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Monday, 30 May 2011

Commission working on “new orientations” for EU development policy

The African Union (AU) Commission and the European Commission are meeting in Brussels for their 5th annual College-to-College session. They will move forward on a joint agenda of the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership and focus their discussion on two pressing issues of present concern: democracy and growth. […] As the world is emerging from the economic crisis, a crucial common challenge for both Africa and Europe is to kick-start growth and focus on inclusive and sustainable development for Africa, eyes firmly on achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Commission President José Manuel Barroso said prior to the meeting: "The encouraging historical changes on the African continent present tremendous opportunities to enhance the relations between our continents. Our two Commissions will continue to serve as the engines of the ambitious Joint EU-Africa Partnership. Together we can achieve real progress for the people of Europe and Africa, by tackling global issues, by creating more opportunities for trade, investment and inclusive development, and by addressing the people's aspirations for democratic reforms and social justice." Discussions come at a time where the European Commission is looking at ways to reshape its development policy. In autumn, development commissioner Andris Piebalgs is expected to publish a communication with “new orientations” for EU development cooperation. “The question of repressive regimes is not as simple as saying ‘now you don’t get any more money’”, the director for ACP countries in the Commission told the press on 27 May. Simultaneously as the colleges of the European Commission and the AU Commission are holding discussions, the ACP-EU Council of Ministers will be in session.

Source: European Commission/CTA