November 29, 2013
This year’s European Development Days, A decent life for all by 2030 – building a consensus for a new development agenda, took place on 26 & 27 November. Simon Maxwell moderated the closing panel, A new development agenda: the way forward. The panellists were: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia; Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary General of the UN; Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissionner; Winnie Biyanyima, Chief Executive of Oxfam International; Depapriya Bhattacharya; and Paul Collier.
In this blog, Simon highlights the main challenges raised during the discussion, and identifies some lessons that could help bring the post-2015 agenda safely into harbour.
October 25, 2013
ODI recently commissioned an independent evaluation of the current phase of EDCSP.
The evaluation concluded that the project:
- contributed to a better informed, more creative policy making process.
- added weight to the United Kingdom’s engagement on EU development cooperation and amplified the British voice.
- increased decision-makers’ access to analysis and evidence, which they used to better substantiate and communicate policy positions.
The evaluator also recommended that going forward, the project would benefit from greater focus, an explicit rationale for engagement on certain issues, and strengthened monitoring and evaluation systems.
Read the evaluation report here.
October 21, 2013
Regent’s University has commissioned independent practitioners to provide accessible, informed, evidence-based analysis, outlining the costs and benefits for each policy area of a changed status in the relationship between the UK and the EU. This is the first of its kind and seeks to answer scientifically the question of what the UK stands to gain or lose from withdrawing from the EU. Mikaela Gavas contributed a chapter on EU development cooperation. In a related blog, she notes that there are genuine benefits to working together over the long term and that severing its ties to the EU on development cooperation could cost the UK considerable international influence. Read the blog here.
October 18, 2013
Disagreement over the rules on aid spending between the European Parliament, on the one hand, and the European Commission and the Member States, on the other, is threatening to derail EU aid disbursements. As a result, there is a real risk that, in 2014, spending by the EU institutions may crash. Simon Maxwell and Mikaela Gavas warns that, if its own aid has stalled, the EU will lose credibility in pursuing its agenda on Financing for Development, and in engaging in the negotiations on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. Most importantly, aid recipients have planned for this money, and should not have their poverty-reduction programmes put at risk. Read the blog here.
October 14, 2013
Despite being identified as one of the priority areas of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, progress on ‘Regional Economic Integration, Trade and Infrastructure’ has been disappointing. The upcoming EU-Africa Summit in April 2014 provides an opportunity for both partners to consider why so little progress has been achieved to date. In a blog prepared in the build-up to the ETTG conference on Africa-EU relations in November), Raphaëlle Faure and Alberto Lemma identify some of the major constraints challenging the African private sector. They suggest that the partnership can serve as a platform from which the EU can support the African private sector by sharing their own experiences and practices. Read the blog on the Africa-Europe Relations blogspot.
October 10, 2013
Ahead of the 2014 Africa-EU Summit, and at a time of shifting and complex internal and external dynamics in Europe and Africa, the European Think-Tanks Group is holding a High-Level Conference, Looking beyond 2013: Are Africa-EU relations still fit for purpose? in Brussels on Monday, 28 October 2013.
The objective of the conference is to:
- assess how Europe-Africa relations can remain fit for purpose,
- provide an opportunity to take stock of the successes, challenges and failures of the efforts to launch a strategic partnership,
- revisit strategic questions on the nature and objective of the partnership, and
- have an open debate on what both partners expect from one another in order to inform the future relationship.
Join the debate on Africa-EU relations in the run-up to the conference on ECDPM’s blogsite Africa-Europe relations – looking beyond 2014.
(Attendance at the conference is by invitation only)