Examination of Witnesses (Questions 220-234)|
Mr Alain Kundycki, Mr Frank De Wispelaere, Mr Michel
Lastschenko, Mr Jan Mutton and Mr Michel Tilemans
21 MARCH 2006
Q220 Chairman: Can we look specifically
at some of the points Lord Hannay raised about peace and security
and the Africa Peace Facility? How do you see that being funded?
Do you still see it being funded primarily out of the EDF? Is
there is a willingness by Member States to find other monies for
that particular role? What is it that the EU, rather than the
individual Member States, ought to be doing with the African Union,
and how directly should they be involved? It is that whole issue
of peace and security.
Mr Kundycki: For us, peace and security are
of the utmost importance. We are very happy to have an integrated
approach, but this is an essential element for us. The Africa
Peace Facility is a very important element in this. Perhaps I
should give the floor to Mr De Wispelaere to comment on this.
Mr De Wispelaere: I was actually planning to
go into more detail on the human rights and governance issue,
if you allow me to tackle that first.
Q221 Chairman: We certainly want
to address that as well.
Mr De Wispelaere: Seen from the development
side, we think that the programming process for the 10th European
Development Fund will be an interesting one, in particular regarding
the aspect of good governance. One of the key ideas of that programming
process will be to give some extra money to countries that commit
themselves to doing certain thingsfor instance, in the
area of good governance. There is a kind of stick and carrot.
We have the stick available, with the political dialogue and the
Article 96 consultation of the Cotonou Agreement. However, now
we have something like a carrot as well. The important thing will
be that, on the EU side, we will succeed not only in a joint analysis
of the situation in a particular country, but also coming up with
a joint response strategy, and for the 25 to agree with that particular
country on what they should do in the field of good governance
and human rights. If they do not agree among themselves, then
it will be hard for us. The other side, the partner country, will
notice it and they will set up one EU Member State against another.
If we pull one string and say, "If you do this, then on the
EU side we commit ourselves to giving you extra money", that
will be a totally different signal. I think that it will be worthwhile
to look at how that kind of dialogue and process unfolds. The
second remark I would make goes back to the first part of the
discussion and the implementation issue. On the side of development
policy, we have all the normative documents we need. We have the
European consensus which was adopted by the Council, the Commission
and the European Parliament. It gives us indications on how we
should implement coherence; how we should co-ordinate; how we
should be coherent with 25. The question will be: how do we do
it and how do we actually deliver? There again, the programming
process for the 10th EDF will be the first test. As to the Peace
Facility, I think that Michel Tilemans can elaborate on that but
we are very much in favour of EDF funding, with the one proviso
that there should be a very clear political steer exercised by
Q222 Lord Lea of Crondall: On the
level of funding, do you think that the position is now becoming
clearer? Going back to Gleneagles and all these other commitments,
what is the size of the pot? Not only what is spent from the pot,
but who is putting which part of their budget into the pothas
all that been clarified now? We found it difficult to get up-to-date
figures as to what are the commitments to Africa arising in practice.
Mr Lastschenko: In general?
Lord Lea of Crondall: In total and in detail. What
is the position now?
Q223 Lord Hannay of Chiswick: It
is not relevant, David, to your question about the Peace Facility.
The answer from the other side of the table was that you do it
out of the European Development Fund. The European Development
Fund is clear because it was settled last year. It has shares
for Member States and, in theory at any rate, the money is there.
It is also divided up between each African country.
Mr De Wispelaere: It is clear for 95 per cent.
Lord Hannay of Chiswick: So if you say you will finance
the facility out of EDF, which is effectively out of development
money, then you have identified where the money is coming from.
Q224 Chairman: I think that we must
have this discussion when we get home. We would like to hear our
friends on the other side of the table finish their contribution.
Mr De Wispelaere: Regarding the figures, the
figures are there. We have the commitments made in the run-up
to the MDG Plus Five Review Summit. There are some technical matters
still outstanding for the EDF envelope. Do we include administrative
costs? Do we include overseas territories? Apart from that, however,
we have the figures. The figures are there. So the commitments
are very clear.
Q225 Lord Hannay of Chiswick: Are
the Africans happy for that to be used?
Mr De Wispelaere: I think that they can live
perfectly well with the figures that have been put forward. There
has been some frustration on their side, because we were not able
to put them forward earlierat the end of the revision of
the Cotonou Agreement. In December, thanks to the UK Presidency,
we were able to come up with one figure.
Mr Tilemans: On the financing of the Africa
Peace Facility, let us be very clear: it would be unwise and impractical
to use another method than financing through the European Development
Fund. The other solutions or options that have been proposed are
a diversion of resources from other priorities. Specifically,
Belgium is pleading very strongly, alongside many other Member
States, for an increase of the CFSP budget. This CFSP budget is
basically for EU peace and security actions, in particular to
finance a number of operations of an ESDP nature. That is where
we know, and we have been warned again and again, that the European
Union will have very important ESDP commitments to meet in the
Balkans and in other regions, in different kinds of military and
civilian operations. The Africa Peace Facility is of a different
nature. First and foremost, it is and should remain an instrument
of the Commission. Again, in an approach that needs to be a coherent
approach of all the institution and Member States, the Commission
must also remain an actor in support of the CFSP and ESDP purposes.
The best way to do that is to continue to have this instrument
activated by the Commission. Basically, it means that using the
European Development Fund to finance the African Peace Facility
is the best way also to keep the Commission involved and to keep
the African partners involved. To answer in part the question
you have asked, member states of the African Union and African
countries individually have themselves requested and have agreed
the use of the Fund for the Africa Peace Facility. The last example
was South Africa. So there is clearly a commitment from both sidesthe
European Union and the African Unionto have this kind of
commitment executed for what they also consider to be a priority,
namely the build-up of their peace and security system. That is
also made possible mainly by the Africa Peace Facility.
Mr Kundycki: Referring to other ways of financing,
we felt that there was a threat that it could be reduced or that
they would eat up other budgets that are important. So, for the
reasons that Michel has underscored but also to keep stability
in the funding, we thought that having it funded by the Europe
Development Fund was the best solution in the present circumstances.
Q226 Lord Lea of Crondall: I think
that there are a couple of questions on governance. You have our
agenda and we have probably been hijacking it ourselves. However,
on questions 8 and 9, do you have anything that you could add
to what you have said? In particular, about the relationship on
the Peer Review. South Africawe had some very good evidence,
and I think that there is some tension between Johannesburg and
Pretoria and Addis Ababa, in the sense of which instrument is
really doing this job. Do you see any contest between these two
Mr Mutton: I would also like to come in on what
Lord Hannay was asking. As far as good governance is concerned,
is it a wise thing to ask the African Union to take care of this
in Africa, et cetera. I do not know if that is really the issue
here. As was said earlier, good governance is something which
recently we are also insisting on, in bilateral policy and now
in EU policy. So talking about having good governance in the strategy
is a very important debate, but it does not necessarily mean that
it is transferring the responsibility on the African side, to
the African Union. I think that it will be important that we all
speak, in a bilateral way and through the EU, with the African
Union and with individual African countries along the same lines,
with the same voice and with the same messages. We will continue,
on a bilateral basis, to have good governance foremost in our
policy in these countries on which we are really focused. The
same will apply to the European Union in terms of having good
governance. There is the Cotonou Agreement; there is Article 96
and Article 8. They have their own instruments to work with and
we have our policy. However, the main thing will be that, both
the European Union and on a bilateral basis, we really focus along
the same lines, with the same messages. From the African side,
it is not that we require from the African Union that they be
primarily responsible to make sure that good governance is being
implemented everywhere. It is also important on an individual
basis. We must see how the AU can gradually take some responsibility
in this and co-ordinate how good governance is being applied.
There is the instrument through NEPAD of the APRM. When we look
five or 10 years ago, there are now four countriesstarting
with Rwanda and Ghanawhich have already implemented APRM.
They have reported. We may have our opinions about these reports,
and so on; but the fact that they did submit it, that it is there,
that it will be discussed by their peers, is a very important
thing. So I do not see that we are delegating good governance
through the African Union. It is more that we must all work together
there, and we must gradually give the African Union responsibilityas
they are doing for peace and security, good governance, and so
Q227 Lord Hannay of Chiswick: I notice
that you have spoken about sticks and carrots, and giving rewards.
Do you think that the money the Europeans have available should
be explicitly disbursed, in some cases more to a country, for
example, that had submitted itself to an APRM and implemented
it and less to any country that refused to accept the APRM? That
is, do you think that European instruments should be used to strengthen
African peer review instruments or do you think that would be
Mr De Wispelaere: We do not have an agreed position
on that, but I could imagine that would be one of the possibilities.
Mr Tilemans: The other possibility would be
to suspend or not deliver the aid for countries which do not implement.
Mr De Wispelaere: That is the stick.
Mr Kundycki: Certainly we will be ready to do
Mr Mutton: APRM is there. It needs to be supported,
but also we may have programmes necessary for the recommendations
coming out of an APRM. It is not only supporting the drafting
of the reports and helping people to make their reports, it is
also helping the countries afterwards, after they have submitted
their report, to implement whatever their peers are recommending.
Last year, at our Africa Partnership Forum, within the framework
of NEPAD, G8 and some OECD countries, Rwanda came forward with
such requestsin a NEPAD conferenceto support the
recommendations coming out of the report. So in the future we
may have to look at this. This will be part of the more global
African strategy, apart from the individual country-based strategies.
Mr Kundycki: There is a good governance facility.
I do not know who is sufficiently well versed to say something
about that. Some very substantial amounts will be mobilised to
follow up on reports and recommendations.
Q228 Lord Hannay of Chiswick: So
basically your response is rather positive to the thought that
we should use our instruments to support their instruments, as
it were, both in rewards and punishments, but also in terms of,
as you say, helping them implement a particular APRM report which
might say, "You need to train your judges more", or
whatever it is. The Europeans could say, "Okay, we'll back
that programme". That is what you are saying, I think.
Mr Kundycki: Yes.
Q229 Chairman: This brings us towards
the end of our questions, and almost back to where we started.
Given that as we understand it there will be the joint implementation
strategy announced by the AU and the EU, hopefully in May, from
your perspective from working with this how effective have the
negotiations been to get into that strategy not only the issues
that we want to raise but the issues that the African Union clearly
have had on the table for some considerable time?
Mr Kundycki: I think that the matrix is already
a way for them to put forward some of their expectations and their
priorities. I would say that this is a way to take this on board
and to have a real dialogue, taking into account what they want
as our partners. However, we would look at this as being a process
in the making. I am sure that we do not expect anything spectacular
to happen on that date, but to have a step-by-step approach in
which we can agree on some principles, on some ideas, on a road
map, and that, as we go along, we pass from one step to the other.
Q230 Lord Lea of Crondall: The road
map and the matrix are somehow the same thing, in the sense that
you have an ongoing process; but how do you get to a time when
that is a commitment if it is just ongoing? You therefore go to
a tro-£ka in Viennaas I understand it, what we have
now to call a "sextet", it is sixand all 55 of
the African countries have seen the matrix, although their negotiators
are via their own current president and people in Addis Ababa.
Is that how it works? What is the credibility of pushing forward
the matrix or the road map? Is it something that will be formally
published at some stage, as a camera shot at a moment in time
of where the matrix is? What sort of publication do you expect
at the time of Vienna? Is it just a short note saying, "We're
making progress"? Progress can go on forever. Can you say
where the commitments fit into this matrix evolutionarily?
Mr Kundycki: Saying progress can go on foreverwe
want to be extremely practical about thiswe would not be
satisfied by a statement like, "We're working on it. Don't
worry". Certainly we would like to see, in a very specific
way, that we are progressing. We need benchmarks and dates. I
think that Michel and Frank are working on this.
Mr Tilemans: I was going to answer at least
one point of this question. There is a problem that the EU and
the African Union have to solve, and that is the organisation
of a summit. I know that summits are sometimes big events that
do not always produce what is expected. However, the African Union
and the European Union have not had a summit, namely a meeting
at the level of heads of state and of government, for a long time,
because of a problem regarding Zimbabwe. We have to go beyond
that and find a solution. As long as there is not an event where
it is possible to pinpoint commitments made by heads of state
and of government, we will have a problem with the African Union
that we do not have with Euromed and that we do not have with
other partners, including ASEAN and even including despite the
problem of Myanmar. We have to apply a solution to Zimbabwe, maybe
a solution comparable to what was done with Myanmar and in order
to organise ministerial meetings and a clear summit at one time
or another, because five years without a summit is beginning to
have its burden on the relationship between the European Union
the Europe and Africa. We can continue to talk through tro-£kas,
through ministers, and through meetings at a lower level; but,
as long as you do not have an event that marks the moment where
the strategy commitments are evaluated by both partners at the
highest level, it will be very difficult to proceed.
Q231 Lord Hannay of Chiswick: You
do not think that an alternative method of co-operation between
the two sides can be operated for as long as this problem of Zimbabwe
is with us?
Mr Tilemans: Yes, it can be done, but we will
always have a kind of handicap.
Q232 Lord Hannay of Chiswick: Because
it is very difficult, frankly, to foresee a solution. It is not
likely that Mugabe will behave as intelligently as the Burmese
behave with regard to the ASEAN presidency, for example. He tries
to use all these occasions, of course, to maximise his legitimacy.
Since we are all agreed that he is not legitimate, it is rather
difficult. I sympathise with what you are saying, but do you not
think that you are asking for something that is very difficult
for the Europeans to give, without creating the impression that
Mugabe has got away with what he has done?
Mr Kundycki: Certainly we would like to see
a final solution, without giving in to Mugabe's views.
Q233 Lord Hannay of Chiswick: It
is not just Mugabe. If we give in, it then very much weakens everything
that we have been talking aboutthe APRM, and all these
other thingsbecause basically you are driving a coach and
horses through some of those substantive policies if you accept
a regime which clearly is breaching all those policies. That is
the trouble. It is not a question of face only, it seems to me,
although of course with the British Government that inevitably
does raise domestic political issues; it is also that it has implications
for the strategy as a whole.
Mr Kundycki: In this case, although there is
no clear view on how we will solve that important issue, certainly
we want to have the other Africans put Mugabe under pressure.
That is the key. The problem with Zimbabwe, but also with other
African countries, is that when we get into a situation where
it is one of us who has a particular problem, and which Europeans
agree with, Africans often very quickly refer to our problematic
relationship with them in past times. It kind of stops there:
you cannot go further than that. This has also happened to us
on a few occasions. We know that other African countries see things
differently, but there is still a solidarity among them. We have
to continue to convince them that this approach is not to their
own benefit. It is not to the benefit of their countries and of
the African continent to have that solidarity when one of the
countries is obviously misbehaving. They know it, but they just
do not want to admit it. So we continue to workwe have
contacts with South Africans and other important partners in the
region or in the continentto let them know that we would
like to see things progress. I do not see any other way.
Q234 Chairman: On that note, I think
that we must thank you and your colleagues for being very generous
with your time. It has been a very helpful session and we are
most grateful. As I said, you will of course see the transcriptand
indeed the report.
Mr Kundycki: Thank you very much. It has been
an interesting debate. We are certainly very keen on having your
perspective on these things and also to share ours with you. This
is of very great importance. We are very happy to have had the
opportunity to meet with you, and we wish you a pleasant and fruitful
stay in Brussels.