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Spotlights on the European new development policy

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Sunday, 31 July 2005

Spotlights on the European new development policy

Deputy Director General Athanassios Theodorakis in the 3rd Issue of the E-Courier gives some spotlights on the European new development policy and why the choice for the budget support.
There are only a few months left until the United Nations meets to discuss at high level the Millennium Development Goals passed in the Monterrey Consensus agreement. The Monterrey Consensus agreement remains a key accomplishment of the international community. For the first time, it created a global partnership for development, an essential condition to eradicate poverty. But we know that despite significant progress since the implementation of the partnership the problems facing developing countries are serious. This situation is not acceptable and radical change is necessary. If a global partnership is to succeed, then developing countries must take control of their future. They must adopt and implement ambitious national strategies, set feasible objectives, put an end to corruption and the waste of natural resources. We will never be able to do for our partners what they can do for themselves. However, this said, the international community cannot pull away from its responsibility: it must accompany this process and allocate sufficient resources for development. The EU has granted a significant increase in its development aid which will represent, on an annual basis, an additional 20 million euros until 2010. A calendar and precise goals have been set: 0.56 % for 2010; and 0.7 % for 2015. Other policies (commerce, agriculture, environment, research ...) can also provide significant contributions to development. This is why the European Union has made a clear-cut commitment for the promotion of coherence within its internal and external policies and is pleased that the European Council has endorsed this dynamic. Another challenge, beyond volume issues, is the improvement of the quality and efficiency of the aid. In this respect, budgetary support, symbolizes the partners taking charge of their own development and allows them to pay recurrent costs such as teachers and nurses’wages, is without doubt the most efficient and best adapted tool in countries where it is feasible.
Finally, the EU is to engage in a policy focused on sub-Saharan Africa where there is considerable under-development and unbearable misery. This is why the European Union has considered it fundamental to devote at least 50% of its public aid to the Continent. Efforts will focus on three plans: The political
plan: to support the African Union, reinforce governance, support the peer review system, contribute to peace, security and the resolution of conflicts. The economic plan: by financing large trans-African communication networks and focusing on commerce and by reinforcing regional integration. The social
plan: by improving access to basic services, adequate and predictable financing for contagious diseases and continuous sustainable environmental support. Our approach to development has moved on. Development is more than just a large scale charity operation. Public demonstrations of sensitivity are excellent means to remind us of our constant duty of solidarity, our ambition to share our experience and know-how respecting the priorities of our partners and most of all the respect of human dignity.
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