Posts tagged as:

EU External Action

Water, energy and land belong to the most under-pressure resources today. This year’s European Report on Development, to be launched in mid-May 2012, focuses on these 3 key natural resources and analyses how the ways they are managed affect development objectives. The Report examines the constraints on each, the interrelationships between them and considers how water, energy and land can be managed together to promote economic growth in the poorest developing countries – growth that is both socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. While the Report’s layout and formal launch are being prepared, this blog post, ...


March 16, 2012

Beyond development as a business by-product?

Posted: 13:56 PM UTC

by Bruce Byiers on March 16, 2012

That the private sector is important, if not key, to economic development is nothing new. However, with the increasing rhetoric on the need to “enhance the role of the private sector in development”, events around this topic are mushrooming. BusinessEurope organized a seminar in Brussels on March 15th, with the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, as well as business federation and private sector company representatives present. While we have commented before on the need to distinguish “which” private sector we are talking about, here we were very much discussing how the EU private sector ...


March 9, 2012

Power to the People? Reactions to EU response to the Arab Spring

Posted: 09:53 AM UTC

by Jamie Balfour-Paul on March 9, 2012

++ GUEST CONTRIBUTION ++ In response to the Arab Spring, the European Union (EU) promised to shift away from business as usual. It aims to put support for human rights and democracy at the centre of its co-operation policy with the Arab neighbourhood. In this regard, enabling civil society to function, to advocate for citizens’ priorities and rights and to hold governments and donors to account is pivotal. However, regional consultation on EU policies appears to have been either insufficient, without impact or unappealing. Furthermore, double standards in the past have undermined the EU’s credibility ...


February 3, 2012

Spotlight on the division of labour between the EEAS and DG DEVCO

Posted: 15:53 PM UTC

by Melissa Julian on February 3, 2012

Development and poverty reduction should be a priority of European external affairs, according to the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. An indication of whether this is actually the case and what priorities are being pursued by Europe is given by how the EU plans its external aid programmes and how it allocates financial resources. Both are cornerstones of the political dialogue between the EU and its partner countries, and shape the character of cooperation. On the European side, two institutions have a say when it comes to planning aid: the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation-EuropeAid ...

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January 27, 2012

EU support to democracy: a new Endowment first, a strategy to follow?

Posted: 12:30 PM UTC

by Alisa Herrero Cangas on January 27, 2012

The EU has a longstanding tradition of engaging in democracy promotion, using a wide range of strategies and instruments to support processes of democratic consolidation, including in difficult contexts. While some successes have been achieved, the task of building genuine democratic systems that go beyond formal structures and help to deliver development has proven very challenging - for both local democracy promoters and international partners. The need for “deepening democracy” has become a rallying cry in the last years. Growing attention is paid to the role of both the “political society’” (i.e. parliaments, political parties) ...


January 13, 2012

On the EEAS’ 1st birthday: have EU-Africa relations benefitted from the past year?

Posted: 13:14 PM UTC

by Andrew Sherriff on January 13, 2012

In the various analyses of the European External Action Service (EEAS) one year on, those who view the glass “half empty” (mostly independent analysts, journalists and think tanks) seem to have the upper hand on those who view it as “half full” (the official report).  Key questions for assessing the EEAS’ performance in relation to Africa are: has the EEAS helped to upgrade the political dialogue between the EU and Africa, and increased the coherence of EU policies, while also furthering development commitments? Africa as a whole, like many other regions and issues, has struggled ...

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In response to the Arab Spring the European Commission has proposed to create a new European Neighbourhood Instrument, based on the European Union’s reviewed approach to cooperation with its neighbours in North Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. This new approach was set out in an EU Communication from May 2011 entitled “A new response to a changing Neighbourhood”, and is based on the following principles: “More for more” (“less for less” to be used only in extreme scenarios); Differentiation amongst countries receiving support; and Better coordination between different EU actors (European External Action ...


December 9, 2011

New instruments proposed for EU external action – do we know enough about what worked with the old ones?

Posted: 16:27 PM UTC

by Niels Keijzer on December 9, 2011

No, we don’t know enough about the results achieved through the EU’s old external action instruments. But that does not inhibit an evidence-based discussion on the future instruments, which can still be revised as they are currently subject of debate between the different EU institutions. On Wednesday, the European Commission presented proposals to amend the rules guiding the spending for EU external action from 2014-2020, the timeframe of the next EU budget. In expert jargon, these rules are called “financial instruments”, and there are 10 such instruments, each for a specific area of intervention. The ...


++ SERIES: ECDPM ANALYSIS OF NEW EU DEVELOPMENT POLICY REFORM PROPOSALS ++ When it comes to violent conflict, the common mantra is that prevention is better (and cheaper) than cure. This is also illustrated by the findings of a recent evaluation of support to conflict prevention and peace building. In Georgia, for instance, the contracted amounts to be spent by the European Commission increased from €19 million in 2007 before the escalation of a conflict with Russia, to €72 million in 2008, the year of the clashes, and €116 in 2009 as a result of ...


November 18, 2011

A new EU impetus on conflict and fragility, or more of the same? Part 1: institutions and evaluation

Posted: 14:19 PM UTC

by Andrew Sherriff on November 18, 2011

++ SERIES: ECDPM ANALYSIS OF NEW EU DEVELOPMENT POLICY REFORM PROPOSALS ++ The Arab spring and recent evolutions in Europe’s development policy have focussed those concerned with EU external action on new EU buzzwords of “deep democracy” and “inclusive growth”. Yet other developments over the last 12 months provide somewhat of an indication of how the EU institutions plan to deal with longer-term approaches to conflict and fragility. This article outlines the EU’s approach and takes a closer look at the institutional setup and discusses findings of a recent evaluation. The challenge of dealing with ...

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