Tag Archives: Development policy

Cooperation and dialogue between the EU, Africa and China

Cooperation and dialogue between the EU, Africa and China

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cooperation and dialogue between the EU, Africa and China

Topics

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

Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

Cooperation and dialogue between the EU, Africa and China

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 17 October 2008 entitled The EU, Africa and China: Towards trilateral dialogue and cooperation [COM(2008) 654 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission proposes a new tripartite approach to reinforce cooperation and dialogue between the European Union (EU), Africa and China. The Commission recognises that adding to bilateral partnerships in order to promote the stable and sustainable development of Africa is of mutual interest.

The EU, Africa and China should base this cooperation on common objectives, which are defined progressively and consistent with national and regional development strategies.

This new approach should lead to joint working on questions of development and increasing the effectiveness of aid. Sharing experience and good practice should contribute to this aim, in particular with regard to financial instruments, Official Development Assistance (ODA) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Firstly, the partnership could concentrate on five priority objectives:

  • reinforcing security and support for peace-keeping operations;
  • developing affordable and sustainable infrastructures to reinforce interconnectivity and regional integration. The EU-Africa partnership for infrastructures (FR) could contribute to this objective;
  • protection of the environment and management of natural resources within a context of economic and commercial growth. The Commission proposes to cooperate with the African Union (AU) and African countries in order to promote sustainable management, technology transfers and investments;
  • the increase in agricultural production, the quality of production and food security, in particular with a view to meeting the objectives of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (FR).

The tripartite partnership is an extension of bilateral political dialogues between the African Union (AU), the EU and China, as well as dialogue between the EU and China. The partnership will be based on regular strategic dialogue as well as specific consultations.

The Commission proposes to establish a network of exchange and information between the competent national and regional authorities. Organising an annual coordination meeting of development partners should contribute to the evaluation of priorities for cooperation whilst integrating the initiatives of international organisations, funding providers and civil society.

Context

During the summit held in Lisbon in 2007, the heads of state and government of the EU and African countries adopted a new joint strategic partnership. This strategy provides a global framework for strengthening relations between the EU and Africa and an action plan for the period 2008-2010. The EU is the largest provider of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and the first commercial partner for Africa. This partnership also aims to establish synergies with other partners and international funding providers.

Cooperation between China and Africa is mainly directed at commercial exchange, investment, infrastructure projects and aid in social domains and training. This partnership was reinforced by the adoption of a new strategy in 2006 during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

Their respective methods for cooperation contribute to meeting the objectives of the partnership for development (MDGs) and the integration of Africa into the world economy.

The EU Role in Global Health

The EU Role in Global Health

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The EU Role in Global Health

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

The EU Role in Global Health

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 – The EU Role in Global Health [COM(2010) 128 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission presents principles to improve action undertaken by the European Union (EU) as regards protecting world health.

Health protection in non-Member States of the EU aims mainly at preventing health risks and reducing inequality of access to care. In addition, action in this area must take into account a number of social, economic and environmental factors.

Improving global governance

The Commission recommends better coordination of the different action undertaken by States or groups of States, at:

  • global level, in order to defend a single position within the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN);
  • regional level, to develop exchange and networks between neighbouring States;
  • national level, to support public policies and the control of public funding, as well as interaction with other areas (such as education, youth empowerment, the family, etc.).

Developing universal health coverage

Universal coverage of health services should be established in the poorest countries. In this regard, the EU should increase its public development aid (PDA), but also reinforce its effectiveness and predictability. The Commission also recommends:

  • concentrating aid to serve the most fragile populations and countries;
  • strengthening the effectiveness and equity of health systems, as well as their functioning in terms of workforce, access to medicines, infrastructure, logistics and decentralised management;
  • having recourse to global initiatives and existing international financial institutions, but also to innovative funding.

Increasing policy coherence

Key issues in health policy should be taken into account in other areas, such as:

  • trade, in particular with regard to intellectual property rights, access to essential medicines, opening up generic medicine competition and combating counterfeiting;
  • managing migration, which should not undermine the availability of health professionals in developing countries;
  • defence and security, in order to better address fragile contexts and to provide an early response to international health risks;
  • food safety, food aid and nutrition, through public policies and the monitoring of nutritional status in the population;
  • climate change – the objective of health protection should be taken into account when allocating new funding.

Particular attention should also be paid to the fields of education and youth.

Research and innovation

Access to health services, medical technologies and medicines should benefit all. Research and innovation strategies should therefore be directed towards:

  • strengthening the research process overall – innovation, implementation, access, monitoring and evaluation;
  • collecting comparable data and statistics at global level, by collaborating with national and international organisations working on world health (WHO, OECD, etc.);
  • improving the dissemination of factual information, including risks, and the safety of food, feed, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Optimising skills

The EU must put in place mechanisms to optimise:

  • European action in EU countries and external countries, particularly within a platform to exchange information and through the development of common positions between EU countries and the Commission;
  • monitoring of European aid and implementation of the EU Code of Conduct on Division of Labour in the area of health;
  • dialogue between the key global players, in partnership with UN agencies and international financial institutions.

Context

The adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000 has led to progress being made with regard to reducing global poverty. However, progress in developing countries is still uneven and often insufficient.

The international community has therefore enhanced its efforts regarding the three MDGs relating to health (reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, and combating disease – in particular HIV/AIDS and malaria).

Strategic framework for food security in developing countries

Strategic framework for food security in developing countries

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategic framework for food security in developing countries

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

Strategic framework for food security in developing countries

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 31 March 2010 – An EU policy framework to assist developing countries in addressing food security challenges [COM(2010) 127 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Union (EU) and its Member States are committed to increasing their action to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly in order to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger in developing countries.

The Commission presents a new policy framework to tackle hunger and malnutrition in the world. The development strategies must take into account new constraints, particularly those concerning population growth and the effects of climate change on agriculture.

The EU must prioritise action to support the most fragile countries, namely those which are most off-track in reaching the MDGs (in particular in Africa and in South Asia).

A multi-sectoral approach

Strategies promoting food security are based on four main pillars:

  • the availability of food products, which requires a sustainable agri-food chain, intensification of agricultural production, and the development of international trade and regional integration. Support for smallholder farmers is essential insofar as rural areas are more affected by shortages (this means supporting the management of losses, storage, land use, etc.);
  • access to food, through supporting employment, increasing income and social mechanisms for income compensation, including in times of crisis;
  • the nutritional value of food intake, particularly for pregnant and lactating women and children under five. This area of action specifically requires training and education actions, as well as greater agricultural diversification;
  • crisis prevention and management, by uniting the different humanitarian and development actors to implement the Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development (LRRD) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategies. The strategy must also contribute to regional integration and tackling price volatility (through production increases and stable food stocks).

Increasing action effectiveness

The Commission presents three ways to improve its cooperation actions for development:

  • supporting developing countries’ national and regional initiatives, including in the fields associated with food (land management, water, biofuels, etc.). Farmer organisations, civil society, the private sector and all interested parties should be consulted during the development of these policies;
  • harmonising EU and Member States’ interventions, by appointing a main coordinator, by adopting common instruments and by adapting the different policies involved (such as agriculture, fisheries, environment and research). This approach is based on the European Consensus on Development, the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the Accra Agenda for Action and the EU Code of Conduct on the Division of Labour;
  • improving the coherence of the international governance system, particularly by supporting the role of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) as the global coordinating body, and by supporting greater cooperation between the UN agencies (FAO, WFP and IFAD).

Context

This Communication is complemented by the new strategy on Humanitarian Food Assistance.

Tax governance in developing countries

Tax governance in developing countries

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Tax governance in developing countries

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

Tax governance in developing countries

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee of 21 April 2010 – Tax and Development Cooperating with Developing Countries on Promoting Good Governance in Tax Matters [COM(2010) 163 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The improvement of economic and social conditions in developing countries is related to good tax governance and the strengthening of their tax systems. Furthermore, good international financial governance should allow funding destined for development to be mobilised and used more effectively.

Thus, the European Union (EU) encourages both tax cooperation with developing countries and the fight against tax evasion and avoidance.

Tax governance in developing countries

Development aid policies should contribute to the effectiveness of tax systems and an increase in tax revenue in EU partner countries. Taxes are essential for sustainable development, the legitimacy of the State, economic stability, and the financing of public services and infrastructures.

However, developing countries are subject to several types of difficulty, particularly due to:

  • the fragility of their economic structures and their low level of competitiveness;
  • their political instability, bad governance and the weakness of the rule of law;
  • bad tax management and unequal tax burden distribution among taxpayers;
  • the weakness of tax administrations lacking means and skills.

Furthermore, in the context of globalisation, several international factors form barriers to the effectiveness of national tax systems:

  • the implementation of domestic tax rules becomes difficult in a world with a high geographical mobility of taxpayers, high volumes of trade and capital flows and the use of new technologies for fraudulent purposes;
  • the transition from revenue systems largely dependent on customs revenue to broader and more modern ones;
  • a wish to attract sustainable foreign investments;
  • the use of bad tax practices, including in developed countries.

In order to overcome these tax reform difficulties, partner countries should:

  • distribute the tax burden fairly, particularly by balancing direct and indirect taxes;
  • take account of the specific nature of the informal economy (i.e. non-structured economic activities) and support micro and small enterprises;
  • stabilise the legal framework and improve the transparency of tax systems;
  • enhance the skills and capacities of administrations collecting taxes and reporting expenditure.

Transparency and international tax cooperation

The international context should also be improved by promoting and adopting international principles and standards as regards transparency and the exchange of tax information. This action should be taken in order to combat tax evasion and avoidance, money laundering, corruption and the financing of terrorism. It is also important to enhance the participation of developing countries in international fora dealing with tax governance issues.

The Commission also wishes to carry out its action as part of regional cooperation partnerships with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, Latin American and European Neighbourhood regions.

Using European Union instruments

Each partner country is to define their policies and reforms. Development aid should be adapted to each country according to its economic situation, international position and policies. Several aid instruments can be used to support these reforms:

  • budget support programs and public finance management tools;
  • technical cooperation with tax administrations;
  • regional cooperation with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, Latin American and European Neighbourhood regions;
  • support for the capacities of oversight bodies, national parliaments and Non-State Actors in developing countries in the field of tax.

These instruments must be established as part of existing programmes (the European Development Fund (EDF), the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), or the European Neighbourhood Policy and Partnership Instrument (ENPI)).

In addition, the Commission encourages donor coordination in each partner country, as well as closer international cooperation when international standards on tax cooperation are defined. These standards should take into account the needs and capacities of developing countries.

Context

The Commission’s action is in line with the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration adopted by the UN.

The second amendment to the Cotonou Agreement takes account of good tax governance principles.

Land policy in developing countries

Land policy in developing countries

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Land policy in developing countries

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

Land policy in developing countries

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 19 October 2004 – EU Guidelines to support land policy design and reform processes in developing countries [COM(2004) 686 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Union (EU) supports land policy reforms in developing countries. To this end, the Commission provides guidelines to target the action of the Commission and EU Member States in this area.

Land reforms give rise to public policies on the distribution and use of agricultural land. Such reforms have implications in several areas, such as the fight against poverty, environmental management, market regulation, good governance, and democracy. They should be based on national consensus, and supported by rural organisations.

Land policy support

The EU focuses on certain aspects of land reform, in order to:

  • guarantee the security of land rights, through effective institutions and by taking into account both traditional and informal land access schemes;
  • analyse existing rules and practices, as well as land conflicts and modes of transfer;
  • establish innovative land access schemes, beyond the allocation of land rights, and by taking into account village, family or individual rights;
  • support the reform of land administrations, in particular to implement simple and transparent procedures, opportunities for appeal in the event of dispute, and actions to increase public awareness;
  • promote land rental markets, which are more accessible to the poor and less susceptible to the risks associated with farming. Such measures are subject to the existence of appropriate contractual rights.

Development assistance

Official Development Assistance allocated by the European Union and its Member States can be used to support public debate, and the preparation and implementation of reforms. It should also facilitate the implementation of thematic projects (research, environment, social development, etc), and reform evaluation actions.

National reform processes should include civil society and minority groups in a participatory process. Furthermore, reforms should focus primarily on areas where inequality persists.

The EU should also participate in the creation of partnerships, in order to prioritise common approaches, the sharing of experience, as well as facilitating coordination with international donors.

Finally, to be effective, European assistance should comply with certain principles:

  • providing solutions that are specific to the local social and institutional context;
  • establishing partnerships with the competent public authorities and stakeholders from civil society;
  • conducting regular political dialogue and encouraging coordination with the competent authorities;
  • supporting long-term processes;
  • supporting equality between men and women concerning the control over and use of land resources;
  • conducting public information and awareness-raising campaigns;
  • supporting research;
  • protecting the most deprived members of the population, and in particular indigenous peoples.

Cohesion policy to deliver the Lisbon Strategy

Cohesion policy to deliver the Lisbon Strategy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cohesion policy to deliver the Lisbon Strategy

Topics

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

Regional policy > Review and the future of regional policy

Cohesion policy to deliver the Lisbon Strategy (2007-2013)

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 11 December 2007 – Member States and Regions delivering the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs through EU cohesion policy, 2007-2013 [COM(2007) 798 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission sets out an initial overview of the results of the negotiations relating to the new generation of cohesion programmes and strategies. It looks at the part which these can play in the renewed Lisbon strategy.

This Communication is part of the package defining the actions taken by the European Union to achieve the Lisbon objectives for 2008-2011. It assesses the progress made towards achieving the objectives of this strategy in the period 2005-2007.

Cohesion policy at the heart of the Lisbon process

Since its reform in 2006, cohesion policy has focused on the achievement of the priorities of the Lisbon strategy for the period 2007-2013, namely: making the EU an attractive place to invest and work, encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship and growth of the knowledge economy, and creating more and better jobs.

The reformed cohesion policy has brought about the decentralisation of responsibilities to local and regional partners, the pooling of their knowledge and resources, and the development of strategies suited to local and regional levels.

The efforts to achieve the Lisbon objectives must continue, taking account of the variability of contexts and the difficulties facing each country. For instance, the Member States are required to provide funding for actions which achieve these objectives and for the structural reforms set out in the National Reform Programmes (NRPs).

Focusing on the Lisbon priorities

For 2007-2013, the budget for cohesion policy amounts to 347 billion euro, with an additional 160 billion euro from public and private national resources. Around 80 % of these resources will be allocated to regions under the Convergence objective: 65 % of these funds will be used for the Lisbon strategy. Regions under the Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective will account for 16 % of cohesion policy resources, 82 % of which will be used for actions linked to the Lisbon strategy.

Efforts will focus on the four priorities of the Lisbon strategy, namely:

  • investing more in knowledge and innovation;
  • unlocking business potential (particularly of SMEs);
  • improving employability through flexicurity;
  • better management of energy resources.

Investing in knowledge and innovation

The cohesion programmes invest 85 billion euro in knowledge and innovation, in particular in order to improve the innovation capacity of businesses (49.5 billion euro) and skills, to disseminate, use and design technologies, to create businesses and promote a more flexible workforce.

In this field, it is important to exploit existing poles of excellence, improve national and regional capacities, leverage private financing and draw on existing potential. This can be done through joint action to launch a new generation of world-class infrastructures, laboratories and research instruments.

Unlocking business potential

Cohesion policy helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to invest in human capital, install efficient management systems, offer a good working environment, anticipate economic change and reduce administrative formalities.

For 2007-2013, almost 19 billion euro are allocated to helping SMEs improve their competitiveness and gain access to the world markets. Thanks to the JEREMIE and JESSICA initiatives, which seek to improve the availability of innovative financial engineering products in the regions, SMEs can also have access to other sources of aid.

The JASMINE initiative has been adopted in the field of supporting micro-credit, in order to develop employment and boost social inclusion. A Communication proposing guidance on the synergies between cohesion policy, the Research Framework Programmes and the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme has also been issued.

Improving employability through flexicurity

For the period 2007-2013, around 50 billion euro have been allocated under cohesion policy to financing various aspects of flexicurity. The aim of the new programmes is to improve employability through flexicurity by helping businesses to develop human resources strategies and more productive working methods and to ease the transition process resulting from restructuring.

Labour market and education and training policies ensure the provision of the necessary skills and qualifications for the world of work. Funding earmarked for the reform of education and training systems will be increased (25.3 billion euro).

Better management of energy resources

The new programmes attach greater importance to improving the management of energy resources and the move towards an efficient and integrated energy policy. Compared to the period 2000-2006, investments in renewable energies and energy efficiency will be five times higher for the Convergence objective and seven times higher for the Regional Competitiveness and Employment objective.

Addressing recommendations and priorities

Investments to further the achievement of the Lisbon objectives affect a number of fields, the complexity of which could lead to difficulties for the Member States. In order to deal with this, 51 billion euro are earmarked for programmes which aim to strengthen synergies between environmental protection, risk prevention and growth.

A suitable transport network is needed for economic development. Priority is given to the development of Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T), with a budget of 38 billion euro. Projects which facilitate access to TEN-T and promote more environmentally-friendly transport systems will benefit from 34 billion euro.

Almost 3.6 billion euro will be used to help modernise public administrations and services and allow them to develop and implement effective policies. The JASPERS technical assistance facility will also help the new Member States to implement quality projects likely to receive EU financial support.

Promoting partnerships

Overall, there is good cooperation between those responsible for coordinating the implementation of the NRPs (National Reform Programmes) and those developing strategies and programmes for cohesion policy. Efforts must continue to be made where this is not yet the case.

All stakeholders must cooperate intensively for the preparation and implementation of cohesion policy programmes. Cohesion policy associates both “vertical” partners (Community, national, regional and local authorities) and “horizontal” stakeholders (business representatives, trade unions, NGOs, etc.).

Evaluation and monitoring of cohesion policy in the Lisbon process

Regular reports on the contribution of cohesion policy to the improvement of growth and employment are presented for the purpose of cross-checking and to guarantee the coherent management of the NRPs and cohesion policy programmes.

The Member States will submit a report each year on the aid allocated to each programme in addition to reports in 2009 and 2012 on the contribution of cohesion policy to the Lisbon agenda.

The Commission will draft a report (in 2010 and 2013) on national contributions and the need to adjust the programmes to the new challenges.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 14 May 2008 on the results of the negotiations concerning cohesion policy strategies and programmes for the programming period 2007-2013 [COM(2008) 301 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Following the negotiations conducted with the Member States, the Commission presents the priorities of cohesion policy programming for 2007-2013. In line with the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy, the financial resources allocated to the Convergence, Competitiveness and Territorial Cooperation Objectives support innovation, research, skills and human capital.

The regional and sectoral strategies have been adapted to new challenges. For example, investments should contribute to the global competitiveness of European businesses by facilitating their access to the markets and by helping them to deal with restructuring. The ageing of the population and demographic changes in European society call in particular for increased labour participation and enhanced workers’ skills. Cohesion policy is aimed in particular at the inclusion of migrants and the fight against discrimination, poverty and exclusion. The programmes support the development of new environmental services and new skills, as well as the financing of infrastructure, in order to achieve the European objectives in the areas of sustainable development, climate change and energy policy.

The decentralised management of the Funds is essential to the effectiveness of the programmes. The multi-level partnership introduced between the public authorities and civil society in the preparation of strategies also makes it possible to adapt investment more closely to regional and local situations. In addition, exchanges of good practices based on previous programming contribute towards the effectiveness of public spending.

Good practices are spread within the framework of the Community initiatives, particularly the new “Regions for Economic Change” initiative and the Territorial Cooperation Objective.

Governance in the consensus on development

Governance in the consensus on development

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Governance in the consensus on development

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 > Asia

Governance in the consensus on development

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 30 August 2006 – Governance in the European consensus on development – Towards a harmonised approach within the European Union [COM(2006) 421 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Within the framework of the European consensus on development, which stressed the importance of integrating the concept of democratic governance into every sectoral programme, the Commission is proposing to the European Union (EU) a common approach to governance.

New approach

The Commission underlines the importance of approaching governance from a wider angle, taking into account all its dimensions (political, economic, environmental and social). Good governance means more than tackling corruption; it includes such things as access to health, education and justice, pluralism in the media, the functioning of parliament and the management of public accounts and natural resources.

In order to encourage developing countries to step up their efforts to reform, the approach proposed by the Commission is based on political dialogue, respect for the undertaking of reform by governments and the citizens of partner countries, and incentives. The identification of reforms and support measures that are suitable for each country requires an evaluation of governance in the country concerned. This evaluation is carried out using a participatory approach that encourages local players (such as the government and civil society) to develop their own analytical tools and skills.

Assuming that conditions for suitable democratic control, financial management and institutional development have been created, budgetary assistance helps to strengthen governance and institutions at central and local level. The Commission underlines its increased use and the fact that this makes it possible to tackle the problems of lack of political legitimacy and the capacities which characterise several developing countries, fragile States in particular.

The effectiveness of this new approach is dependent on the capacity of donors to act in a coordinated and harmonised manner, with respect to governance analysis tools and response strategies in particular. Within this context, Member States and the Commission have made progress towards common programming and have drawn up a code of conduct on complementarity and the division of labour.

African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries

Governance is already included in the regular political dialogue with ACP countries, and support for this will be stepped up. When the 9th European Development Fund (EDF) was being programmed, the sum of €870 million (or 10% of all programmable funding) was granted for projects in this field. In addition, under the 10th EDF €3 billion will be set aside for incentives, divided between national funding (2.7 billion) and a regional fund (300 million). Country access to this reserve is dependent on the outcome of a dialogue with the Commission concerning its own governance plan. In this context, a governance profile will be created for each country.

Moreover, governance will be integrated as a cross-cutting theme in all sectors of cooperation. This will be accompanied by the creation of new ways of taking into account the new provisions of the Cotonou agreement and the regional strategies adopted for Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

In Africa, governance has also been mainstreamed in dialogue and cooperation between the Pan-African institutions and the EU. The Commission is proposing increased support for the institutions of the African Union and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

Other developing countries

The EU supports the promotion of democracy, human rights and good governance in all other developing countries, according to strategies based on the specific features of each region.

In cooperation with countries covered by the neighbourhood policy, priority areas for financial assistance from the EU are selected on the basis of action plans focused on governance and adopted jointly with the countries concerned. Progress made in the various areas of governance is regularly monitored. Moreover, governance is supported by cooperation mechanisms such as twinning, TAIEX and the SIGMA initiative, which were originally developed for the purposes of enlargement. Additional support for the promotion of political and economic reforms in these countries is now offered by the new “Governance” facility.

In a 2005 Communication, the Commission undertook to support governance in Latin America. It therefore intends to continue to support the modernisation of government in the region, using an approach tailored to the needs of individual countries, which vary according to their stability. The Commission will continue, moreover, to support regional integration which, since it involves establishing and complying with common rules, is a powerful vector for good governance in economic and trade matters.

In Asia, the EU will continue its dialogue with China and India. Political dialogue at regional and bilateral levels with the countries of in central Asia is bolstered by the presence of a special rapporteur on democratic governance. Moreover, governance features in the cooperation with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and in the informal dialogues of the Asia-Europe meetings (ASEM). In the programming for the period 2007-2013, governance is a cross-cutting issue in all cooperation activities in the countries of the region and also a focal sector in the cooperation with several of them.

Associated Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 20 October 2003: Governance and development [COM(2003) 615 final- Not published in the Official Journal].

Humanitarian Food Assistance

Humanitarian Food Assistance

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Humanitarian Food Assistance

Topics

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

Humanitarian aid

Humanitarian Food Assistance

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 31 March 2010 Humanitarian Food Assistance [COM(2010) 126 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission defines the strategic framework in which the European Union (EU) provides food assistance in the event of humanitarian crises outside its territory. This new strategy should allow the effectiveness of assistance and the joint work of all actors involved to be improved.

Humanitarian food assistance has the main aim of saving and preserving lives, protecting livelihoods and increasing resilience for populations facing ongoing or future food crises. The EU’s action also aims at meeting a series of specific objectives:

  • ensuring the availability, access to and consumption of adequate, safe and nutritious food;
  • protecting food production and marketing systems;
  • strengthening the international system to improve the effectiveness of assistance.

However, operations must not:

  • make populations dependent upon the relief system;
  • disrupt the functioning of commercial markets;
  • expose beneficiaries to risk in receiving assistance;
  • have too much impact on the environment and natural resources.

Initiation of assistance operations

The Commission can trigger a humanitarian food assistance response where:

  • emergency rates of mortality or acute malnutrition have been reached, or will be reached according to forecasts, due to lack of food;
  • there are serious threats to the lives of the population or risks of extreme suffering, due to a lack of livelihood or bad strategies for coping with the crisis (i.e. in particular the sale of productive assets, migration, or insecure survival practices, etc.).

Nevertheless, the Commission can intervene as soon as a crisis begins, without waiting for extreme risks for the population to occur or for a disaster to be officially declared.

It can also deal with situations of chronic food insecurity by associating humanitarian intervention with development actions. This is only possible if:

  • the situation presents an imminent humanitarian risk of significant severity;
  • other actors cannot act;
  • the action may have a positive impact in a short time.

Operations are gradually halted when indicators are stable below emergency levels. They are also halted when other donors or non-humanitarian stakeholders are able to meet the needs of the population for a sustained period.

Food and nutritional needs

Operations aim first of all at the timely supply of food. However, humanitarian food assistance may also intervene in several food-related sectors, such as agriculture and health.

Furthermore, populations should have access to safe and well balanced food, of sufficient quantity and quality. The type of food proposed should, if possible, conform to local dietary preferences.

Finally, populations should be made aware of nutrition and appropriate feeding practices.

Additional strategies

The Commission wishes to develop links between humanitarian assistance, the strategy for relief, rehabilitation and development (LRRD) and the strategy for disaster risk reduction (DRR). This approach necessitates long-term support and effective coordination among those involved in humanitarian assistance and development.

The EU also promotes better collaboration between international actors and a reinforcement of global governance.

Context

This strategic framework complies with the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid. It is presented in conjunction with the Communication on food security and development.

The Community Lisbon Programme: proposal for 2008–2010

The Community Lisbon Programme: proposal for 2008–2010

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The Community Lisbon Programme: proposal for 2008–2010

Topics

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

Employment and social policy > European Strategy for Growth > Growth and jobs

The Community Lisbon Programme: proposal for 2008–2010

The Commission intends to strengthen the Community Lisbon Programme (CLP) and is proposing ten objectives for the period 2008-2010. In order to ensure optimum implementation of the CLP, it is counting on effective collaboration between the various European institutions, and on close monitoring.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 11 December 2007 – Proposal for a Community Lisbon Programme 2008–2010 [COM(2007) 804 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Lisbon Strategy has proved its worth. Since its relaunch in 2005, more than 6.5 million jobs have been created in Europe and unemployment has fallen to its lowest level for 25 years. Growth has also been sustained.
However, given that Europe is now confronted by a worldwide economic slowdown and must face unprecedented long-term challenges (ageing of the population, globalisation, climate change, dependence on energy imports, etc.), the second phase (2008-2010) of the Community Lisbon Programme (CLP) would appear to be crucial.
Against this backdrop, the Commission means to draw lessons from the 2005-2008 phase, particularly as regards the implementation of the strategy.

Strengthening and renewing the CLP

In order to complement the CLP, the Commission is pinpointing ten objectives which offer either genuine Community-level added value or show significant impacts on growth and jobs within the European Union (EU). The selection of the objectives is on the basis of sound economic analyses and policy priorities.

These objectives are based on the integrated guidelines and rest fully on the four priority areas of the Lisbon strategy, namely:

  • investing in people and modernising labour markets;
  • energy and climate change;
  • strengthening economic competitiveness;
  • promoting knowledge and innovation.

Investing in people and modernising labour markets

Human resources which are better adapted to the needs of labour markets are both the key to European competitiveness worldwide and the basis for more independent living. This will require:

  • a renewal of the Social Agenda;
  • improved coordination of instruments to better anticipate EU-wide labour market developments and needs;
  • greater comparability and recognition of qualifications;
  • development of a common policy on immigration, with the introduction of a “blue card” scheme for highly qualified migrants representing a first step in this direction.

Unlocking business potential, especially of SMEs

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up more than 99% of all businesses and employ 67% of the EU’s total workforce. The potential for growth and jobs in SMEs is still not being fully exploited. In order to support SMEs throughout their life-cycle, the Commission plans to:

  • adopt a European Small Business Act for the benefit of small-scale enterprises;
  • undertake a specific screening of the acquis communautaire from an SME perspective and introduce exemptions from administrative requirements of EU legislation wherever possible;
  • ensure the implementation of the various European programmes to reduce administrative burdens, with the aim of a 25% reduction by 2012.

The Commission is also proposing new measures for the financial services market. In particular, it plans to implement the services Directive and, more specifically, to establish the Single Euro Payments Area. SMEs will be the first to benefit from this removal of barriers to market access, for example by being allowed to choose an EU-wide tax base.

Investing in knowledge and innovation

The Commission is introducing a new dimension: the creation of a fifth freedom on the single market – based on the three components of the knowledge triangle, i.e. research, innovation and education – for the purpose of setting up a European research area. This will require a concentration and a more effective use of R&D resources and common calls for projects. Finally, it is crucial that the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) be made operational.

The Commission is also proposing to create more favourable conditions for the financing of innovation and to improve SMEs’ access to finance for new technologies. In this connection, the creation of a Community patent would not only improve the current patent litigation system but would also increase legal certainty, leading to a greater investment readiness among SMEs.

Energy and climate change

Among the objectives identified by the Commission, Nos 8 and 9 are concerned with energy policy and climate change in the context of the Community Lisbon Programme. The internal market for electricity and gas must be completed by introducing an emissions trading scheme. It is therefore crucial that legislation be passed in order to meet the EU’s targets of achieving at least a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 20% renewable energy share by 2020.

In addition, industrial policy must be geared to sustainable consumption. The Commission is thus proposing to establish an internal market for environmental technologies and promote the development of European lead markets for energy-efficient technologies. To this end, Community funds must be used to develop a market in low-carbon products and technologies. The Commission also plans to review the energy taxation Directive in order that other fiscal instruments can be used to promote low-energy products.

As regards the external agenda, where the opening-up of Europe and the defence of its legitimate interests go hand in hand, bilateral negotiations with the main trading partners are the main concern of the foreign-policy element of the Community Lisbon Programme.

The Commission should also work to conclude the Doha multilateral trade negotiations. In order to make for a more coordinated approach by the EU, the Commission is proposing to introduce annual reports on countries and sectors in which barriers to trade still exist. Improving the framework for the enforcement of intellectual property rights against counterfeiting is also a priority which can be achieved through more effective cooperation between customs authorities.

Implementation of the CLP

The ten priority objectives need to be closely monitored by means of annual reports. This would allow a systematic assessment of progress made, which would form the basis for the Commission’s annual autumn reports. The Spring European Council must take stock and provide further direction as part of its annual overall assessment of the Lisbon Strategy on Growth and Jobs. The programme will also be subject to a mid-term review to enable any adjustments to be made to the ten priority objectives.

The Community’s financial resources for improving growth and economic adjustment derive from cohesion policy programmes of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), the Lifelong Learning Programme and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. It is estimated that two million additional jobs will be generated by these funds by 2015. The Communication also proposes that a close follow-up be undertaken by each of the institutions and all the Member States in order to achieve the ten objectives.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 16 December 2008 – Implementation Report for the Community Lisbon Programme 2008 – 2010 [COM(2008) 881 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission presented the first annual report on the outcomes of the Community Lisbon Programme 2008 – 2010. This report evaluates the outcomes of the first year the programme has been implemented. It proposes new objectives in-line with the priorities of the European Economic Recovery Plan and complementing the reforms being carried out by Member States.

Thus it concerns:

  • improving the skills of workers, modernising the labour market and social protection systems, according to the terms of the renewed Social Agenda. Further efforts are needed to assess the needs of the labour market, as well as to remove the regulatory constraints which act as a barrier to mobility, recognition of qualifications and access to pension and social protection systems. The Commission will make proposals for an immigration strategy, aimed at placing value on the abilities of migrants;
  • increasing the development potential of enterprises, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The EU shall guarantee SMEs have access to finance and shall reduce Community administrative burdens by 25% by 2012. Enterprises will benefit from the strengthening of the single market for financial services;
  • making Europe a leading knowledge and innovation economy and society through the creation of the European Research Area, open and competitive on an international level. Also by improving conditions for innovation (finance, investment and legal certainty);
  • finalising the energy market and combating climate change. With the aim of making the energy supply secure, the EU has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020. Industrial production must be aimed at achieving objectives related to energy efficiency and sustainability;
  • opening up new opportunities for trade, market access and international investment. The Community is working to conclude the Doha negotiations under the framework of the WHO, and to lead bilateral negotiations with its commercial partners. The Community promotes the improvement of international standards and regulatory cooperation, particularly with regard to combating counterfeiting.

Mid-term report on policy coherence for development

Mid-term report on policy coherence for development

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Mid-term report on policy coherence for development

Topics

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

Development > General development framework

Mid-term report on policy coherence for development

Document or Iniciative

Commission working paper of 20 September 2007 – EU report on policy coherence for development [COM(2007) 545 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Union (EU) is seeking to increase the effectiveness of its development aid by endeavouring to ensure policy coherence for development (PCD), i.e. synergies between development goals and other European policies. This concept was first presented in a Communication from the Commission in 2005 and constitutes one of the objectives of the consensus on development. Within this framework, the EU’s commitment is based on 12 themes (trade, the environment, climate change, security, agriculture, fisheries, the social dimension, employment and decent work, migration, research, the information society, transport and energy).

The report concludes that substantial progress has been made towards more policy coherence. Firstly, the European institutions have become more aware of the external impact of EU policies other than development policy. And secondly, organisational mechanisms have improved both at EU and at Member State level. Despite this progress, much remains to be done to promote PCD, the main obstacles being policy priority conflicts and conflicts of interest between Member States and between developing countries. Sometimes this is accompanied by insufficient capacity and lack of awareness amongst non-development departments.

The report evaluates the state of play with PCD by reviewing several Community policies, namely:

  • Trade: the EU promotes the integration of developing countries in international trade, through the negotiation of economic partnership agreements, the generalised system of preferences generalised system of preferences and measures to assist trade in particular. Moreover, the Commission is improving its preference rules. At multilateral level, the EU was one of the main promoters of the Doha development agenda of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
  • The environment: developing countries, most of which are threatened by environmental degradation, benefit indirectly from EU policy in this field. Moreover, the EU is prepared to assist them in complying with changes to its environmental standards and supports their effective participation in multilateral agreements concerning the environment.
  • Climate change: developing countries will be affected most by climate change and therefore will benefit directly or indirectly from EU policy in this field. A global climate change alliance with developing countries, proposed by the Commission, will constitute significant progress towards integrating this issue in the political debate with developing countries and in cooperation programmes.
  • Security: the EU is strengthening the links between development and security by integrating conflict prevention in cooperation programmes, promoting transparent and fair natural resource management and supporting disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programmes in particular. However, progress remains to be made, for instance as regards the reinforcement of organisational mechanisms at the Commission and the Council in order to develop a link between security and development policies.
  • Agriculture: the European Community has come a long way in making the Common Agricultural Policy more development-friendly. Since 2003, trade-distorting measures such as domestic and export subsidies have been significantly reduced and the EU has proposed to adopt the same approach in negotiations with the WTO. In addition, it supports agricultural and rural development in developing countries, in Africa in particular.
  • Fisheries: following the reform of the EU fisheries policy, partnership agreements in this sector have become more coherent with development goals. Among the important issues in this sector, the report underlines the development of fisheries activities in developing countries through efficient use of financial contributions received under the agreements.
  • The social dimension of globalisation, employment and decent work: the promotion of these values is part of Europe’s social agenda and of the consensus on development. At the international level, the EU supports actions concerning the social dimension of globalisation and decent work. This is accompanied, at regional and national level, by increasing integration of employment and social issues in the dialogue, cooperation programmes and trade relations with developing countries.
  • Migration: on the basis of the progress in establishing a political framework and initiating a political dialogue with developing countries at the regional and country level, the EU must currently concentrate on elaborating concrete measures.
  • Research: developing countries benefit from research projects funded by the EU in areas of global interest. Moreover, the EU contributes directly to the building of their capacities through specific international development projects. Nevertheless, progress is needed to promote participation of these countries in theResearch Framework Programme, which is hampered by insufficient human and institutional resources in this field.
  • The information society: in order to promote information and communication technologies in developing countries, the EU must support political dialogue and capacity building, following an approach based on private investment in this infrastructure and government action aimed at creating a favourable regulatory environment. This should be accompanied by more generalised access to research and education networks.
  • Transport: EU action in developing countries consists in setting international standards and in cooperation in international projects, and in policy aimed at developing environmental, social and security standards applicable to modes of transport entering EU territory and to its own fleets. Moreover, the EU is aiming at promoting sustainable transport in these countries directly.
  • Energy: the EU has adopted several measures in favour of developing countries, such as the EU Energy Initiative for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development (EUEI), the EU-Africa infrastructure partnership and the EU-Africa energy partnership. In addition, these countries will benefit from the efforts of the new EU energy policy in terms of energy supply diversification and the development of renewable energy sources.

Associated Acts

Council conclusions on policy coherence for development (PCD). General Affairs and External Relations Council – 20 November 2007 [Not published in the Official Journal].

Council conclusions on coherence between EU migration and development policies. General Affairs and External Relations Council – 20 November 2007 [Not published in the Official Journal].

Council conclusions on security and development. General Affairs and External Relations Council – 19 November 2007 [Not published in the Official Journal].