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September 2018
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EDITO
Sunday, 23 September 2018
“We challenge leaders in the European institutions and the Member States to affirm strong political support for development through a strengthened joint Development Policy Statement with clear principles and commitments, followed through at the levels of policies and practice as well as financing” said Frans Polman, the President of CONCORD, the European NGO confederation for relief and development which represents more than 1500 NGOs.
The European Commission has adopted last 13th July a proposal defining the new development policy of the European Union. The policy aims at reducing poverty in line with the Millennium Development Goals. The Communication is a proposal for a joint statement by the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission. This “European Consensus” would provide, for the first time in 50 years of development co-operation, a common framework of objectives, values and principles that the Union – all 25 Member States and the Commission - supports and promotes as a global player and as a global partner. The EU is the biggest aid donor in the world, accounting for 55% of development assistance, 20% of which is managed by the Commission. The EU’s Development Policy will cover all developing countries, and for the first time in 50 years, this will be done within a single framework of principles for the 25 Member States and the Commission. The Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, said: «Last month, the European Council reached an important agreement on the Commission’s proposals to increase our Development aid. To do more is essential, but we also need to do better. Since Development is an area where competence is shared by the Union and its 25 Member States, this requires a strategy based on coordination and harmonisation. If we really want to make poverty history, we have to act together.” Te Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner said: “More than ever, development tops the agenda of the EU. The EU development policy is a strategy for equitable globalisation. By addressing the links between development and security, development and migration, development and trade, development and environment, the Commission seeks to give the best possible response to a broad variety of situations and needs in our partner countries."
The new Strategy reflects changed circumstances since the previous Strategy was published in November 2000: the stronger consensus on the Millennium Development Goals, the security context after the terrorist attacks on 11 September and the increased impact of globalisation.
The Commission proposes a new conception of development cooperation, with better coordination and common objectives as supporting pillars. he Commission’s proposal for a new EU Development Policy puts poverty eradication at its core. It highlights the importance of the partnership with developing countries and the promotion of good governance, human rights and democracy. It stresses the role of civil society and tackles conflict situations and failed states. The policy also sets development as a key element of the EU’s external action along with the common foreign and security policy and trade policy and explores links with these and other related policy areas such as migrations, environment and employment. It recognises that the EU’s relations with each external partner are unique and require an individual ‘policy mix’ of aid, trade and other policies tailored to the needs of each partnership. The Communication also summarises the main orientations for implementing the new Development Policy by the Commission.
The proposal will now be discussed with the Council and the European Parliament in view of issuing a Joint Statement by the end of the year.
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Invited as a panel speaker in today’s hearing in the European Parliament on the Millennium Development Goals, Christiane Overkamp, Secretary General of CIDSE (International Cooperation for Developmentand Solidarity), underlined that despite the impressive headline figures of recent announcements by the EU and the G-8 on increasing aid and on debt relief, the EU will need to bring a broader package of measures to the table at the Millennium +5 Summit if its claims to leadership are to be credible. “If the EU is to fulfil the leadership role it has claimed for itself in the context of the UN Millennium +5 summit in September, it will need to bring to the summit a package of measures which make real progress in ALL areas key to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals: finance and the reform of aid, trade, participation, and reform of global institutions. This will determine whether Europe can qualify as a true global partner for development,” said Ms. Overkamp in her presentation.
The European Economic and Social Committee, representing the economic and social components of organised civil society in the European Union, organised the 24th meeting of ACP-EU economic and social interest groups in Brussels, Belgium, in accordance with the mandate conferred on it by the Cotonou Agreement. Under the aegis of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, this meeting brought together delegates from the economic and social interest groups of most ACP countries, members of the European Economic and Social Committee and representatives of the Economic and Social Councils of EU and ACP countries. Representatives of the ACP-EC Council of Ministers, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the European Commission, the General Secretariat of the ACP Group of States and European and international socio-professional organisations also attended.
The representatives of the ACP-EU economic and social interest groups adopted the following declaration (summary):
ACP-EU Economic and Social Interest Groups note the continued challenges to the development of ACP countries and stress the necessity to rapidly address the low levels of investment, education/vocational training and employment in ACP countries. The participants welcome the revisions to the Cotonou Agreement signed at the meeting of the ACP-EC Council of Ministers on 24 and 25 June 2005. Within this context, the delegates stress the following:

In relation to the implementation of the Cotonou Agreement by non-state actors
- The importance of institution-building or structuring of non-state actors
- The necessity for more information on the Cotonou Agreement
- The limited consultation to date
- The fundamental need to increase the capacity of non-state actors, particularly economic and social actors, through enhanced access to funding and reinforced dialogue among actors

With regard to the negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreements
- The negotiations are welcome, under certain conditions, particularly of a social nature
- Economic and social interest groups must be regularly informed and consulted at all stages of the negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreements
- Trade liberalisation should not be an end in itself, but must foster development, the establishment of regional markets and must also contribute to poverty eradication

On the topic of regional integration and sustainable development, the delegates stressed that priority should be assigned to the following:
- The promotion of sustainable rural development
- The opportunities of sustainable tourism
- The threats of global climate change
- The necessity for the sustainable use of natural resources
- The challenge of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis
- The importance of education and human resource development
- The promotion of gender equality
Speech by Ben Bradshaw (UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Nature Conservation and Fisheries), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), President of the Council, before the Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament.
Some extracts of interest for the ACP countries:
The British Presidency has 3 aims :
Firstly, on fish stocks to:
- promote appropriate and effective measures to restore and maintain healthy fish stocks, especially through their long-term management; and
- protect vulnerable marine species and habitats, especially by promoting the further integration of environmental considerations into fisheries management.
Secondly, to improve decision-making under the Common Fisheries Policy with greater involvement of partners and a more regional focus, including by promoting the work of the new Regional Advisory Councils.
Thirdly, on legislation to :
- simplify fisheries legislation in ways that are consistent with environmental and international development objectives, and
- promote fair, consistent and effective enforcement particularly within the opportunities provided by the new Community Fisheries Control Agency and the Commission's communication on the simplification of the Common Fisheries Policy.
Particular importance to fisheries partnership agreements with third countries is given, which account for over half of the funding in the above proposal. These agreements are very much as a litmus test of the European Union's commitment to meeting our international objectives on sustainable development and to ensuring policy coherence towards developing countries, especially in Africa.