the impact of EU development policy|
|Commission Green Paper: EU Development Policy in Support of Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development: Increasing the impact of EU development policy
|Document originated||10 November 2010
|Deposited in Parliament||15 November 2010
|Basis of consideration||EM of 24 November 2010
|Previous Committee Report||None; but see (32105) : HC 428-viii (2010-11), chapter 11 (17 November 2010)
|To be discussed in Council||9 December 2010 "Development" Council
|Committee's assessment||Politically important
|Committee's decision||Cleared, but further information requested
18.1 As the Commission notes on its website, the
European Union Commission and Member States is
the world's foremost donor of development aid, accounting for
55% of the total. Noting that the effectiveness of European aid
could and must be increased through renewed efforts to improve
coordination and harmonisation, on 20 December 2005, the Presidents
of the Commission, Parliament and the Council signed a new statement
on EU development policy, the "European consensus",
which, for the first time in fifty years of cooperation, set out
to define a framework of common principles within which the EU
and its Member States would each implement their development policies
"in a spirit of complementarity." As well as this shared
vision to guide the EU's activities in the field of development
cooperation, both at Member State and Community level, it also
sets out concrete action to be taken to implement this vision
at Community level.
18.2 With the chief objective being to reduce poverty
worldwide in the context of sustainable development, the EU said
it was seeking to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals by
· to eliminate
extreme poverty and hunger;
· to achieve
universal primary education;
· to promote
gender equality and empower women;
· to reduce child
· to improve
· to combat HIV/AIDS,
malaria and other diseases;
· to ensure environmental
· to set up a
global partnership for development.
18.3 The Consensus also took
the view that the fundamental objective of poverty reduction is
closely associated with the complementary objectives of promotion
of good governance and respect for human rights, noting these
as shared values underpinning the EU; and that the fight against
poverty also implies achieving a balance between activities aimed
at human development, the protection of natural resources and
economic growth and wealth creation to benefit the poor.
18.4 It specified as the common principles of development
cooperation activities: ownership and partnership, in-depth
political dialogue, participation of civil society, gender equality
and an ongoing commitment to preventing state fragility.
18.5 Though developing countries bore the primary
responsibility for their own development, the EU accepted its
share of responsibility and accountability for the joint efforts
undertaken in partnership.
18.6 On implementation, the Consensus sees development
cooperation as a major component of a broader set of external
measures which must be consistent and complementary. Programming
documents country, regional and thematic strategy papers
were to reflect this range of policies and ensure consistency
between them. To meet the needs stated by partner countries, the
Community would concentrate its activities in the following areas:
· trade and regional
· the environment
and the sustainable management of natural resources; infrastructures;
· water and energy;
· rural development,
agriculture, and food security;
democracy, human rights and support for economic and institutional
of conflicts and of state fragility;
· human development;
and social cohesion and employment.
18.7 Democracy, good governance,
human rights, the rights of children and indigenous peoples, gender
equality, environmental sustainability and the fight against HIV/AIDS
would be "mainstreamed". The type of aid provided would
be tailored to the needs and context of each individual country,
giving preference, where conditions allowed, to budget aid. The
Community's approach would be based on results and performance
indicators. Most Community aid would continue to be provided as
The Commission Green Paper
18.8 European Commission Development
Commissioner Piebalgs has announced his intention to update EU's
development policy and, depending on the outcome of this Green
Paper consultation, may choose to launch a full review of the
Consensus in late 2011, aiming to conclude in 2012.
18.9 The Green Paper considers how to update the
EU's development policy so as to improve its impact and increase
its focus on economic growth as a driver of sustainable development.
It has been published on the Commission's website and launches
a public consultation which will run until 17 January 2011.
18.10 In his Explanatory Memorandum of 24 November
2010, the Minister of State at the Department for International
Development (Alan Duncan) notes that the Green Paper poses questions
covering a range of EU development policies, focusing on the following
"Putting 'High Impact' cooperation into
practice: Should the EU and Member States develop guidance
setting out conditions to be met (e.g. on coordination and results)
before any programmes can be implemented? How should different
aid flows (e.g. from public and private sources or different EU
budget instruments) be managed together?
"Growth for human development: How
can the EU and Member States ensure that aid for health and education
contributes to human development and growth? How should the EU
support skills development, for example through its approach to
"Promoting Governance: How should
the EU adapt its development policy to support governance reforms
in partner countries, with greater incentives for reform? How
should the EU promote more robust results monitoring?
"Security and Fragility: How should
the EU intervene in fragile and conflict-affected states, coordinating
short term conflict or crisis response with longer term development?
"Making coordination of aid a reality:
How can the EU promote aid effectiveness and make European
Country Strategy documents a reality?
"Policy Coherence for Development: How
can policy coherence be improved and measured?
"Partnerships for inclusive growth: How
should the EU support industrial investments in partner countries,
e.g. in the extractive or post-extractive sectors? How can the
EU better protect social and economic rights, such as labour standards?
How can the EU help partner countries to promote a business-friendly
environment, especially for small and medium sized enterprises?
How can the EU support low cost finance and financial guarantees?
How can EU funding promote innovation and technology transfer
in partner countries?
"Fostering regional integration:
How can the EU's experience inform regions seeking to strengthen
"Continuing to ensure trade for development:
How can the EU improve aid for trade provisions and ensure
consistency between its trade and development policies?
"Climate change, biodiversity and development:
How can climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction be
mainstreamed into the EU's development policy?
"Energy and development: How can
the EU help partner countries to secure sustainable energy for
their citizens, combining climate change funding and leveraged
loans from Development Finance Institutions?
"Agriculture and food security: How
can EU development policy better support food security and stimulate
sustainable intensification of agriculture, fishing and aquaculture?
How can the EU support the fight against malnutrition?"
The Government's view
18.11 The Minister goes on to
say that it is not currently clear whether the Green Paper consultation
is intended to focus only on growth, or if it should cover the
entire remit of EU development policy. He sees the broad remit
of questions as suggesting a wholesale review, although also notes
that the title of the Green Paper and discussions with Commission
officials put the emphasis on growth.
18.12 The Minister also notes that similar consultations
are presently being run on the EU's approach to Budget Support,
while those on the future of the EU's external financial instruments
have yet to be officially launched. The Commission has, he says,
indicated that, together with this Green Paper on EU development
policy, all these consultations will feed into a Communication
in autumn 2011, at which point a decision will be taken on whether
to open up the European Consensus on Development for a full review.
18.13 The Minister sees this consultation process
as an important opportunity to influence emerging EU priorities
on development. He welcomes the focus on sustainable growth and
wealth creation in the Green Paper and the reference to the private
sector as a key driver of growth, which he says is an area in
which the Department for International Development is stepping
up its efforts. He also welcomes the increased focus on demonstrating
the impact and results achieved by EU development aid.
18.14 He then says:
"However, we have concerns that a major
review of the Consensus in the current climate could downgrade
its poverty reduction focus and undo the achievements of 2005.
In addition to focusing on growth and the private sector, we would
want any potential review of the Consensus to ensure that EU development
policy continues to prioritise poverty reduction and the Millennium
Development Goals, certainly the most off-track ones like maternal
mortality, as well as press for a stronger focus on ensuring value
for money from EU's aid budget. It should also embrace EU's future
role in combating climate change and preventing conflicts across
18.15 In the short term, the
Minister notes that general discussion on the Green Paper is scheduled
for the 9 December 2010 "Development" Council, and says
that the Government will provide written comments on the Green
Paper (consulting other Government Departments, including the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Business,
Innovation and Skills) and work closely with the Commission and
other EU Member States through experts' groups and officials'
meetings to steer the emerging Communication.
18.16 We are reporting this
development to the House because of the importance of the subject
matter and also drawing it to the attention of the International
18.17 We ask the Minister to write to the Committee
in due course about the outcome of his Department's consultations
and the Government's response.
18.18 In the meantime, we clear this Communication
136 The full document is available at http://ec.europa.eu/development/body/publications/docs/consensus_en_total.pdf. Back
See http://ec.europa.eu/development/how/consultation/index.cfm?action=viewcons&id=5241. Back
For the Committee's consideration of this other Green Paper, see
(32105)-: HC 428-viii (2010-11), chapter 11 (17 November 2010). Back