Despite being identified as one of the priority areas of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, progress on ‘Regional Economic IntegratBustling%20market%20in%20Monrovia_jpgion, 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.

hi res logo_AFRI-EU (1)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)

The EDCSP team has compiled an updated factual round-up of the EU’s progress on current policy and administrative processes related to the development agenda. See the tour d’horizon here.

Fresh water poured into a jerry canThe political decision that led to the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) stated that the Service should be reviewed two years after its establishment. The resulting EEAS Review was published on 29 July 2013.

Building on other assessments of the EEAS’ performance, including ODI’s earlier analysis, we argue that although the Review’s recommendations related to development cooperation are credible, they are incomplete.

Read our commentary on the Review here.

Recent European Union (EU) documents, the EU Accountability Report 2013 on Financing for Development and the accompanying Commission Communication, Beyond 2015: towards a comprehensive and integrated approach to financing poverty eradication and sustainable development, suggest that a careful argument is being prepared to transform aid. In his latest blog, Simon Maxwell summarises and comments on the five steps in the argument and asks about the game-changes that should shape future finance.

Read his blog here.

e-updateClick here to read the EDCSP team’s monthly update for July.

Rogerson and Jackson in conversationWe hosted the EU Change-makers at the ODI on 24 and 25 June 2013 for a conference on EU development cooperation.

The purpose of the conference was to take stock of progress on EU development cooperation, on paper and on the ground; but also, to look forward strategically to the future. We had participants from a dozen countries, from the public and private sectors, and from think-tanks and NGOs, as well as official aid agencies. The debate focused on how the  EU needs to adapt itself to the changing political, economic and social landscape and the ringing of the changes in 2014 which will be important staging posts in delivering new development cooperation in the second half of the decade.

Read the conference report and see the programme, panellists’ presentations and Simon Maxwell’s first reflections on the conference here. Further thoughts and takeaways from other participants will be added.

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