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Interview of the month with Gautier Centlivre, Advocacy Officer at Coordination SUD

We interviewed Gautier Centlivre, Advocacy Officer of Coordination SUD, the French NGO Platform of international solidarity, IFP member. The objective of the interview was to discuss about the advocacy work of the French Platform during the French élections, as well as highlighting the strategies that could be used by other platforms.

Focus on the 2017 Presidential Election (Coordination SUD’s campaign during the French presidential election)

1. Can you describe the main acts of advocacy carried out or supported by Coordination SUD during the 2017 Presidential Election?
Our first action was to do advocacy work by writing position papers, and then meeting with all the political parties involved in the French presidential campaign. Then, another action turned around communication. More specifically, it involved writing position papers and press releases, and Coordination SUD also participated in a number of events organized by its members.

2. What were Coordination SUD’s main demands for the candidates?
Coordination SUD had four demands, four central points. The first point, concerned the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The second objective, concerned political backing, namely a central demand for the creation of a ministry dedicated to international solidarity and development. Our third demand, concerned the means of correctly implementing Official Development Assistance (ODA) and innovative financing, such as a tax on financial transactions. Finally, our fourth demand had more of a trade-union dimension and aimed to increase subsidies for French NGOs.

3. To what extent has Coordination SUD supported its members in the implementation of advocacy work during the Presidential Election?
Coordination SUD has promoted the activities of its members and it participated in a few actions organized by them. This was the case of the consortium of Coordination SUD members with whom we organised a debate at the headquarters of an important French newspaper, Le Monde, in which we counted with the participation of some representatives of the candidates. We also joined two other big campaigns, Solidarity Spring and The Call of Solidarity.

4. After the 2017 Presidential Election, what will Coordination SUD’s position be with regards to the elected representatives? What are the next steps ?
The next step in France is the legislative elections. This is a very important step, because in the end, it will be the people elected who approve or reject the government’s proposals. In view of that, we have adapted our manifesto in a very functional way, so that they can begin working on these precise issues as soon as they arrive at the National Assembly. Coordination SUD’s position after the election, in other words after the election of Emmanuel Macron, is a position that will be based solely on the facts. We will remind him of the commitments he made in our presence, the commitments he expressed to us, and we will remind him of our demands.

5. To what extent could your expertise be useful to other members of FIP?
Focusing solely on our demands, and not having an excessive number of them, is an objective we have accomplished and which could be useful for other platforms. Not in the same form, and not with the same demands, of course, but I think it is easiest to try and focus on a certain number of objectives, because that will surely bring better results than a pre-established list of several demands.

Watch the video following the link (only in French)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfw-rc-BF0I