Tag Archives: Development cooperation

Strategy for cooperation with Bangladesh

Strategy for cooperation with Bangladesh

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy for cooperation with Bangladesh

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Asia

Strategy for cooperation with Bangladesh (2007-2013)

Document or Iniciative

The European Commission – Bangladesh Strategy Paper 2007-2013 .

Summary

Following the adoption of a new partnership agreement in 2001, the European Union (EU) and Bangladesh are cooperating in many areas. Primarily, EU intervention should support the country in reducing poverty and meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

All cooperation projects must incorporate the objectives of protecting gender equality, rural development, food safety, environmental protection and good public governance.

Short-term priorities

This strategy aims at establishing a balance between social development and economic development. The partners therefore identify priority areas for action:

  • human and social development, through programmes to promote health, nutrition, access to education, decent work and the fight against poverty;
  • good governance, particularly as regards the management of public finances, the judicial system and the effectiveness of the State;
  • the protection of human rights, mainly to improve respect for the rights of women and children, but also of minority groups such as refugees and the disabled;
  • economic and trade development, to enable the country to be integrated into the global trade system, to increase the competitiveness of enterprises and the diversification of economic production.

Long-term priorities

During the second phase of implementation of the strategy, a series of actions are to be carried out in the areas of:

  • the environment and disaster management, the consequences of which mainly affect the poorest people;
  • food security and nutrition, so as to permanently reduce malnutrition rates, particularly in rural areas.

Regional strategy for Asia 2007-2013

Regional strategy for Asia 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Regional strategy for Asia 2007-2013

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Asia

Regional strategy for Asia 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Commission – Regional Strategy Paper 2007-2013 for Asia .

Summary

The Regional Strategy Paper (RSP) defines the objectives and the priorities of the cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Asia for the period 2007-2013. Asia covers Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, North Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

Challenges faced by Asia

At political level, Asia, which is marked by the emergence of China and India, has multiple systems of governance. It faces a large number of challenges in the fields of security, nuclear proliferation, democratisation, respect for human rights, unemployment and health, fragile situations (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal), large refugee and migratory flows, labour standards, natural disasters and protection of the environment.

In the past twenty years, Asia has experienced strong economic growth, attributable to increased openness and major economic reforms. It is now the EU’s largest trading partner, most of the countries are members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), civil society is sophisticated and a dynamic business class is emerging. However, despite this progress, the rise in socio-economic indicators has led to income disparities, employment creation has declined in many countries, the benefits of growth are unequally distributed and the institutional weaknesses, natural disasters and weakness of the infrastructures continue to hamper development.

Social protection is poor in Asia; child labour, the situation of women and poverty remain major challenges to be faced, as too are maternal mortality, child malnutrition, the violation of human rights, social protection, the increase in communicable diseases, health threats, gender imbalance, discrimination, etc. Southern Asia has made progress towards achieving the millennium development goals (MDG), in contrast to East Asia, which is developing less rapidly.

Asia is geographically very diverse. However, the environment is suffering from demographic pressures, rapid economic growth, industrialisation, inadequate legislation and investments, and poorly enforced protection measures which lead to unsustainable use of natural resources. In addition, climate change is likely to compound the geological and climatic instability.

Priority areas of the regional strategy 2007-2013

The main priority of the strategy is to encourage cooperation and regional integration. To achieve this, the EU supports work and dialogue with the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), the Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TEIN), the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The second priority encourages cooperation based on policy and know-how in the fields of the environment, education and health. It aims to promote sustainable consumption and production and trade in environmental goods and services and to support Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). It also places emphasis on the promotion of equal opportunities and the values of democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Finally, it supports the region in the control of avian flu and highly pathogenic and emerging diseases, and intends to introduce cross-border health cooperation.

The objective of the third priority is to support uprooted people in Asia by assisting them to return and settle in their country of origin or in a third country. This support establishes links between relief, reintegration and development aimed at filling the gap between emergency relief for refugees and longer-term relief. The activities are coordinated with ECHO, with due regard for operations established in the context of the country programmes. Local partnerships and development capacities will gradually be built up.

Certain cross-cutting issues (human rights, democracy, governance, etc.) will be addressed at regional level and streamlined throughout the programme, as appropriate.

Terms and conditions

For 2007-2013, the budget for Asia amounts to EUR 5.187 billion, of which 81 % is allocated to country development assistance, 16 % to regional assistance and 3 % as a reserve. The present RSP consists of a regional multiannual indicative programme (MIP), which is the programming document for the assistance, based on actions designed to achieve the priorities identified in the RSP. The first MIP has been drawn up for the period 2007-2010 (EUR 400 million); a second MIP will be drawn up for the period 2011-2013 (EUR 375 million). The RSP is complementary to country strategy papers drawn up for each country of Asia and the RSP for Central Asia . The financing instrument for development cooperation (DCI) is the main framework for financing the assistance granted under the present RSP.

The activities receiving support are the following: programmes, contacts, meetings, promotion activities, dialogue, exchange of best practices, expert meetings, regional and triangular cooperation, seminars, conferences, workshops, research, twinning, gatherings, studies, training, study trips, university exchange programmes and harmonisation of standards and legislation. Other activities will also be defined at the identification stage.

Success indicators are defined to measure the impact of the activities carried out. They spell out the objective sought by the intervention, the result and the advantages expected for the target groups, the direct effects and the activities to be carried out to achieve the expected goals. The results of these activities will be measured qualitatively and quantitatively, not only by the indicators but also by the verification criteria and other implementation mechanisms. The implementation of all the programmes will be supervised and monitored. A mid-term review of the entire programme is scheduled (2009).

Background

The cooperation between the two regions is based on the “Europe and Asia” Communication and the European Consensus on Development, which set the eradication of poverty as a prime objective. The present RSP in this way ensures continuity of the priorities, results and experience, based on the previous RSP 2005-2006 .


 

Strategy for cooperation with Indonesia

Strategy for cooperation with Indonesia

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy for cooperation with Indonesia

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Asia

Strategy for cooperation with Indonesia (2007-2013)

Document or Iniciative

The European Commission – Indonesia Strategy Paper 2007-2013 .

Summary

Indonesia has undertaken a process of political and economic stabilisation supported by the European Union (EU). This cooperation strategy also supports the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which remain a priority for a country where the majority of the population lives in poverty.

Priorities for cooperation

Education and vocational training are priority areas of action. EU intervention should contribute to improving basic education systems, vocational training and higher education. The partners’ aim is to increase the level of education and adapt teaching to the needs of sustainable development.

The EU supports the programme of trade and investment reforms, to accelerate the economic performance of the country and allow it to join the international trade system. The social and environmental impact of these reforms must be controlled. They are contributing to the development of a free trade zone between the EU and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.

In addition, the operation of the judicial and law enforcement system should be strengthened. To this end, cooperation actions support institutional reforms, good public governance, human rights, the fight against corruption and the fight against organised crime. The role of civil society should be particularly encouraged when carrying out reforms.

Beyond these priorities, the partners put in place a series of thematic actions, in particular for democracy and human rights, support for civil society, food security, asylum policy and migration.

General areas of cooperation

Certain areas must be included in a cross-cutting way within the actions that have been planned by the partnership, such as:

  • protection of the environment, particularly to combat illegal logging;
  • conflict prevention and post-conflict recovery for certain regions;
  • gender equality, including in democratic life;
  • governance, transparency and the management of public finances;
  • human rights and the protection of indigenous people;
  • combating HIV/AIDS;
  • controlling the impact of globalisation on social cohesion and promoting decent work.

Regional strategy for Central America 2007-2013

Regional strategy for Central America 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Regional strategy for Central America 2007-2013

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Latin america

Regional strategy for Central America 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Commission – Central America Regional Strategy Paper for 2007-2013 .

Summary

The regional strategy paper (RSP) for 2007-2013 defines the objectives and priorities for cooperation at regional level in Central America. It supplements the country strategy papers (CSPs) established for each country in the region, i.e. Costa Rica , Salvador , Guatemala , Honduras , Nicaragua and Panama .

The RSP is also part of a strategic partnership with the region. The European Union (EU) intends to support the regional integration process in Central America, in particular within the framework of a future association agreement, including a free trade agreement. The RSP is based on the experience gained from the RSP for 2002-2006 , from which it learnt a number of lessons.

The region shares common political, economic, social and environmental challenges related mainly to:

  • strengthening democracy (human rights, rule of law and justice system, public sector management, strengthening the role of civil society and political parties);
  • security in the region, which is experiencing increasing insecurity, whether as regards common law delinquency, organised crime, drug trafficking or money laundering;
  • economic development, which requires further integration into the world economy, progress at regional internal market level, improved productivity and competitiveness, and a regional environment that is suitable for foreign investment;
  • further social cohesion, as a means of combating a high level of poverty, inequality and social discrimination;
  • protection of the environment given the region’s vulnerability to natural disasters, unsustainable natural resource exploitation (forests, biodiversity, mines), and the development of renewable energy against the background of high dependency on fossil fuels.

The following challenges associated with regional integration should also be added: weakness of regional institutions, insufficient political will, lack of harmonisation of policies and structures, insufficient funding and the absence of a dispute settlement mechanism.

EU response strategy

The strategy and the indicative programme identify three priority areas for cooperation, defined in conjunction with partner countries, regional authorities, delegations and EU Member States present in Central America.

The objective of the first component is to strengthen the institutional system with a view to regional integration (capacities, funding, structure and functioning). It concerns the agents of regional integration, e.g. regional organisations, coordination organisations or national entities.

The second component concerns support for economic integration leading to a cu4stoms union. The intensification of trade, a regional regulatory approach and convergence of support policies (free movement of goods and services, property rights, investment, health and plant health standards, etc.) are specific priorities.

The last component concerns the strengthening of regional governance and security matters. Cooperation between national authorities (customs, police, justice etc) will promote regional integration. Specific programmes are possible, e.g., for the prevention of crime, the improvement of mutual knowledge of Member States’ judicial and regulatory systems, and joint operations at the frontiers.

The programmes incorporate cross-cutting issues such as equal opportunities, the environment and human rights. Moreover, civil society is involved in planning in order to encourage social ownership of the integration process and the visibility of EU action.

Implementation details

The beneficiaries of cooperation are the entities of the Central American Integration System (SICA, SIECA, PARLACEN (ES)), intergovernmental organisations and commissions, national organisations and members of civil society participating in the regional integration process.

Indicative funding under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) amounts to 75 million, allocated according to the priorities and the indicative programmes for 2007-2010 and 2011-2013. Other instruments may also contribute to funding, such as thematic funding (human rights and democracy, environmental conservation, co-funding by non state actors) or regional programmes for Latin America.

Performance indicators will be defined during the elaboration of aid programmes.

Background

This paper is included within the context of development cooperation (Article 117 of the Treaty establishing the European Community) and the Development Consensus.

It is based on the Framework Agreement for political dialogue and cooperation between the EU and Central America (1993), reviewed in 2003. It is also included in the political dialogue initiated by the San José dialogue. Generally speaking, the dialogue between the EU and Latin America has been the subject of a number of summits; the most recent one was held in Vienna in 2006 (Vienna Agreement 2006) gave rise to a Commission Communication on a reinforced partnership with Latin America (2005).

 

Regional strategy for Mercosur 2007-2013

Regional strategy for Mercosur 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Regional strategy for Mercosur 2007-2013

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External relations > Relations with third countries > Latin america

Regional strategy for Mercosur 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Commission – Regional Strategy Paper 2007-2013 for Mercosur .

Summary

The Regional Strategy Paper (RSP) defines the objectives and priorities of the cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur for the period 2007-2013. The aim is to deepen this cooperation, while at the same time adding a regional dimension to EU cooperation with each Mercosur Member State included in the Country Strategy Papers (CSPs), i.e. Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela and Uruguay.

Challenges faced by Mercosur

Mercosur has been acquiring an increasingly strong political dimension. This boosts regional integration and the will of the leaders to link growth, social justice and people’s dignity to it. Mercosur has made considerable progress despite incomplete economic integration, trade disputes and disparities between the Member States. The region is raising its international standing by associating with other South American countries. The objective now is to make the region and its members leading world actors, alongside China, India and Russia.

Furthermore, Mercosur is the fourth largest economic grouping in the world, although Brazil alone accounts for 79 % of its GDP. The economies of the region have recovered after the financial crises, in particular thanks to improved competitiveness, better terms of trade, higher international commodities prices, exports and the improved economic environment. The fiscal position was improved during the crisis years to limit the inflationary impact. Nevertheless, despite many advances, the Mercosur countries remain vulnerable to international fluctuations in prices and interest rates, the world economic situation and their high public debt. They must persevere in areas linked to structural reform, fiscal consolidation, and the reduction of poverty and income inequality.

From 2002 to 2005, Mercosur’s intraregional trade accounted for 15 % of total trade. Only Brazil’s trade structure has been oriented towards world markets, whereas Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay are more dependent on their Mercosur partners. Its participation in world trade represented just 1.05 % of total trade during the same period. Nevertheless, Mercosur, led by Brazil, is trying to diversify trade flows to boost regional trade, in particular by signing the Mercosur-Andean Community Free Trade Agreement. Finally, NAFTA and the EU still account for the lion’s share of the trade of the region.

At social level, progress has been made in many areas, especially regarding health and literacy. The population growth of the region is around 1.1 %, with wide differences between individual countries. With economic growth, efforts should focus on increasing income and reducing poverty, which, with the rise in unemployment and social exclusion, experienced the backlash of the 1999-2002 recession.

At environmental level too, the varied and abundant ecosystems of the region are under threat. The initiatives in the field of environmental protection, biodiversity and ecosystems must be strengthened and pursue the objective of sustainable development.

Priority areas of the regional strategy 2007-2013

The first priority is to support Mercosur institutionalisation, which will allow the backlog to be made up in the incorporation and implementation of its legislation by its Member States. The nature of the EU’s experience and support for concrete institutional development projects at the Parliament, the Permanent Review Tribunal and the Secretariat of Mercosur will boost institutional effectiveness.

Deepening of Mercosur and implementation of a future EU-Mercosur Association Agreement form the second priority of the strategy. There is a need for deepening in the trade and economic fields and for completion of the customs union to progress towards the creation of an integrated regional market and, in this way, towards strengthening the organisation of Mercosur.

The aim of the implementation of the future Association Agreement is to boost the regional integration process and to facilitate its enforcement, especially as regards trade (customs and trade facilitation, acceptance of international standards, etc.). The trade aspects and trade-related assistance are dealt with at Mercosur level in this RSP in accordance with its integration plans and not at the level of the Member States, although their specific features are nevertheless taken into account. The actions will relate to fostering market integration, production, food security and food hygiene, involving the creation of a phytosanitary area, and environmental protection.

The objective of the third priority is to strengthen and enhance civil society participation, knowledge of the regional integration process, mutual understanding and mutual visibility. Regional integration must receive the support of civil society to give new impetus to integration and establish its legitimacy. In parallel, reinforcing the visibility of the EU will make it better known as a political actor and example of integration beyond trade aspects alone. To do this, actions focus essentially on the creation of ten EU-Mercosur study centres, the introduction of an operational plan for education 2006-2010, the cinematographic and audiovisual sector, and the organisation of seminars and workshops to promote the exchange of experience.

Terms and conditions

This RSP consists of a Regional Indicative Programme (RIP), which is the programming document for the assistance based on actions identified to achieve the three priorities of the RSP. One RIP has been drawn up for the period 2007-2010 and another for the period 2011-2013. The RSP in this way supplements the CSPs drawn up for each Mercosur country and the RSP in favour of Latin America [FR]. The financing of the two RIPs comes to EUR 50 million, of which EUR 10 million is allocated to financing projects from the previous RSP (2002-2006) in favour of education and information society and EUR 40 million to institutional support (10 % of the funds), deepening Mercosur and implementation of the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement (70 % of the funds) and civil society participation in the regional integration process (20 % of the funds). The present RSP comes under the financing instrument for development cooperation (DCI).

The activities receiving support are the following: assessments, programmes, strategies, studies, training, seminars, conferences, workshops, publications, statistics, training of staff and officials, creation of diplomas and study chairs, joint actions, dialogue, research, sub-regional cooperation and harmonisation of legislation and standards. Other activities will also be defined at the identification stage.

Results and success indicators are defined to measure the impact of the actions and projects. The partnerships formed, the activities carried out, the joint policies introduced, the food hygiene controls carried out, the meetings, conferences and studies organised or the pieces of legislation and standards harmonised are all indicators allowing effectiveness to be assessed.

Background

The EU-Mercosur cooperation is based on the Interregional Framework Cooperation Agreement with Mercosur and is part of the achievement of the objectives of the Rio Summit and its developments, as well as the strengthened partnership with Latin America. In this way, it ensures continuation of the priorities, results and experience based on the previous RSP for the period 2002-2006 .

Strategy for Brazil 2007-2013

Strategy for Brazil 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy for Brazil 2007-2013

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External relations > Relations with third countries > Latin america

Strategy for Brazil 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Commission – Brazil Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013 .

Summary

This Country Strategy Paper (CSP) provides a strategic framework for cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Brazil for the period 2007-2013. It aims to support “soft” measures to reduce poverty and to improve the economic, political and environmental situation of the country.

Following an analysis of its situation, two cooperation priorities have been identified on the basis of Brazil’s requirements. The first priority is to stimulate exchanges, contacts and transfer of know-how between the EU and Brazil, with a view to improving social inclusion, achieving greater equality and improving mutual knowledge. The second priority consists of supporting projects to promote the environmental dimension of sustainable development.

Political, economic, social and environmental situation

Politically, Brazil is a stabilised democracy. A few challenges nevertheless remain, including putting together stable parliamentary majorities, strengthening the links between the three levels of government (Federal, State and municipal), fighting corruption and the unlawful use of public resources, improving the functioning of the judiciary system and the public administration, implementing the legislation in the field of human rights and combating violence, which is frequently associated with drug trafficking and social exclusion.

Economically, the country gives priority to macroeconomic stability. There has been a steep fall in the public debt, although this remains a source of vulnerability. Furthermore, private investment is hampered by high interest rates. On the other hand, the country has been very active on the external trade front.

Socially, the social and health indicators have improved. On the other hand, despite the progress made in access to education, there are still regional imbalances. In addition, wealth and income are very unequally distributed.

Brazil’s environment is one of the richest in the world. The country has to preserve the 6.5 million km2 Amazon basin and to combat deforestation, climate change, degradation of the quality of the water resources and urban pollution.

Two major priority themes

The first priority is to enhance bilateral relations. The objective is to support initiatives in the framework of the EU-Brazil sectoral dialogues that could contribute to enhancing social inclusion and achieving greater equality. The resources will be used to develop the dialogues and finance activities leading to better governance and policy-making. Enhancing EU-Brazil relations also aims to encourage mutual understanding and to promote the EU’s image in Brazil through academic exchanges and the establishment of a European Studies Institute in Brazil.

The second priority aims to promote the environmental dimension of sustainable development. Due to the scale and wealth of its biomes, Brazil has a major role to play in global environmental issues. The cooperation resources are therefore allocated to sustainable development. To this end, the EU undertakes to assist Brazil to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to comply with its commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Framework Convention on Climate Change (pdf) [FR ] and the Kyoto Protocol. The EU also supports the efforts to curb deforestation and to manage the natural resources in a sustainable way. Finally, there is a need to step up the fight against poverty in rural areas, which is both the cause and the consequence of the degradation of the natural resources.

Terms and conditions

A budget amounting to EUR 61 million has been earmarked under the financing instrument for development cooperation (DCI) to implement the CSP. The development cooperation strategy will be defined in two national indicative programmes (NIPs), one covering the period 2007-2010 (65 % of the resources) and the other for 2011-2013 (35 % of the resources). For the whole period 2007-2013, it is proposed that 70 % of the resources be allocated to enhancing bilateral relations and 30 % to promoting the environmental dimension.

The following actions are supported: facility to support sectoral dialogues; profile-raising activities through the media; participation of experts and representatives of civil society of the EU and Brazil; higher education programmes for Brazil (funding scholarships and exchange of teachers); establishment of a European Studies Institute; actions to secure access to land for the local population, fostering of non-polluting productive activities, increasing income and well-being.

Results are defined for the actions carried out under each priority. The actions relating to the objective of enhancing bilateral relations must lead to: sectoral dialogues; enhanced cooperation between institutions, civil society organisations and stakeholders on each side; increase in the exchanges and inter-university partnerships; dissemination of information on the EU and development of European studies in Brazil.

The actions under the second priority on promoting the environmental dimension should lead to: reduction in annual deforestation rates; increased income for rural poor; implementation of land use strategies; better respect of the rule of law in forest areas; increase in sustainable production and creation of local value; improvement of the local management capacity for sustainable production; opening-up of new marketing channels and increased research for environmental activities.

Background

Cooperation between the two partners is a key objective of the EU. The EU is Brazil’s main trading partner and the country’s leading investor. For its part, Brazil is a regional player and is moving towards the international stage. The bilateral relations are based mainly on the EU-Brazil Framework Cooperation Agreement and cover a variety of fields.

The aim of this CSP is to continue the bilateral cooperation and the achievements under the CSP 2002-2006. These also come under the regional context of Mercosur (EU-Mercosur Framework Cooperation Agreement, Regional Strategy 2007-2013) and the Latin American Strategy 2007-2013.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 30 May 2007 entitled “Towards an EU-Brazil Strategic Partnership” [COM(2007) 281 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Regional strategy for CAN 2007-2013

Regional strategy for CAN 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Regional strategy for CAN 2007-2013

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Latin america

Regional strategy for CAN 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Community – Andean Community Regional Strategy Paper 2007-2013 .

Summary

The regional strategy paper (RSP) defines the objectives and priorities for cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the Andean Community (CAN) for the period 2007-2013. It aims at responding to the challenges faced by CAN countries. Essentially, these challenges include the strengthening of democracy, political stability, respect for human rights and the rule of law, social cohesion, economic development, the fight against drugs and the protection of the environment. In this respect, it supplements the country strategy papers (CSPs) produced for each of the countries in the region.

Within this context, regional cooperation constitutes an added value based on cooperation between the countries. However, the willingness of the partner countries, i.e. Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, to cooperate and to embrace this cooperation is fundamental for the implementation of the RSP.

EU response strategy

In order to promote regional integration, the RSP has identified priority action areas according to their comparative advantage. These priorities are specified in the regional indicative programme (RIP) for the period 2007-2010.

Regional economic integration is essential for the creation of the Andean common market. It also offers a perspective for facilitating negotiations between the EU and CAN towards an association and free trade agreement. Actions in the area include the following:

  • harmonisation or mutual recognition of legislation;
  • trade in goods and services and tightening of trade relations between the two regions;
  • promotion of customs and trade facilitation and acceptance of international standards in this area;
  • rendering CAN more attractive for foreign investors.

Social and economic cohesion benefits the fight against poverty, inequality, unemployment and exclusion. The specific objectives in this area include the following:

  • stimulate further development of a comprehensive CAN social policy by an integrated approach to social and economic cohesion;
  • encourage field projects and cross-border and cross-national contacts;
  • create synergies between social cohesion and the protection of the environment by integrating sustainable natural resource management into projects.

The fight against drugs and crime is a priority area for the region, which is the main producer of cocaine in the world. Effective measures can also limit their destabilising effect on democratic institutions and the social tissue. Objectives in this area include the following:

  • a global approach to the anti-drug policies of CAN countries, ranging from suppression to prevention, and with due consideration being given to reintegration;
  • promotion of complementary policies at regional and national level.

Within this context, the strengthening of the institutional capacities of CAN countries and the region’s integration in the world economy constitute essential elements of the strategy.

Moreover, in order to strengthen the impact of actions carried out, projects implemented under these priorities integrate cross-cutting themes, i.e. energy, transport, employment, gender equality, indigenous peoples’ rights, consumers’ rights, good governance and environmental viability. Civil society is also involved in implementation.

Implementation details

The indicative budget for the RSP for 2007-2013 under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) amounts to 50 million. Two thirds of this budget covers the period 2007-2010 (RIP I) and one third the period 2011-2013 (RIP II). The funds will then be allocated to the various priority areas. The latter will be reviewed in 2010.

RIP also offers a perspective of expected results for the various priorities, such as:

  • an increase in trade and investment within the framework of an integrated market;
  • complementarity in regional and national social and economic cohesion policies;
  • close coordination in the fight against drugs.

Background

Cooperation between the EU and CAN, derived from the 1969 Andean Agreement, is included in the development cooperation framework (Article 177 of the Treaty establishing the European Community). It pursues the objectives defined by both the Development Consensus and the reinforced partnership with Latin America. In this respect, the RSP for 2007-2013 pursues the objectives of the previous RSP (2002-2006), from which it has drawn experience.

Regional strategy for Latin America 2007-2013

Regional strategy for Latin America 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Regional strategy for Latin America 2007-2013

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Latin america

Regional strategy for Latin America 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Commission – Latin America – Regional programming document 2007-2013 .

Summary

The regional strategy paper (RSP) sets out the objectives and priorities for cooperation with Latin America for the period 2007-2013. This region comprises: Mexico, Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama), the Andean Community (Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru), Chile and Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela).

The aim is to strengthen the strategic association between the two regions in the political, economic and social spheres.

Common challenges

Improving social cohesion is an essential element of the fight against poverty and inequalities. The region’s huge inequalities in wealth distribution and income levels are sources of exclusion and political instability. Job creation must be stimulated as an effective means of tackling unemployment. Finally, there is a need to strengthen democracy and human rights, including protection for the rights of women, minorities and indigenous peoples, by encouraging civil society to play a greater role in the political sphere.

Stimulating economic relations is a challenge that can be addressed through investment to boost capacity for innovation and the competitiveness of infrastructures, research, technological development, education, training, the environment and natural resources management. A revival of trade and investment between the two regions is the key to sustaining growth and job creation and to combating poverty.

Encouraging cooperation is vital to tackling regional problems and supporting sustainable development. Cooperation must be political, economic and commercial and must take account of social and environmental concerns (climate change, water, protecting biodiversity and forest cover). The EU and Latin America attach great importance to multinational systems and must work together towards building up a set of transparent and equitable global rules, towards global governance and towards tackling climate change, as well as cooperating on human rights.

2007-2013 Regional Programming Priority Areas

The first focal area is social cohesion (reducing poverty, inequalities and exclusion). This priority aims, more specifically, at promoting the development of public policy in social sectors, increasing public spending and public social investment, improving tax policies and income redistribution through EUROsociAL (EU-LA technical cooperation programme to promote social cohesion), stimulating dialogue, exchanging good practice, implementing joint monitoring and stepping up the fight against drugs.

The second priority in the EU’s strategy for the region, supplementing the subregional approach, is regional integration with a view to:

  • promoting the activities of business networks in the area of trade and investment;
  • promoting dialogue and institutional capacity building on policy, macroeconomic planning, standards, human rights, infrastructures, the environment, etc., in order to foster sustainable investment flows and promote sustainable development;
  • promoting cooperation, regional dialogue and the exchange of experience and good practice on environmental aspects of sustainable development (climate change, water, biodiversity, forests);
  • promoting interconnectivity and regulatory dialogue;
  • promoting studies and conferences to meet regional priorities.

The third priority is investment in people and increasing mutual understanding. Cooperation in this area focuses on improving higher education in the region and strengthening its competitiveness (chiefly through training programmes) and on promoting and deepening mutual understanding between the two regions.

There must be consultation and dialogue on the introduction and implementation of regional programmes. To maximise their efficiency, particular attention has to be paid to increasing the visibility and stakeholders’ knowledge of these programmes and exploiting their results, to strengthening complementarity and synergies, to using appropriate tools, to tackling disparities, to involving public and private stakeholders, to incorporating cross-cutting issues and to encouraging effective management.

Modalities

The current RSP comprises a regional indicative programme (RIP) covering the period 2007-2010. A second RIP will be drawn up for the period 2011-2013. The total programme budget (2007-2013) is €556 million, of which 35 % is allocated to social cohesion projects, 25 % to regional integration and 40 % to training and tackling regional challenges.

The beneficiaries of these programmes are national, regional and local administrations, associations representing civil society, organisations representing the business sector, stakeholders in the higher education sector, non-governmental organisations, etc.

The activities supported include evaluations, studies, reports, publications, dissemination, seminars, meetings, training schemes, exchanges of teaching staff, scholarships, joint projects developed with networks of institutions, mobility of actors in the education sector, quality control, exchanges of information, and also actions supporting the development of statistics, databases and policy instruments. Performance indicators will be instituted to measure the impact of the various projects.

Background

EU-LA cooperation slots into the framework of the stronger partnership and the objectives fixed by the Guadalajara and Vienna summits . The RSP for 2007-2013 identifies the priorities for support through the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI). It complements the strategies for each subregion and country with this type of programme.

Related Act(S)

Mid-Term Review and Regional Indicative Programme 2011-2013 for Latin America .

Children in EU external action

Children in EU external action

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Children in EU external action

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > Sectoral development policies

Children in EU external action

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 5 February 2008 – A special place for children in EU external action [COM(2008) 55 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Children and adolescents account for one third of the world’s population and half the population in most developing countries. Investing in children therefore means investing in the future. Improving the situation of children makes it possible to prevent State fragility and ensure long-term sustainable development, stability and human security at regional, national and global levels.

Children are vulnerable and so must be placed at the centre of the development, humanitarian aid and external relations policies of the European Union (EU).

The challenges relating to this sector of the population include health, education and training, social inclusion, combating crimes such as human trafficking and sexual exploitation, but also combating child labour and recruitment by armed groups. Some children are particularly at risk, especially in situations of humanitarian crisis. Particular attention must be paid to girls, since they are exposed to additional risks, such as various forms of violence, whether domestic or sexual.

Normative framework

The EU is committed to respecting human rights in general and children’s rights in particular under international and European treaties. It adheres to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which establishes four general principles that apply to all actions affecting children: non-discrimination, the best interests of the child, the right of the child to survival and development and respect for the views of the child.

The EU also adheres to the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and supports the United Nations Plan of Action “A World Fit for Children”.

The protection of children’s rights is also given particular prominence in the EU’s human rights and democratisation policy towards third countries, especially in the context of implementing the EU Guidelines on Children and Armed Conflict and those concerning the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child.

The enlargement process and humanitarian aid are also useful tools to promote children’s rights.

Action by the EU

To respond to the many existing challenges, the EU is establishing a framework for a comprehensive approach towards the protection and promotion of children’s rights in third countries. This approach must be based on a global, universal view of children’s rights. It must also be included in wider development and poverty eradication strategies.

The EU plans to rely on a variety of measures to ensure coordination of its external action, such as:

  • development cooperation, so as to address the root causes of poverty;
  • trade policy, which must be consistent with the protection and promotion of children’s rights. In bilateral agreements, the issue of children’s rights is covered by labour standards;
  • political dialogue between the EU and the partner countries, which allows emphasis to be placed on the commitments under the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  • regional and global actions which supplement the country-level actions and address issues of a supra-national character;
  • empowerment of children and adolescents to play a more active role in matters that affect them directly;
  • humanitarian aid, as children are particularly adversely affected by difficult situations resulting from natural disasters or conflicts. Humanitarian aid will focus in particular on separated and unaccompanied children, children associated with armed forces or armed groups and children’s education in emergencies.

Background

This Communication follows the 2006 Communication, which proposes the definition of a long-term strategy for the EU in the field of children’s rights. It supplements the EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child, adopted by the Council on 10 December 2007, which forms the basis for the EU action in the field of the protection and promotion of children’s rights under its external policy.

Key terms used in the act
  • Children not attending school: 72 million, 57 % of whom are girls.
  • Children involved in child labour: 110 million.
  • Over 50 % of all mothers giving birth are not assisted by a trained midwife.
  • Over 3 million children die from complications that arise during or immediately after delivery.
  • Over 300 000 children annually are born HIV positive.
  • 10 million children die every year from preventable causes before reaching the age of five.

Seventh Framework Programme: activities of the Joint Research Centre

Seventh Framework Programme: activities of the Joint Research Centre

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Seventh Framework Programme: activities of the Joint Research Centre

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Research and innovation > General framework

Seventh Framework Programme: activities of the Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2006/975/EC of 19 December 2006 concerning the Specific Programme to be carried out by means of direct actions by the Joint Research Centre under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007 to 2013) [Official Journal L 400, 30.12.2006].

Summary

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) carries out fundamental research and provides know-how and scientific and technical support for the policies of the European Union. An important function is to promote technology transfer of the results of research, both to create industrial added value and to support the Community’s innovation policies. Set up 43 years ago to provide European expertise in the nuclear power field, over time it has become a vast, diverse and multi-purpose research institution that is completely integrated into the Commission.

CHARACTERISTICS AND GENERAL OBJECTIVES

The task of the JRC under this Specific Programme will be to give users a greater role in drafting, implementing and following up Community policies, supporting and facilitating this process, but also reacting to new requests.

In terms of approach, the emphasis will be placed on both the “better regulation” requirement as defined in the new Lisbon Strategy and on developing the means and capabilities to deal with emerging challenges. In addition, it will strengthen scientific community networking by:

  • flexibly responding to the developing needs and requirements of the EU policy makers;
  • focusing on important challenges facing society that contain both a scientific and a Community dimension;
  • developing partnerships with research centres, universities, industry, public authorities, regulatory bodies in the Member States and with third countries and international bodies;
  • expanding its skills and improving its facilities;
  • collaborating with EU agencies, other EU institutions and the competent authorities in the Member States.

One of the particular features of this Specific Programme lies in its integrated approach to providing scientific and technological support for policies. This should contribute to a better understanding, in a number of fields, of the interactions between developments in technology and science, innovation and competitiveness on the one hand, and different regulatory and policy approaches on the other.

The Board of Governors will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the JRC work programme on an annual basis. Every year, the JRC will assess the results and impact of the actions implemented. Meanwhile, user satisfaction surveys, which until now have been carried out every two years, will most likely be replaced with a system for the continuous collection of comments. In addition, in line with the Commission’s rules and good practices concerning its evaluation activities, there will be a mid-term review (3½ years after the start of the Research Framework Programme). This review will be carried out by external experts and will be chiefly based on information gathered during each annual review. Lastly, a general assessment will be carried out at the end of the seven-year Framework Programme.

The budget required for carrying out this Specific Programme is estimated at 1 751 million for the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013.

It is worth noting that the Seventh Framework Programme, including the various Specific Programmes and the research activities they give rise to, should respect fundamental ethical principles and give consideration to social, legal, socio-economic, cultural and gender mainstreaming aspects.

ACTIVITIES

JRC actions will focus chiefly on the following policy themes:

  • prosperity in a highly knowledge-based society;
  • solidarity and the responsible management of resources;
  • security and freedom;
  • Europe as world partner.

Prosperity in a highly knowledge-based society

This field breaks down into five distinct agendas relating to:

  • competitiveness and innovation;
  • the European Research Area;
  • energy and transport;
  • information society;
  • life sciences and biotechnology.

Competitiveness and innovation will be promoted in a number of ways:

  • the production and dissemination of internationally accepted references;
  • the implementation of a common European measurement system;
  • support for the drafting of EU policy on international trade (assessing the impact of trade policy on sustainable development and competitiveness);
  • improving understanding of the relationship between education provision and the needs of the scientific community, of factors affecting equity in education, and how efficient use of educational resources can be achieved;
  • the identification and assessment of eco-efficient technologies and the study of the conditions under which they are developed.

The JRC will contribute directly to the European Research Area through:

  • scientific networking, training and mobility for researchers;
  • enhancing access to research infrastructures;
  • developing collaborative research;
  • supporting the implementation of the research policy;
  • technology assessments of research priorities in individual thematic areas *;
  • creating and using science and technology foresight methods.

In the energy field, the JRC has three main objectives:

  • to provide a sustainable energy reference system;
  • to act as reference centre (validation of results, certification of technologies, etc.);
  • to provide information on the reliability of energy supply in Europe.

In the transport field, the JRC’s activities will focus on:

  • the balance between the development of sustainable transport and the protection of the environment;
  • the technical and economical dimension of new fuels and engines;
  • the social dimension (spatial planning, health, etc.), plus aspects relating to the security and safety of air, land and maritime transport.

The JRC will also contribute to the creation of policies and instruments for information society technologies. It will also participate in the implementation of EU policies that are affected by developments in these technologies (e.g. e-business, personal security, e-governance, etc.) or linked to overall European strategies relating to growth, social inclusion and quality of life. Lastly, the JRC will concentrate its efforts on the “convergence” of applications in the fields of health, security and the environment. The aim is to assess the potential impact of science and information technology on society in terms of competitiveness, privacy, ownership and social inclusion.

The JRC will also expand its skills in the field of life sciences and biotechnology by carrying out socio-economic impact studies and by implementing new strategies and processes. Activities will also be carried out in the field of biotechnology, in connection with health and agriculture (including the food industry).

Solidarity and the responsible management of resources

This field breaks down into four distinct agendas relating to:

  • rural development, agriculture and fisheries;
  • natural resources;
  • environment and health;
  • climate change.

The JRC will support rural development, agriculture and fisheries policies on three levels, relating to production, environmental aspects and relations between producers and consumers. The Specific Programme is also intended to improve the quality and accessibility of scientific data and to develop processes for assessing the economic and social impact of policy management options.

As regards natural resources, JRC activities will focus on:

  • water management (ecological quality of Europe’s inland and coastal waters, pollutant cycles, etc.);
  • soil protection and monitoring;
  • analysis of the life cycle of resources from extraction through use, recycling and ultimate disposal of materials;
  • sustainable production and consumption of natural resources and materials;
  • the environmental impact and sustainability of products under different technology and policy scenarios;
  • forestry (biodiversity, forest fires, resources, climate change, etc.);
  • technical support for the EU shared environment information system in the context of the development of INSPIRE;
  • analysis of the impact of structural and cohesion programmes and support for regional policies.

In addition, the JRC will contribute to making the link between the environment and health via:

  • the development and validation of methods for monitoring different pathways of exposure for humans (air, water, foodstuffs, chemical substances);
  • the assessment of the effects on health of the different forms of exposure;
  • the creation of an integrated environmental system.

As regards climate change, JRC action will focus on the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. It will also have the task of assessing the impact of climate (flooding, drought, forest fires, storms, etc.) on the most vulnerable sectors of Europe’s economy (agriculture and forestry in particular). Lastly, the JRC will tackle the question of integrating climate-related policies into other sectoral policies in the context of analysing the different options for the post-Kyoto period.

Security and freedom

This section breaks down into three distinct agendas relating to:

  • internal security;
  • disasters and response;
  • food and feed safety and quality.

JRC support for EU policies relating to internal security consists in particular in the application of systems analysis competencies in the following areas:

  • the fight against criminality, fraud and trafficking;
  • the protection of critical infrastructures;
  • anti-terrorism measures;
  • border security and migration management.

The JRC will also intervene on the ground in the event of natural disasters and technological accidents. In particular, it will contribute to improving the EU response capacity and to optimising crisis management in terms of rapidity of response, monitoring and damage assessment.

As regards the food industry, JRC actions will be based around the Fork to Farm concept. More specifically, it will validate methods and harmonised procedures for a broad range of food and feed types. In addition, it will develop its capacity for managing food crises.

Europe as a world partner

The theme of EU external relations comprises two distinct agendas: global security and development cooperation.

As regards global security, the JRC will provide technological support for, among others, the following:

  • identifying forgotten crises;
  • early warning of potential crises;
  • humanitarian needs assessment and relief;
  • integrated crisis response;
  • post-crisis damage assessment;
  • creation of a rapid mapping database;
  • cross-border stability (non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the fight against trafficking and terrorism).

In terms of development cooperation, the JRC will play a role in setting up and operating an Observatory for Sustainable Development and Environment. This will be set up initially in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. At the heart of the observatory will be an information gathering and communication system. The system will focus essentially on the three following aspects:

  • environmental diagnostics and country profiles;
  • scenario building;
  • cross-policy interactions.

The work of the observatory will focus above all on responding to existing needs. It will be designed in such a way that it can be managed by developing countries.

Background

Since 1984, the research and technological development policy of the European Union has been founded on multiannual framework programmes. The Seventh Framework Programme is the second programme since the launch of the Lisbon Strategy in 2000 and will be crucially important for growth and employment in Europe over the coming years. The Commission wishes to advance the “knowledge triangle” of research, education and innovation so that knowledge is used to promote economic dynamism as well as social and environmental progress.

Key terms used in the act
  • Thematic areas: health; food, agriculture and biotechnology; information and communication technologies; nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies; energy; environment (including climate change); transport (including aeronautics); socio-economic sciences and humanities; security and space.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2006/975/EC

1.1.2007 – 31.12.2013

OJ L 400 of 30.12.06

Related Acts

Council Decision 2006/977/Euratom of 19 December 2006 concerning the Specific Programme to be carried out by means of direct actions by the Joint Research Centre under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007 to 2011) [Official Journal L 400, 30.12.2006].

This Decision concerns the objectives and activities of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) under the Euratom Specific Programme. These are linked mainly to training, knowledge management, nuclear safety, waste management and the impact of nuclear activity on the environment.