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Friday, 14 March 2014

New era possible in EU development aid

Europe is the biggest spender on development aid worldwide but its policies are often inefficient, a recent study found. New coordinated development aid programs are aimed at cutting bureaucracy and costs.
A recent research paper published by the Südwind Institute, a German NGO, has highlighted Europe's current lack of ability to coordinate development policy. "Particularly the traditional big donor countries, like Germany, see development aid as an extension of their own foreign policies, and in many cases, of their security policies," Pedro Morazan, a senior researcher with the organization told DW.
This, despite the fact that most experts agree that increased coordination of European donor policy would benefit aid-receiving countries considerably and be more cost efficient.
More than half of global development aid comes from the EU and its member states. However, developing countries only receive European aid if they meet a set of criteria.
"On the political level, there is an agreement in Europe on certain standards like the demand for a democratic system and the respect for human rights [in the receiving country]," Morazan said.
"As far as the coherence between development policy and climate protection is concerned, Europe basically speaks with one voice as well," Morazan added.
Education is one of the central goals of Europe's development policy
But the co-existence of bilateral development policies between individual countries and joint EU development policies has led to a number of parallel structures with similar agendas, said Klaus Rudischhauser from EuropeAID, the European office responsible for political and thematic coordination of EU development policy.
"The EU member states are planning to start joint programs in the period from 2014 to 2020," Rudischhauser said. "For more than 40 developing countries, this means that there's not going to be an individual development program from each donor country."

Source: Deutsche Welle