EU flag_destroyed schoolHidden in the small print of the 27 & 28 June European Council conclusions – eclipsed by the crisis in Greece, the row about migration and the UK’s bid to renegotiate the terms of its membership of the EU – was an important commitment to continue the process of reflection leading to an “EU global strategy on foreign and security policy”.

The challenges facing Europe today have global implications and require global solutions. In an op-ed originally published on Euractiv, the directors of the European Think Tanks Group argue that from the Greek crisis to migration and climate change, the EU must seek answers beyond its borders.

Read the article here.

Source: rubra; Flickr

Source: rubra; Flickr

The European Commission has published what it calls the EU International Cooperation and Development Results Framework’. This is a Staff Working Paper, but looks final rather than draft, and has been forwarded to Member States as such.

In this commentary, Simon Maxwell suggests further work, stating that

(a) it’s a good idea for an agency to have a results framework,

(b) it’s a hard act to pull off, and

(c) the Commission has made a creditable and credible stab at the exercise. Member States should certainly welcome the EU Results Framework. If they do not already have one of their own, they should start at once to prepare one.

(more…)

Source: EU2015.lv

Source: EU2015.lv

Simon Maxwell was invited to moderate the High-Level Event on Women’s Economic Empowerment and Sustainable Development, in Riga on 2 March 2015. In this reflection on the conclusions to the event, Simon identifies seven indivisibilities that shaped the conversation. (more…)

Image credit: DfID (Flickr)

Image credit: DfID (Flickr)

The high-level event on women’s empowerment and sustainable development took place in Riga, Latvia, on 2 March. The event was jointly hosted by the European Commission and the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of the European Year for Development.  It aimed to identify possible solutions for ensuring women’s equal rights and access to the market and economic resources and for unlocking women’s economic potential.

We produced the conference background note, in which gender expert Helen O’Connell considered the following key issues:

  • why gender equality and women and girls’ rights matter in development;
  • where gender equality and women’s empowerment stand in development goals and frameworks;
  • the challenges for women’s economic empowerment;
  • four strategic interventions to empower women economically; and
  • the EU’s role in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in global development.

Read the post on the European Year for Development website and watch videos of the conference.


Image: United Nations

Image: United Nations

The EU’s early experience with implementing State Building Contracts (SBCs) could provide a useful resource for donor agencies to inform their thinking on providing budget support in fragile states. A study by Myra Bernardi, Tom Hart and Gideon Rabinowitz draws preliminary lessons from case studies on the two largest SBCs adopted by the EU in sub-Saharan Africa: Mali, a country in transition after a period of crisis; and South Sudan, a chronically fragile country.

Read more and download the report here.

EU parliament electionOn 20 November 2014, we met to explore, review and establish expectations of the new EU leadership team and debate the priorities for EU development cooperation in 2015 and beyond. The discussion, chaired by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead in the House of Lords, was based on our report with the European Think Tanks Group: “Our Collective Interest”, which makes a strong case for a new development agenda, broader in its outlook and with strong links to internal EU policy. See more information here. Speakers debated such topics as the EU’s comparative advantage; future prospects for EU external action; and what initiatives the EU should take in 2015. Jeremy Lefroy MP was unable to join us, but prepared this commentary.

Read the event report here.

Credit: Breezy Baldwin, Flickr

Credit: Breezy Baldwin, Flickr

The EU’s Plan of Action on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Development (GAP) runs to December 2015 and discussions on what its successor should comprise are underway. Our latest paper, More of the same, or radical change? Options for the successor to the EU’s Gender Action Plan 2010-2015, makes the case for why the EU needs to accelerate action on gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights. It examines shortcomings in the current EU approach and draws on examples of best practice to develop proposals for a future framework and plan. It proposes three options:

  1.  A Gender Action Plan II that builds on the GAP, retains the focus on process alone, but aims to sharpen its focus.
  2. A Gender Action Plan Plus that emphasises accelerated and increased support focused on two priority gender equality, rights and empowerment areas to deliver tangible results relatively quickly.
  3. A new comprehensive framework and action plan comprising a more ambitious approach, that tackles the structural bases of gender inequality, its intersection with other inequalities and its impact on rights, and concentrates accelerated and increased investment in three to four essential programme areas (primarily in political and economic development) and on three key processes.

Regardless of the form the successor takes, the paper explains why it can no longer be regarded as a development aid matter, solely under the responsibility of the Development Commissioner. It concludes that a radical shift is needed in the EU’s approach to achieving gender equality and ensuring all women and girls have the right to participate fully in all spheres, which, in turn, will contribute to achieving sustainable development.

Download the paper here, or refer to our 2013 review on the implementation of the GAP here.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 59 other followers