Events

Implementation of the European Consensus on Development:
2007 Policy Coherence for Development Rhetoric or Reality?

Briefing session for parliamentarians and policy makers
November 26, 2007. Brussels. Meeting Report

Speakers
To download the speech please click on the name of the speeker
Jos van Gennip, President of SID, former Member of the Dutch Senate – Welcome word
Louis Michel, Commissioner for Development Cooperation And Humanitarian Aid – Key note
Louka T. Katseli, MP Hellenic Parliament, Professor of Economics at the University of Athens, former Director OECD Development Centre – critical analysis from a perspective of MSs parliamentarians
Francoise Moreau , Head of unit Forward Looking Studies and Policy Coherence, DG Development & Relations with ACP States the European Commission
Thijs Berman MEP, Vice-chair the EP Development Committee – the EP perspective
Peter Heintze – Director EVS/EU Coherence Programme – civil society perspective

Background
Raison d’être behind choosing the subject of the Coherence at this particular moment in time was that at the end of September 2007 the European Commission has published the first ever biennial Report on Policy Coherence for Development, which is based on data and examples provided by the Member States, collected through an especially designed PCD Questionnaire. The questions asked in the questionnaire are addressed to the Member States, to the Council and to the Commission itself. The Report covers the period from May 2005 to January 2007.
Even before the Report has been published there have been critical voices heard, most of all from the civil society organisations that it would be a narrative of positive achievements and mutual back patting between the Commission and MSs. With this briefing session and the expert panel of multi-stakeholder representatives SID EP, EDC 2010 and EU Coherence Programme would like to ensure that participants, most of all parliamentarians are given critical analysis and information on the topic from perspectives of different stakeholders, both positive assessments and criticisms. At the same time the session intends to offer an opportunity for parliamentarians to share their views and concerns with their colleagues from other MS and EP as well as panel of experts.

Will Europe make a difference? Future of the European development policy – Briefing session for parliamentarians and policy makers
September 1, 2005. Brussels. Meeting report

Background

To provide high quality information and a platform for informed debate on the new EU Development Policy Statement (DPS), proposal of which is due to be released by the Commission on 12th July, and on the future of European development cooperation and policy in the context of international efforts for eradication of poverty. To give one of the last opportunities for the parliamentarians, policy makers, representatives of Development administration and researchers to deal with the mandate and the commitment of the EU (as a whole, the Commission and the Member States) towards the UN Millennium Summit in New York, taking place only two weeks after the briefing session, and the consequences for the coherent European external policies.

European development cooperation: towards policy renewal and a new commitment – International conference
September 27-28, 2004. The Hague. Briefing documentConference reportAgenda for action

Background

This conference is part of the ‘A new Era’ SID Europe programme. The European Union has developed into the single most powerful economy in the world. However this does not always translate into a likewise European foreign policy nor into a coherent policy that does express Europe’s responsibilities as a potentially powerful player. In the developing world people realise (more than in Europe itself) that Europe can be vital for their future: It is Europe who is the most important donor of aid, it is Europe who is the most important trading partner, it are European transnational companies who are investing in their countries and it is Europe (amongst others) who exports weapons to conflict areas.

This programme consists of two conferences, the establishment of SID chapters in the accession countries and several other working meetings and publications. While the first conference in Vienna, in November 2003 aimed to reflect on the future of European development cooperation following the enlargement of the EU, The Hague conference can be considered the second milestone of the programme. Its objective is to explore opportunities for policy renewal and lay the foundations for a new commitment from politicians and from civil society towards the development agenda.

The international responsibilities of an enlarged European Union – International conference
November 3-4, 2003. Vienna. Conference report (summary)

Background

To create and enhance awareness in the accession countries for the need of development cooperation based on a solidarity principle, an Accession Countries Conference will be organized (November 2003). This will be a meeting of members of Parliament and representatives from NGO’s from the accession countries and will especially focus on the way in which the parliaments organize their involvement in development cooperation, including their relation with the European Commission, and the manner on which the governments manage their development administration.

Keeping in mind what has been said, we should realise the obvious problems for the accession countries in the financial component of future European development aid. For many of them the 0.7% goal or even the intermediate goals of 0,39% are far away. A focus more on the policy related aspects of development cooperation, the internal coherence of EU policy (CAP, Trade barriers) and a coordinated EU external and development policy could be more productive at this time.

To focus on what can be achieved is in this case wiser than what should be achieved. This is by no means a limited goal. Quite on the contrary; to have the accession countries elaborate and connect a development policy to existing EU development policies and to build the proper institutions and legal frameworks would be a great achievement. Only by changing policy and attitude can the EU and its member states become responsible actors at the global level.

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