18 EU development assistance in 2009|
+ ADD 1
|Commission Report: Annual Report 2010 on the European Union's Development and External Assistance Policies and their Implementation in 2009
|Document originated||28 June 2010
|Deposited in Parliament||2 July 2010
|Basis of consideration||EM of 20 July 2010
|Previous Committee Report||None
|To be discussed in Council||To be determined
|Committee's assessment||Politically important
|Committee's decision||Cleared; relevant to the proposed debate in European Committee B on the UN Millennium Development Goals
18.1 Each year the Commission produces a report to the Council
and the European Parliament on the EU's development and external
assistance policies and their implementation.
The Commission Report
18.2 The Report covers the Union's external assistance policies
and programmes in 2009. The focus this year is on the global financial
crisis and its impact on the world's poorest countries.
18.3 The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
continue to feature as a priority of EU policies and programmes,
with details of activities outlined by EU instruments and regions.
The Report also highlights preparatory work in 2009 to ensure
a strong EU leadership position for the UN High Level Plenary
Meeting (HLPM) on the MDGs in September 2010.
18.4 A number of important EU initiatives in
response to the financial crisis are highlighted. In April 2009,
a new instrument the ad hoc Vulnerability FLEX (V-FLEX)
mechanism was introduced; it mobilises up to 500
million (£409 million) to Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)
countries, of which 161 million (£132 million) has
been paid out to date. Stringent eligibility criteria are applied
for access to this support.
In addition, the 1 billion (£818 million) EU Food Facility
(agreed in December 2008; expiring in 2010) had allocated over
837 million (£684 million) by the end of 2009, with
a range of providers able to deliver food aid under the Facility.
18.5 In 2009, the Commission notes that it prepared
Communications linked to the MDGs covering the areas of health,
education and gender equality, which shaped the Twelve Point MDG
Plan of Action approved by the EU Foreign Affairs Council on 14
June 2010. Other policy work included:
first assessment of the European Consensus on Development;
a plan of action for incorporating the
Accra aid effectiveness outcomes
into EU programming;
the biennial report on EU Policy Coherence
for Development; 
a mid-term review of the Joint Africa-EU
publication of the first European Report
on Development themed on Overcoming Fragility in Africa.
18.6 The Commission notes that it has also taken
steps to simplify and streamline implementation, including new
guidance for decentralised management for EU delegations, and
focused more on communicating results and impact.
18.7 The EU continues to consolidate its position
as the world's foremost provider of aid: in 2009, accounting for
more than half of global Official Development Assistance (ODA)
of 48.2 billion (£39.4 billion), of which the Commission
alone committed 12 billion (£9.8 billion) and disbursed
10 billion (£8.2 billion). Africa continues to be the
largest regional recipient of ODA (38% of total EU ODA, with 33%
for sub Saharan Africa). However the Report also indicates that
the total share of European Commission-managed ODA going to Least
Developed Countries (LDCs) fell from 41% in 2008 to 35.4% in 2009.
18.8 In summary, the Commission says that:
it has acted rapidly to address the problems caused by the crises
of 2008-09 and to ensure that the impact of its resources is maximised;
the EU has shown the capacity to innovate
and to adapt its aid instruments to meet new challenges;
the dynamics of this process have created
new synergies and more effective results;
it will continue to work towards achieving
the Millennium Development Goals, which are to be the subject
of a major international review in 2010.
The Government's view
18.9 In his Explanatory Memorandum of 20 July
2010, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International
Development (Stephen O'Brien) describes the Report as "a
step in the right direction compared to earlier years, although
its length and layout make it a somewhat wearisome document to
navigate". He professes himself "pleased to see a stronger
overall focus on results, in response to demand from us and other
Member States. Through some 43 case studies, the Report seeks
to highlight concrete outcomes with estimates of numbers of beneficiaries
in countries", and notes that monitoring processes also indicate
an overall improvement in project performance compared to earlier
years. He continues as follows:
"However, further efforts are called for to
make this a more reader-friendly Report with clear assessments
about the progress and results of EU aid. Importantly, we want
to see an expansion of quantitative outcomes at field level, and
more and stronger links between objectives and results achieved
across instruments and regions. In line with my Department's focus
on securing value for money, we will also press for future Reports
to better link results and related costs, and include more information
on underlying administration costs.
"The Report is candid in its finding that the
sustainability of Commission interventions is at risk because
of poor partner ownership and lack of exit strategies. We will
look for evidence of increased partner ownership in the next Annual
"Despite us and others pressing for this in
previous years, we keep noting continued shortcomings in data
quality on gender dis-aggregation and on reporting against Paris
indicators. The EU Gender Equality Action Plan (adopted at the
June 2010 Foreign Affairs Council) does commit the Commission
to detail gender equality expenditure in Annual Reports by 2013.
We will monitor this closely. Also, with the DAC/OECD reporting
on donor performance (including for the EU) against Paris aid
effectiveness indicators as of next year, this information will
be publicly available."
18.10 The Minister describes preparatory work
in 2009 towards the EU position for the MDG Summit as useful,
noting that the June 2010 European Council reconfirmed the collective
EU ODA target of 0.7% of GNI by 2015 and agreed to discuss this
annually. Looking ahead, he expects the 2011 Annual Report to
reflect further details on this achievement as well as the actual
18.11 As the Minister commendably notes, it
is not simply a question of Member States delivering on ODA commitments
and the Commission committing and disbursing the funds but also,
and more importantly, outcomes and value for money. We endorse
the priorities that he has set himself for this year, and look
forward to hearing how successful he has been in a year's time.
18.12 More immediately, there is the question
of the UN High Level Plenary Meeting on the MDGs later this month.
We considered the Commission Communication on the 12 Point Action
Plan to which the Minister refers in our First Report of Session
2010-11, (HC 428-i) and recommended that it be debated in European
This will enable the Government to give an account of the HLPM
and the House to give its views. We consider this Commission Report
relevant to that debate.
18.13 We now clear the document.
77 For the Committee's consideration of the Commission
Communications on "An EU policy framework to assist developing
countries in addressing food security challenges" and on
"Humanitarian Food Assistance", see (31470) 8246/10
and (31471) 8250/10: HC 428-i (2010-11), chapter 45 (8 September
For the Committee's consideration of the Commission's interim
evaluation of the Food Facility , see (31420) 7571/10: HC 428-i
(2010-11), chapter 39 (8 September 2010). Back
The Consensus, agreed in 2005, identifies shared values, goals,
principles and commitments which the European Commission and EU
Member States will implement in their development policies, in
particular: reducing poverty, particularly focussing on the Millennium
Development Goals; development based on Europe's democratic values
(respect for human rights, democracy, fundamental freedoms and
the rule of law, good governance, gender equality, solidarity,
social justice and effective multilateral action, particularly
through the UN) and developing countries to be mainly responsible
for their own development (national strategies developed in collaboration
with non-government bodies, and mobilising domestic resources;
EU aid aligned with these national strategies and procedures).
for further information. Back
The Paris Declaration, endorsed on 2 March 2005, is
an international agreement to which over one hundred Ministers,
Heads of Agencies and other Senior Officials adhered and
committed their countries and organisations to continue to
increase efforts in harmonisation, alignment and managing aid
for results with a set of monitorable actions and indicators.
The Accra Agenda for Action was drawn up in 2008 and
builds on the commitments agreed in the Paris Declaration. See
for further information. Back
The EU seeks to build synergies between policies other than development
cooperation that have a strong impact on developing countries.
This approach is being taken by both the European Commission and
EU national governments. In 2005, the EU agreed to apply the Policy
Coherence for Development approach in 12 policy areas that could
accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals:
trade; environment and climate change; security; agriculture;
bilateral fisheries agreements; social policies (employment);
migration; research/innovation; information technologies; transport and energy.
for further information.
See (31519) 8910/10: HC 428-i (2010-11), chapter 2 (8 September