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Friday, 14 October 2011

Commissioner Piebalgs proposes changes to EU development policy

The EU will re-prioritise its delivery of aid to developing countries to ensure maximum impact on poverty reduction. EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, this week presented the 'Agenda for Change' of EU Development policy and a new policy for EU budget support. These communications set out a more strategic EU approach to reducing poverty, including through a more targeted allocation of funding.

Future EU spending should concentrate on sectors which are key for long-term and inclusive growth, target countries that are in the greatest need of external support and where aid can make a difference. [...]

EU aid should focus on sectors setting the foundations for inclusive and sustainable growth. These include:

  • Good governance, including respect of human rights and democracy; gender equality, role of civil society and the fight against corruption,
  • Social protection, health and education,
  • Supporting a favourable business environment and deeper regional integration,
  • Sustainable agriculture and clean energy, helping to provide safeguards against external shocks and turn challenges of food security and climate change into opportunities for growth.

In order to generate more resources, the EU will explore innovative ways of financing development, like the blending of grants and loans.

The Commission will also encourage the EU and its Member States to jointly prepare strategies and programmes (so called "joint programming") and better divide labour amongst themselves in order to increase aid effectiveness.

A significant share of EU aid is delivered in the form of budget support: financial transfers to government budgets in developing countries, coupled with policy dialogue, performance assessment and capacity building. The Commission proposes an EU approach to make budget support more effective and efficient in delivering development results by strengthening the contractual partnerships with developing countries.

Source: European Commission