The overall aim of this workshop was to build competence and to find new ways to multiply our voices at stakeholders at well as broader public level in order to advocate for SRHR in relation to the ICPD Programme of Action/MDGs.
According to statistics, a silent majority is in favour of a more progressive/liberal policy towards SRHR. But it is difficult to make their voices heard at stakeholders and a broader public level. The need for more support re SRHR and development is rising as the European political landscape as well as EU funding structures is changing. Although some observers tend to say that there is not a serious problem – as yet – in terms of the political balance withing the European Parliament regarding the enlargement of the EU to actually 27 states, a new far-right bloc has already been created in the European Parliament. Led by the French National Front, it was made possible by Romanias and Bulgarias accession to the EU. This platform includes commitments to Christian and traditional family values and may oppose progressive SRHR policies in the near future. Furthermore, the League of Polish Families (LPR), a national conservative and far-right polish political party, with it’s widely known opposition to homosexual rights and abortion, is very systematic and destructive in its voting patterns re SRHR in the European Parliament.
Although funding can not be shifted away from developing countries to the near European neighbourhood, at least some new EU member states are interested in to attract attention to their own national development problems, thus shifting focus from Africa and other developing regions to Eastern Europe. This might be another challenge to levels of EC aid in the future. Taking all this in mind, it becomes even more crucial to make our voices heard by drawing this “silent majority” on to our side and motivate them to speak out for and support our issues.