March 18, 2013
Over the last decade, development cooperation has evolved to such an extent that we are now entering ‘a new age of global development’, characterised by an emphasis on global public goods (GPGs). The increasingly global nature of development challenges clearly indicates that global problems require global solutions and new forms of international cooperation with the involvement of emerging and developing countries. The EU has the potential to play a leading role in the provision of GPGs. Although the EU has played a key role in the provision of GPGs, notably on climate policy and food security, it lacks a common strategy for addressing GPG challenges.
In her latest report, Mikaela Gavas argues that the EU needs to adapt to the changing global landscape, improve its internal coherence and promote a global vision and development approach with common narratives on the challenges that need to be tackled.
Read the report here.
February 13, 2013
EU leaders have finally reached their decision on the size and shape of the EU budget from 2014 to 2020. Against a continued backdrop of austerity and faced with domestic political pressure, it is no surprise that they have cut the EU’s long-term budget in real terms, by €34 billion, from the current €994 billion to €960 billion. In this blog post, Mikaela Gavas expresses surprise that, in spite of all the rhetoric around making the EU ‘fit for the challenges of the modern age’, they have left it with a 20th century budget that is largely inefficient and out of date.
February 1, 2013
On 31 January, EDCSP’s Mikaela Gavas presented findings from her research on ‘Reviewing the evidence: how well does the European Development Fund perform?’ at an event in Brussels, hosted by ONE .
Read the presentation here.
January 30, 2013
The EU is in the process of concluding the negotiation about its future seven-year budget, the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2014-2020. In parallel, the EU is negotiating the budget for the European Development Fund (EDF), which covers the same period. The EDF is the EU’s main instrument for delivering development aid under the ACP–EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement. The Agreement is the world’s largest and most advanced financial and political contractual framework for North–South cooperation. Although the EDF is not part of the EU budget itself, the negotiations around the level of funding it receives are an important part of the broader debate and the outcome will be decided in conjunction with the MFF.
In this Discussion Paper, Mikaela Gavas reviews the EDF’s performance in recent evaluations and reviews the existing evidence against three critiques made by some Member States. She concludes that these critiques overlook important considerations and thus do not present an accurate picture of the performance of the EDF.
December 11, 2012
Mikaela Gavas responded to the publication of the latest Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) report, and was quoted in an article by The Guardian:
“The report demonstrates how important a successful EU aid programme is to the delivery of Britain’s poverty reduction objectives in the world – and how important Britain’s influence has been on the results focus and value for money of European aid. What’s clear from the report is that there is room for better engagement between DFID and the EU and that both sides have work to do if they are to make the best of the future relationship. We know there is potential for aid spent through the EU to have greater reach, greater scale, greater coordination and ultimately greater efficiency than when EU member states go it alone.”
November 15, 2012
The EU is negotiating its budget for 2014 to 2020. Although not part of the EU budget itself, the negotiations on the EDF, the financial arm of the Cotonou Agreement between the EU and 78 countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) and the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) form an important part of the broader budget debate.
In this Background Note, Mikaela Gavas analyses the proposals by the European Commission for the 11th EDF (2014-2020) and reviews the current state of play on the design of future funding to the ACP.
July 23, 2012
This ECDPM Briefing Note written by EDCSP’s Mikaela Gavas and ECDPM researchers Jeske van Seters, Niels Keijzer, Ulrika Kilnes and Geert Laporte, provides insights into the context and key challenges for EU development cooperation under the Cypriot Presidency. The note, produced at the request of the Cyprus NGO Support Centre, provides a general overview of opportunities to engage on EU development cooperation in the context of the Cypriot Presidency.
May 22, 2012
Simon Maxwell and Mikaela Gavas analyse the Conclusions regarding the new EU development policy, ‘Agenda for Change’, published by the EU Foreign Affairs Council in October 2011. They ask what has been gained and lost in the process, and whether it is now possible to see what kind of settlement will be reached when the Multi-Annual Financial Framework for 2014-20 is agreed. Read their opinion here.
May 14, 2012
Mikaela Gavas analyses the two latest reports on EU development aid, the UK’s House of Commons International Development Committee (IDC) inquiry published on 27 April, and the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) peer review published three days earlier. She finds that although the main findings of the evaluations were not dissimilar, the key takeaways from both reports are rather different and there are some stark contrasts between the two reports.
April 30, 2012
In this ODI Submission to the European Commission on the Proposed EU platform for external Cooperation and Development, Mikaela Gavas, Matthew Geddes, Isabella Massa and Dirk Willem te Velde analyse what are the benefits of blending, whether or not loans and grants have differential trade distortionary effects, and what are the optimal governance arrangements for the EU blending facilities.
February 17, 2012
In December, the European Commission unveiled its package of legislative proposals on the EU’s external action instruments for the period 2014-20 as part of the negotiations on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF), the EU’s spending review. Mikaela Gavas has written an ODI Background Note analysing the changes introduced by the instruments of direct relevance to international development.
February 5, 2012
Simon Maxwell and Mikaela Gavas recently spent two days at the European Parliament, meeting MEPs and Committee Secretariat staff. Their objectives were (a) to understand better how the EP works, (b) to map who is doing what on the current EU agenda, especially the Multi-Annual Financial Framework, (c) to exchange views on the MFF, and (d) to explore the potential for a European Think-Tanks Group initiative linking the EP and national parliaments.
Read more in this trip report.
December 6, 2011
As the European Commission is on the eve of releasing legislative proposals on the future financial instruments and regulations for external action, researchers from the European Think-Tanks Group identify six key points for Members of the European Parliament to keep an eye on.
Read more here.
Also published by EurActiv.
October 28, 2011
Following the Commission’s launch of its latest mission statement on development policy – ‘An Agenda for Change’ – the EDCSP’s Mikaela Gavas, with German Development Institute’s Svea Koch and Dr. Mark Furness, have written an article questioning is it really an Agenda for Change? Is it ambitious enough to equip the Commission to tackle global challenges such as poverty, the food crisis, the economic slump, climate change, and insecurity? And will it be able to deliver greater impact?
Read their analysis here (English) and here (German).
October 18, 2011
After more than a year and a half of consultations, Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs has released a new proposed strategy for EU development cooperation – in a document called ‘An Agenda for Change’.
The new policy directly descends from the European Consensus on Development, however also signals four important shifts:
- a higher profile for good governance and human rights, linked to greater conditionality;
- a higher profile for growth, with a strong focus on leveraging in private sector money;
- the introduction of the concept of differentiated development partnerships, with new allocation criteria for aid; and
- an attempt to boost EU joint work.
Read our response to the Commission’s proposal here
October 3, 2011
From 19 to 22 September, the EADI and DSA hosted a conference in York looking at “Rethinking Development in an Age of Scarcity and Uncertainty”. The EDCSP team held a panel discussion, jointly with its partner think tanks, as part of the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG), which explored the subject of “Modernising European Development Policy in a Changing World”, and posed the question, ”What can Researchers bring to the Table?”
Click here to read our reflections on the conference, and for some insights from our panel discussion.
February 2, 2011
This year and next will be years of leadership in Europe for new Member States. Hungary is currently in charge. Poland is next. Cyprus has the Presidency in the second half of 2012. The new Member States, the EU-12, are a diverse group, but share perspectives which are likely to shape European development policy in different ways.
November 23, 2010
The Financial Perspectives (2014-2020) is the European Union’s (EU) multi-annual financial framework review. It is one of a number of reviews that will shape the future of EU development assistance and the credibility of the EU as a major player in international development. In this new ODI publication, Mikaela Gavas describes the process for agreeing the new multiannual budgetary framework, and puts forward a set of questions and issues about the future of aid in EU development policy that will need to be addressed during the negotiations.
To read the full paper, click here
October 13, 2010
The new European External Action Service (EEAS) is slowing coming alive. The recruitment process is in full swing, with the appointment of 28 ambassadors charged with representing the European Union’s interest abroad. Twelve of them were selected from the Member States, and sixteen from the Commission.
The next step is the selection of the senior managerial team, however, the European Parliament is yet to approve the staff and financial legal base for the service which would allow the service to become fully operational. The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy, Catherine Ashton, would like the EEAS to be launched in December, marking the first anniversary of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. The Parliament, however, refuses to be held down by the deadline. (more…)
October 5, 2010
Today, EDCSP hosted a private roundtable to discuss proposals for the next Financial Perspectives (2014-2020). Participants included government officials from across Whitehall, leading NGOs and academics.
Discussion was initiated through a presentation by Mikaela Gavas, which focussed on three key questions about funding for EU external action. A summary of the discussion will be available soon; click here for a copy of the presentation.
July 13, 2010
Simon Maxwell and Mikaela Gavas today submitted written evidence to the inquiry of the EU Sub-committee on foreign affairs, defence and development of the House of Lords into the European External Action Service. In the submission, they outline indicators of success for the EEAS. The Committee is expected to publish its views before the Council Decision establishing the EEAS is adopted on 26 July.
To read the full submission, click here.
June 30, 2010
The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council discussed development issues on 14 June. Its Conclusions can fairly be considered as a partial endorsement of the proposals put forward by the Commission in its Spring Package back in April. Of 31 specific proposals, 26 find their way into the Council Conclusions, though some have been watered-down. Needless to say, some of the most ambitious proposals have been left out. (more…)
June 28, 2010
The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Spanish EU Presidency reached a compromise last week on the European External Action Service (EEAS). Formal approval by the European Parliament is expected early next month, and a formal Council decision to implement the service is expected this autumn.
The deal on the EEAS puts an end to months of in-fighting, turf wars and protracted negotiations. How has the EU’s contribution to development cooperation fared in the final deal? (more…)
June 18, 2010
EDCSP – Simon Maxwell, Mikaela Gavas and Deborah Johnson – along with Owen Barder, has published a new paper on ‘The Governance of the aid system and the role of the EU’. The paper was written for and presented at a conference on ‘Development cooperation in times of crisis and on achieving the MDGs’ in Madrid, organised by the Spanish Presidency. It assesses the effectiveness, efficiency, legitimacy, accountability and adaptability of the governance of aid with a particular focus on the European Union.
Click here for either the English version or the version in Spanish.