From the category archives:

International economic and trade issues

December 16, 2011

Transparency, economic governance and development: The Extractive Industry Development Forum

Posted: 14:36 PM UTC

by Jan Vanheukelom on December 16, 2011

Transparency is hot. Never before in debates about development or economic governance has there been such a strong focus on transparency. This has been well illustrated in the European Union (EU) over the past few months where the European Commission (EC) has taken action to promote transparency in three different arenas. One action related to private sector transparency. The European Commission proposed amendments to existing transparency requirements for companies in extractive industries. Stricter rules for mining, forestry and energy firms could improve governance in resource rich developing countries. Secondly, the EC’s new draft policy on ...


December 16, 2011

Measuring the development impact of loans used for public investment projects

Posted: 14:23 PM UTC

by Bruce Byiers on December 16, 2011

This was the theme of a roundtable discussion held by the EIB earlier this month. With the ever-increasing interest in leveraging aid with loans, the issue of how to measure impact seems a pertinent question to ask. The discussion centered on how the EIB intends to measure and monitor the impact of their investment projects, as required under the renewed mandate for external EU financing given by the European Parliament and Council. But as the discussion progressed and they presented the broad categories of indicators they plan to use, one began to wonder what they have been using up to ...


November 16, 2011

Promoting the private sector’s role in development – but whose private sector?

Posted: 16:16 PM UTC

by Bruce Byiers on November 16, 2011

“Policies for Promoting The Private Sector’s Role in Development” was the subject for debate at a high-level roundtable event organised by the Development Policy Forum of Friends of Europe on November 8 in Brussels. ECDPM attended, given our interest and work in economic governance, and in particular in issues relating to business facilitation, taxation, trade facilitation and the Economic Partnership Agreements. The discussions raised some interesting issues and thoughts regarding the role of the private sector in development, but also highlighted the need for more clarity - and perhaps different terminology - when looking at ...


November 8, 2011

Questioning old certainties – Challenges Inbrief 2012

Posted: 12:49 PM UTC

by ECDPM Challenges Team on November 8, 2011

ECDPM is currently reflecting on the content and orientation of the next issue of its annual Challenges Inbrief. This publication is published at the start of each year, and aims to identify key issues for policy making for EU-Africa relations in the year ahead. The paper, in traditional ECDPM style, aims to be informative and ‘facilitating’, helping readers identify key debates and moments in EU development cooperation and external action. The writing process provides us with an opportunity to take a step back from our day to day work to look forward and to reflect ...


October 28, 2011

Legal constraints on the EU’s ability to withdraw EPA preferences

Posted: 10:33 AM UTC

by Dr Lorand Bartels on October 28, 2011

Forthcoming in Trade Negotiations Insights Vol. 10,  N0.8, November 2011 On 30 September 2011 the European Commission issued a proposal to withdraw 18 ACP countries from the list of beneficiaries of preferences under Regulation 1528/2007 as of 1 January 2014.[1] This proposal is based on a provision in the Regulation permitting withdrawal of any ACP country that does not ratify an interim or full EPA within a ‘reasonable period of time’ such that the entry into force of the agreement is ‘unreasonably delayed’. There are various problems with the Commission’s proposal. For a start, it ...


October 19, 2011

Fiscal challenges, development opportunities?

Posted: 17:27 PM UTC

by Bruce Byiers on October 19, 2011

Does the current financial crisis simply imply fiscal challenges across-the-board, or does it also present some development opportunities? ECDPM has prepared a Discussion Paper to examine the range of issues relating to taxation and development to feed into this area of the development agenda. The issue of domestic resource mobilisation has become the focus of increasing attention in developed and developing economies alike with the onset of the financial crisis. Only last week, the European Commission released its Communications on Development Policy and Budget Support both of which prominently featured the issue of the need ...


September 30, 2011

EPA Negotiations: The honeymoon is over…

Posted: 16:26 PM UTC

by Isabelle Ramdoo on September 30, 2011

The European Commission (EC) finally announced today that countries that have concluded an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) but not taken the necessary steps to ratify and implement it would no longer benefit from the EPA market access to Europe as from 1st January 2014. The EC Market Access Regulation (MAR) 1528 of 1st January 2008 provides duty free quota free market access for African Caribbean and Pacific countries that have concluded an EPA. The Regulation requires countries to sign, ratify and implement the Agreement within a “reasonable period of time”. At it currently stands, the ...


September 30, 2011

Tobin Tax, Robin Hood Tax - whatever it is, will it work?

Posted: 15:10 PM UTC

by Bruce Byiers on September 30, 2011

The European Commission has presented a proposal for a EU-wide financial transaction tax (FTT) to come into effect in 2014. Ostensibly to increase the tax contribution of financial services, to limit market volatility, and to avoid distortions on the internal market, the tax also aims at substantially raising EU revenues. Indeed, the EC’s proposal estimates that it will raise € 57 billion per year, more than the €53.8 billion spent on aid by the EU and its member states in 2010. So has the Tobin Tax’s time finally come? As one commentator puts it, “Tobin ...


September 23, 2011

From Words to Action: Operationalising the DRM Political Agenda beyond statements

Posted: 17:23 PM UTC

by Bruce Byiers on September 23, 2011

Although the question of how developing countries can improve domestic resource mobilisation (DRM) has never been off the agenda, the issue is increasingly the subject of renewed interest. This is the case both in developing countries, eager to increase their policy space and free themselves from the strings attached to donor aid, and in developed countries, forced to increasingly look for the best “value for money” at a time of spending cuts at home. There are a range of initiatives and conferences which place the issue of DRM at the centre of their reflections - ...


July 8, 2011

“Vision without implementation is hallucination”

Posted: 15:39 PM UTC

by Melissa Julian on July 8, 2011

Over 60 institutional actors and individuals from various parts of Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific, Europe and emerging economies participated in last week’s ECDPM 25th anniversary high-level seminar entitled: “Global changes, emerging players and evolving ACP-EU relations: towards a common agenda for action”. ECDPM’s Talking Points blog online discussion held in the run up to the seminar and a background paper served as the basis for the discussions at the event, which considered options for continued ACP-EU cooperation once the current ACP-EU Partnership Agreement (commonly referred to as the “Cotonou Agreement”) expires in 2020. A ...