EDC2020 Kick-Off Conference

June 3, 2008 at 9:00 am | Posted in Aid Architecture, Aid Effectivness, Climate Change | Leave a comment

2 June 2008, Residence Palace, Brussels

EDC2020 has officially been launched by the Kick-off conference in Brussels on Monday, 2 June 2008.

During the opening session, Jean-Luc Maurer, President of EADI, described the genesis of the project and placed it within the associations context and its predecessor EDC2010. Jean-Michel Baer, Director of the Directorate Science, Economy and Society at DG Research held the key note speech and pointed out the importance of EDC2020 to the European Commission. Finally, Simon Maxwell, Director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), presented the initial working paper and the thematic framework of the project.

Project issues such as “New actors in international development”, “Energy security, democracy and development” and “Climate change and development” were discussed with 80 conference participants during three thematic panels. The work package leaders Sven Grimm, Richard Youngs and Leo Peskett outlined the project issues and engaged in first panel discussions with Yang Guang (CASS), Ana Maria Gomes (European Parliament), Jos van Gennip (SID Netherlands), Imme Scholz (DIE), Merylyn Hedger (IDS) and Walter Kennes (DG Environment).

EDC2020 is the three-year project is funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union. It is co-ordinated by EADI (European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes) in a consortium with 5 other development organizations: Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Institute of Development Studies (IDS), German Development Institute (GDI-DIE), Fundación paralas Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE), Society for International Development (SID). 

The objective of the project is to improve EU policymakers’ and other societal actors’ shared understanding of emerging challenges facing EU development policy and external action. With an interdisciplinary approach EDC2020 seeks to analyse emerging global needs and to give recommendations to policy-makers and other societal actors. EDC 2020 is dealing with three emerging challenges: New actors in international development; Energy security, democratisation and political development; and European development policy and climate change.

The Role of New EU Member States in EU-Africa Development Policy

March 3, 2008 at 12:07 pm | Posted in Aid Effectivness, Parliamentarians | 1 Comment

Slovenian EU Presidency Seminar on Africa

European Parliament, Brussels, 28 February 2008

The relationship between the New Member States of the European Union (EU) and Africa were discussed at a seminar in Brussels aimed to prepare and equip the new donors to play a full part in African development. The seminar, organised by AWEPA (Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa), in co-operation with the European Parliament, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the Society for International Development (SID) European Programme, was held to mark the occasion of the EU Presidency of Slovenia. Participants addopted Recommendations for Parliamentary Action and Resolution on Parliamentary Monitoring of ODA.

Speaking at the seminar, Anton Kokalj, a Member of the Slovenian Parliament and Chair of the Committee on EU Affairs, confirmed that Slovenia, as the first “post-Lisbon EU Presidency,” would take forward the Africa-EU Joint Strategy and its Action Plan, adopted at the EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon. “We are serious about the new strategic partnership with Africa,” he said.

A Member of the European Parliament for Lithuania, Danute Budreikate, noted that the New Member States had no historical and geographical ties with Africa, and target neighbouring countries as they see co-operation benefits. “However, the New EU Member States have faced similar problems to African countries and could exchange transition experiences”, she added. She further noted that most new EU states “are not even close to meeting the development contribution targets”. Drawing on their recent development co-operation experiences, policies and future plans, the participants were focusing on three key areas of parliamentary responsibility: the Joint-EU Strategy, parliamentary oversight of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and the eradication of HIV and AIDS.

Hadj Diao El Kanté, Chair of the International Relations Committee of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), described relations between the EU and Africa as “at a crossroads after 50 years of African independence and 50 years of EU co-operation”. He said that the EP and the PAP identify shared priorities for development and should work together to ensure that their parliaments take part actively in the implementation of the Africa-EU strategy.

Johan van Hecke, Head of the AWEPA Section in the European Parliament, stressed that national parliaments had a crucial role to play in monitoring the implementation. He emphasised that because parliaments played a major role in the budget, a greater role had to be played by them in improving aid effectiveness.

“Aid is also a matter from people to people, not from government to government” said Professor Ben Turok, Member of Parliament in South Africa and Chair of the NEPAD Contact Group of African Parliamentarians. Professor Turok emphasised that aid must be a public vehicle for public discourse. Otherwise aid becomes a political manipulation or a partnership between two ministers of finance.

In relation to the fight against HIV/AIDS, the participants spoke about ways to scale up national responses to eradicate AIDS with a special focus on vulnerable children. UNICEF Brussels Senior Policy Advisor, Margaret Wachenfeld, stressed the need to strengthen the health sector response to ensure adequate health care for children affected by AIDS. Prince N. Bahati, Senior Programme Manager of IAVI added that parliaments had to “encourage their governments to support financing mechanisms and incentives that stimulate the private sector to contribute to access to new health technologies, like AIDS vaccines and microbicide’s, through which women and girls in particular can protect themselves better”.

Commitment to Development 2007- Netherlands still First

November 5, 2007 at 1:33 pm | Posted in Aid Effectivness, Coherence | Leave a comment
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The launch of the CDI 2007 Report was organised by SID NL/European Programme and Euforic and was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on November 2, 2007 from 12.00-14.00.

Each year the Commitment to Development Index (CDI) ranks 21 high-income industrialized countries on how well their policies and actions support poor countries’ efforts to build prosperity, good government, and security. In 2007, for the second year running, the Netherlands comes in first on the strength of ample aid-giving, falling greenhouse gas emissions, and support for investment in developing countries.

This year the focus is on the environment component, which includes scores for policies and practices related to climate change. Find out how the countries stack up – and how they compare to Brazil, Russia, India and China (the so-called BRICs) in their global environmental policies.

Chief architect of the Commitment to Development Index, David Roodman gave a review the CDI’s construction and present results for 2007. A panel chaired by Ruud Treffers Director General of the Directorate International Development at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave brief reactions, followed by general questions and discussion. In his presentation Prof Paul Hoebink was rather critical of the way the report is complied.

See also: How good is Dutch development? [Source: euforic blog] 

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