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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

EU jeopardizes its own development policies

The EU is one of the largest donors of development aid, but economic interests are undermining its effectiveness.
EU development aid aims to promote good governance, along with human and economic development. This implies promoting the sustainable use of natural resources and contributing to the fight against hunger and poverty. More than half of world's official development assistance comes from the EU and its member states, with a focus on cooperation with the ACP countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
In the Lisbon Treaty, the EU called for a coherent policy when it comes to development. Therefore, any European policy decisions in foreign relations, agriculture or economy should not jeopardize the objectives of development policy.
The reality, however, is different. "On the one hand, the EU wants to do everything possible to fight poverty and hunger," said Christa Randzio-Plath, the vice president of the Association of German Development NGOS (VENRO). "On the other hand, they work against this development effort with food exports. What good is it to small farmers in Africa if their markets are flooded with cheap EU agricultural products?"
In January, the EU commissioner for agriculture and rural development, Dacian Ciolos, announced that export subsidies would be suppressed bit didn’t give a specific timeline. In any case, the damage is already done: decades-long export subsidies for products like poultry, for example, have driven many African farmers to ruin.
Agriculture is not the only sarea concerned. Fisheries agreements allow the EU to benefit from African fishing stocks, and not the local population," stated Randzio-Plath.
MEP Neuser is also critical of the various economic partnership agreements that the EU is currently negotiating with the ACP states. "There is definitely a need for some counseling in this area, since the policies that we're negotiating there aren't very fair for the developing countries."
Source: Deutsche Welle