Select Committee on International Development Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum submitted by the Department for International Development


  I attach a short note in response to Mr Baldry's query.


  I attach the relevant annex to DFID's Institutional Strategy Paper on the EC. In brief, activities of the EC are conducted in areas established by the Treaty of Rome. The single market and external trade policy (GATT etc) were the core activities but others have been added, eg environment and, of course, development cooperation. In some of these areas the EC has exclusive competence (eg trade policy); in others competence is shared (eg development cooperation). So that is the legal basis for the EC's programmes in developing countries.

  The EDF is a complication. It was established outside the Treaty of Rome before development cooperation became an EC competence. However, for convenience the Commission was asked to manage the EDF on behalf of the member states. The EDF remains a voluntary fund outside the EC budget. And the Development Cooperation section of the Treaty explicitly excludes cooperation with the ACP from its decision-making provisions.


  There are two members of DFID staff in the UK Permanent Representation in Brussels: Adam Wood and Laurie Lee. They are on secondment to the FCO and work within the External Relations section. Other desk officers in that section also deal with development issues in the regions that they cover (eg Mediterranean or Latin America), as do desk officers in other sections, eg trade. Permanent Representations of other member states tend to have one person dealing with development issues, though that person is not always from the development ministry.


  It took a bit of time to clarify this but the Commission have confirmed their intention to publish their new Country Strategy Papers on the internet to help improve transparency. As a formality, the Commission will seek agreement on publication with partner countries in the coming months. We will be able to advise the Committee of publication dates in due course.


  We will advise Clare Short of the Committee's interest in this. There are wider discussions at the moment on the functioning of the Council which have included the issue of greater openness. And the Laeken European Council agreed last week that the Council Secretary General should report in the next few months on how to improve the functioning of the Council to take account of enlargement.

Department for International Development

19 December 2001

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