UK%20Parliament%20covered%20in%20fog_jpgRegent’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.

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.

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.

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