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Wednesday, 26 June 2019
The new Constitution is crucial to the future of the EU’s development co-operation policy. It defines the breadth and depth of the EU’s external relations and the overarching principles which define us as a global player on the world stage. It defines poverty eradication as an overarching objective of EU development policy and through a range of provisions the legal basis for a potentially strong development agenda in an enlarged Europe is set forward.
A website has been launched by eurostep that focuses on the implications of EU Constitutional Treaty for the EU’s Development Co-operation and the European contribution to the UN Millennium Development Goals. The overall purpose of the site is to provide informed analysis of the new European Constitution from a Development Co-operation perspective, to inform national and European debate and - in the context of the ratification process across Europe - to contribute to debate on Europe's role in the world.
Peter Mandelson
European Commissioner for Trade
Economic Partnership Agreements: progressive trade policy into practice
ACP – EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
Bamako, Mali, 19 April 2005

In this speech to the 9th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Mali, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson argues that the Economic Partnership Agreements that the EU is currently negotiating with ACP regions will be both trade and development deals. They will provide for even greater market access into EU markets for ACP exports, encourage South/South market opening as a priority before any South-to-North liberalisation, and allow the EU to support financially the integration processes in the ACP regions. The speech stresses that in dealing with the trade and development needs of ACP regions exceptions and flexibilities are a feature of the EU approach.
The European Commission has set up a new external advisory Group of Political Analysis (GPA) - with leading political scientists and researchers - which met on 15th April in Brussels for the first time. The group is one of three external advisory groups - involving experts from the fields of Economics, Politics and Social Science - being set up by the European Commission. The overall objective is to stimulate an ongoing dialogue between the European Commission and European experts from academia, business and civil society and to provide President Barroso and Commissioners with objective, expert and impartial advice in the formulation of recommendations on policies of the European Union.
The European Commission today adopted proposals aimed at speeding up progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by increasing the volume and effectiveness of the development aid provided by the Commission and the Member States. The pillars of the three communications adopted today are a significant increase in official development assistance (ODA) (with a new intermediate target of 0.56% of GNI in 2005, the ultimate goal being 0.7% by 2015), greater coherence between Community policies, better coordination between Member States and the EU and more ownership of aid by the recipients.
Five years ago the international community agreed the MDGs, which include halving the number of people living on less than a dollar a day by 2015. In September a UN summit in New York will review progress towards the MDGs. As the developing countries’ leading donor and trading partner, the European Union has a particular responsibility.The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Durao Barroso, declared that 2005 is a crucial year for development. As the biggest development aid donor, the EU and its Member States must show ambition and make a united demand for greater, better coordinated investment, striving to ensure that our policies are coherent and serve our development goals. As things stand, it would take 100 years to achieve the MDGs in Africa. We must do more and we must do it better. We must honour our commitments for reasons of humanity and solidarity, but also of stability. The challenges of poverty and unfettered globalisation, which sidelines whole swathes of the population, demand a change of attitude, underlined Louis Michel, the member of the Commission responsible for development and humanitarian aid.
The proposals presented by the Commissioner Louis Michel to the joint Assembly concern (1) the volume and effectiveness of aid; (2) the coherence of the Union’s development policies; and (3) the priority to be given to Africa.
The Commission proposes that the Member States continue increasing their ODA budgets beyond the commitments they made at Monterrey (0.39% of GNP in 2006). It proposes a new minimum objective for each Member State of 0.51% for 2010 (0.17% for the new Member States), which would take the Union's collective effort to 0.56%. This commitment would mean an additional €20 billion by 2010 and the achievement of the 0.7% target fixed by the UN in 2015. In 2005 the 25 Member States’ ODA totalled €43 billion (OECD figures).
An increase in the volume and effectiveness of aid is vital, but it will not be enough to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Other Community policies can contribute substantially to development, hence the concept of policy coherence for development. The Commission is proposing to draw up a coherence report halfway between the September 2005 summit and the next international assessment of the MDGs.
The Commission wishes to focus its efforts on Africa and help its countries become the main players in their own development. The EU should focus on areas where it can also catalyse action by other donors:
- governance, in particular through support for the African Union and partnership with its institutions and the refinancing of the Peace Facility
- the networks necessary for regional integration between African countries and fostering South-South trade
- social cohesion and sustainable.

See attached article on U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan warning against any premature rejoicing over the rising numbers in official development assistance (ODA).
The 9th EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), which opened this Monday in Bamako, Mali, was told in a written message sent by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan that poverty reduction and the achievement of the seven Millennium Development Goals could be achieved if developed countries support the developing countries. Mr Annan said he was counting on the parliamentarians from the North and South to put pressure on their governments to keep their promises on development aid.
The Millennium Development Goals are one of the most important debates on this week's agenda for the 77 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and their 77 counterparts from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP). In its 2000 Millennium Declaration, the United Nations set eight goals for development, called the Millennium Development Goals, which set an ambitious agenda for improving the condition of the world's poorer countries by 2015. The EU-ACP session will conclude this Thursday with the adoption of the Bamako Declaration, which will call for more commitment from the international community to fulfilling these goals.
The situation in Sudan is another key point on the agenda; a joint JPA delegation was in Darfur at the end of March. Other debates will focus on the situation of the African Great Lakes region, in particular a report on post-conflict rehabilitation, the budgetisation of the European Development Fund (EDF) and -with Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson - the latest developments in the area of economic partnership with West Africa. Resolutions will be adopted this Thursday on Sudan, the Great Lakes Region, the EDF, post-conflict situations and primary education (in the context of the Millennium Development Goals).Holding the Joint Parliamentary Assembly in an ACP state gives MEPs the opportunity to discuss the essential problems of developing countries on the spot with local actors. At the Women’s Forum held on Saturday, members of parliament and representatives of civil society were able to discuss the problem of female genital mutilation. This has particular resonance for Mali given that more than 90% of women in Mali are victims of genital mutilation. Another issue is the fall in world cotton prices. This has had catastrophic consequences for Mali, which is Africa’s largest cotton producer. Parliamentarians will also hear about other concerns in Mali, including the threat of desertification.
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