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EU Development Policy

Latest news on the development policies of the European Union.

Global Partnership for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development after 2015
The European Commission set out its views on 5 February on global efforts that will be needed to eradicate poverty and boost sustainable development. The Communication on a "Global Partnership for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development after 2015" has been agreed with First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who holds horizontal responsibility for sustainable development. While putting forward proposals on how the international community should organise its action to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals, it also shows how the EU and its Member States could contribute to the international effort.

European Year for Development 2015
The European Year of Development 2015 is an opportunity to raise awareness of development across Europe, and to show European taxpayers know that every euro spent on development benefits both people living in some of the world's poorest countries, and EU citizens themselves. 2015 is a special year for development. It is the first ever European Year to deal with the European Union's external action and Europe’s role in the world. For development organisations all over Europe it is an unparalleled opportunity to showcase Europe's commitment to eradicating poverty worldwide and to inspire more Europeans to get engaged and involved in development. 2015 is also the year in which the Millennium Development Goals that the world agreed to reach in 2000, and in which the international community will agree on the future global framework for poverty eradication and sustainable development.

Global poverty and sustainable development
The European Commission adopted on 2 June a Communication to contribute to the EU position in international negotiations on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as the follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The SDGs are intended to reinforce the international community's commitment to eradicating poverty and supporting sustainable development, challenges that affect the lives of current and future generations. The Commission Communication describes key principles and proposes priority areas and potential targets for the years following 2015, as a step towards establishing a limited number of Sustainable Development Goals.

EU development support in Somalia
On 16 September 2013, the EU and Somalia jointly held a high-level event entitled "A new deal for Somalia" in Brussels. The aim was to sustain the positive momentum in the country, to ensure it stays on the path to stability and peace, bringing prosperity to its people. The international community and Somalia endorses the so-called Compact - a key milestone of the process - pledge support to enable its implementation and, above all, re-commit to this new political process.

Financing for Development
Financing for Development promotes an integrated approach to development finance, including mobilising domestic and international resources for development, increasing trade capacity and investment, Official Development Assistance, innovative financing sources and mechanisms, aid and development effectiveness, debt sustainability, financing climate and biodiversity actions.

EC call for EU to fulfil commitments towards world's poorest
Aid figures released by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) on 3 April show that the European Union and its 27 Member States remained the world's largest donor in 2012, providing more than half of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) reported by Development Assistance Committee (DAC). The economic crisis and severe budgetary constraints facing most developed countries have impacted global Official Development Assistance (ODA) levels negatively, resulting in a nominal decrease of more than EUR 8 billion compared to 2011. The EU collective ODA decreased to EUR 55.1 bn from EUR 56.2 bn in 2011; or from 0.45% to 0.43% of EU gross national income (GNI). The total ODA of the 27 EU Member States alone decreased from 52.8 bn to 50.5 bn, or from 0.42 to 0.39% of GNI. Only four Member States increased1 and seven maintained their ODA levels2, while 16 Member States reduced their effort.

Development Policy of the European Union (The European Union Series)
Designed to replace Martin Holland's The European Union and the Third World, this new text provides systematic coverage of the European Union's policies in relation to the developing world in the 21st century and includes substantial coverage of governance issues and the relationship between development initiatives and European integration.

EU budget proposals for its external instruments from 2014-2020 - guide
The European Commission adopted budget proposals for its external instruments from 2014-2020 on 7 December. They will allow the European Union to fulfil its responsibility on the global stage: fighting poverty and promoting democracy, peace, stability and prosperity. The range of instruments will support developing countries as well as countries in the European neighbourhood and those that are preparing accession into the EU. The Commission is seeking to target its resources where it says they are most needed, where they will have the highest impact while ensuring more flexibility to be able to react swiftly to unforeseen events. This budget will also enable the EU to further reinforce its role on the global stage and promote its interests and values.

"Agenda for Change" in EU development policy and EU budget support - guide
The EU will re-prioritise its delivery of aid to developing countries to ensure maximum impact on poverty reduction. EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs has presented the 'Agenda for Change' of EU Development policy and a new policy for EU budget support. These communications set out a more strategic EU approach to reducing poverty, including through a more targeted allocation of funding. Future EU spending should concentrate on sectors which are key for long-term and inclusive growth, target countries that are in the greatest need of external support and where aid can make a difference.

Reform of the EU Generalised System of Preferences
The aim of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) is to help developing countries by making it easier for them to export their products to the European Union. This is done in the form of reduced tariffs for their goods when entering the EU market. It allows these countries to participate more fully in international trade and generate additional export revenue. It is an autonomous measure by the EU: there is no expectation or requirement that this access be reciprocated by the countries concerned.

Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
The ERDF aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions. In short, the ERDF finances: direct aid to investments in companies (in particular SMEs) to create sustainable jobs; infrastructures linked notably to research and innovation, telecommunications, environment, energy and transport; financial instruments (capital risk funds, local development funds, etc.) to support regional and local development and to foster cooperation between towns and regions; technical assistance measures.

EU loans and grants in the field of development

Cooperation - EuropeAid
Europe Aid Development and Cooperation. Grants are direct financial contributions from the EU budget or from the European Development Fund.

EU Development policy - guide
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the future of EU Development policy. Faced with the triple challenge of economic, food and environmental crises, but also the generally encouraging economic performance of Developing countries, the Commission wishes to collect views on how the EU can best support developing countries to speed up their progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and beyond. Building on previous achievements, the Commission proposes four main areas for debate, focusing on the impact of EU aid, the facilitation of more inclusive growth, the promotion of sustainable development, and durable results in agriculture and food security. Following the public consultation open to EU and partner countries, the Commission will table a Communication on a Modernised EU Development policy in 2011. The following FAQ presents the background and main issues addressed by the Green Paper.

ACP Observatory on Migration
The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Observatory on Migration is an initiative of the Secretariat of the ACP Group of States, empowered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and funded by the European Union with the financial support of Switzerland. Its goal is to establish a network of research institutions and governmental entities dealing with migration in the six regions of the ACP Group of States, namely West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Activities will start in 12 pilot countries (Angola, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Tanzania, Timor-Leste and Trinidad and Tobago) but it is foreseen that other countries will join the process. The Observatory will be able to produce much needed data on South-South ACP migration flows for migrants, researchers, civil society, general public, governments and policy-makers. It will rely on the work of research institutions and private researchers from different backgrounds (universities, research centers, public institutions). The total budget for the project is EUR 9,404,776. The European Union contributes with EUR 7,994,060.

Illegal logging - guide
The European Union on 6 October signed the Voluntary Partnership Agreement with Cameroon, the largest African exporter of timber products to the EU. By July 2012, all shipments of wood products from Cameroon to the EU will be required to carry a license showing that they contain timber and wood products from a legal origin. This agreement expresses a strong joint commitment to eradicate illegal logging and underpins Cameroon’s ongoing reforms towards good governance of the forest sector and development. European consumers, for their part, will have confidence that wood products, such as furniture, imported from Cameroon are of legal origin.

Millennium Development Goals - EU Action Plan (COM(2010)159 final)
A twelve-point EU action plan in support of the Millennium Development Goals - European Commission Communication

Illegal Logging and Related Trade - Indicators of the Global Response
This in-depth study of twelve producer, processing and consumer countries demonstrates that actions taken by governments, civil society and the private sector over the last ten years in response to illegal logging and related trade have been extensive and had a considerable impact. Illegal logging is estimated to have fallen by between 50 and 75 per cent during the last decade in Cameroon, the Brazilian Amazon and Indonesia, while imports of illegally sourced wood to the seven consumer and processing countries studied are down 30 per cent from their peak in 2004. As a result up to 17 million hectares of forest are estimated to have been protected from degradation and at least 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions avoided over the last decade. Alternatively, if the trees saved were legally logged this could bring in US$6.5 billion in additional revenues to the countries concerned. Reducing illegal logging further will require a comprehensive overhaul of government policy and regulation in producer countries. Japan and China must also follow in the footsteps of the US and EU and prohibit the import and sale of illegally sourced wood. To ensure such prohibitions are effective and encourage broader improvements, importing countries also need to expand cooperation with source countries along the lines of the EU's voluntary partnership agreements. It is essential that initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries reinforce the existing response to illegal logging and poor forest governance, rather than distract from it.

Illegal logging and the FLEGT voluntary Partnership Agreement - guide
The report "Illegal Logging and Related Trade", prepared by international think tank Chatham House, documents progress made at the global level of combating illegal logging and improving forest governance in developing countries. The study is an attempt to measure global efforts to tackle illegal logging of consumer, processing and wood producing countries. It examines the response and actions taken in countries where illegal logging occurs and also in those countries which import, process and consume illegally sourced wood. In addition to measuring how illegal logging has changed over time, the report shows how attention to the problem has changed and how governments and the private sector have responded. It notably mentions the EU FLEGT agreements as one credible and useful tool. The EU's achievements in this area centre around the EU Action Plan for Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade Action Plan (FLEGT). They include the signature of voluntary agreements with Congo and Ghana, which will ensure that all wood products entering the European Union from these countries carry a licence showing that the wood they contain is of legal origin.

Revised Cotonou Partnership Agreement - guide
The official ceremony of a signature of the second revised Cotonou Agreement took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on 22-23 June 2010 in presence of EU Development Commissioner and representatives of the ACP countries. Changes to the agreement highlight an emphasis on climate change, and regional integration to combat problems affecting neighbouring countries. Other goals include coordinated efforts to maintain food security, and prioritisation of fragile states. Commissioner Piebalgs also inaugurated a street "L'Avenue de L'Europe" next to the EU delegation, and met with Burkina Faso's President, Blaise Compaore.

Food facility – EU rapid response to soaring food prices in developing countries
In order to provide a rapid EU response to soaring food prices in developing countries, a Regulation establishing a 'Food Facility' was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in December 2008. This new instrument provides for EUR 1 billion funding to be spent over three years, nearly half of which in 2009.

Food Facility
With more than € 500 million already disbursed and 97 % of funds committed after only one year and a half from its adoption, the € 1 billion EU Food Facility has provided a fast and efficient response in tackling food insecurity. The Commission present today a booklet on the use of the Food Facility. It shows that around 50 million people all over the world are receiving support from the facility and results are starting to show. Faced with an impressive number of high–quality proposals but a limited budget, the European Commission is calling on other donors to help funding projects under the newly launched "Food Facility Auction Floor".

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): EU action plan - briefing
The European Commission has adopted an action plan for EU action to speed up progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In 2009, the EU aid level has slightly decreased and amounted €49bn. This corresponds to 0.42% of EU GNI, making the EU still far from meeting the intermediate collective target of 0,56% GNI by 2010, before reaching 0.7% EU GNI by 2015. The EU remains the most generous global donor, providing over half of global aid. The Commission proposes to EU Member States a number of actions in support of MDGs. They aim at increasing the level of aid while making aid more efficient and focused on those countries and sectors most in need. To feed into the action plan, the Commission also adopted a Communication on taxation and development which aims at increasing developing countries' domestic revenues through building stronger domestic fiscal systems and fighting tax evasion internationally. The action plan sets out a possible EU position ahead of the UN Summit on the MDGs this September.

MEPs urge transaction tax to help developing countries
EU Member States should bring in a financial transactions tax and consider a temporary debt moratorium for developing countries, says the European Parliament. In a resolution adopted at their plenary session in Brussels today, MEPs said this would help developing countries to cope with the effects of the global financial and economic crisis.

Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) - briefing
The European Commission has adopted a €190 million support package for banana exporters from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states. This proposal was part of the historic Geneva Agreement on Trade in Bananas. The EU concluded this deal with Latin American countries and the US in December 2009 which settles 15 years banana disputes. It also cuts the tariff which the EU applies to bananas imported from Latin American countries. Today's measures aim to support ACP banana exporters to adjust to this new trading environment, taking into account each country's specific situation. The measures will focus on three goals: boosting the banana sector's competitiveness, promoting economic diversification and addressing broader social, economic and environmental impacts.