How to set up a digital campaign in the EU and case studies”, training performed by Riparte il Futuro, We move and Old Co (Priscilla, Virginia, Federico, Gaulthier).
The fourt and last section was intitled: „The Good Lobby Pro Bono Simulation” and this involved a Role Play : „How NGOs and Law Firms Can Work Together”. Based on a hypothetical scenario, participants (in small groups) were supposed to simulate a request for pro bono assistance, it`s processing by a law firm and the delivery.
Lastly there was a farewell and concluding remarks.
My favourite parts of the conference were the presentations made by Karsten on the Citizens Initiative since Issues Without Borders is also planning to launch in the future a Citizens Initiative in order to map a new EU legislation on migration and the last part, the role play because the role play gave us participants the opportunity to think outside the box, prepare and deliver a presentation under time pressure and we also received valuable feedack after this.
All in all I would like to thank the Good Lobby platform and particularly Alberto Alemanno, who also offered us a copy of his book „Lobby for Change” , a book I highly recommend.
This conference offered me valuable information and I am even more enthusiastic about the work performed by Issues Without Borders is terms of the refugee crisis and it`s future work because this is just the beggining.