Tag Archives: European consensus

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


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].


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].

Non-state Actors and Local Authorities

Non-state Actors and Local Authorities

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Non-state Actors and Local Authorities


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

Development > General development framework

Non-state Actors and Local Authorities

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 Thematic Programme “Non-state Actors and Local Authorities in Development” [COM(2006) 19 – Not published in the Official Journal].


This programme succeeds both the NGO co-financing programmes and the decentralised cooperation programmes. By supporting the right of initiative of non-state actors and local authorities, it supplements the support provided by geographical and other sectoral thematic programmes, in particular the programme on democracy and human rights.

Ownership and participation are core principles of the European Union (EU) development policy as stated in the European consensus. This approach is also reflected in partnership and cooperation agreements, e.g. between the ACP countries and the EU and with Asia, South America and “neighbouring” countries.

The added value of associating various non-state actors lies in their independence from the State, their proximity to and understanding of defined constituencies, their capacity to articulate their specific interests and their ability to bridge a critical gap between strategic goals and their practical realisation.

This programme primarily targets interventions in the field. It is chiefly implemented in countries and regions where geographical programmes do not provide for any financial support for non-state actors or local authorities owing to weak political commitment, in subregions out of reach of the country programme or in situations of difficult partnerships, fragile States, post-conflict, political instability, etc.

All non-profit state actors from the EU and from partner countries can be eligible for funding under this programme. In addition, local authorities may receive financial support for activities in specific contexts where their added value can be established and where these activities cannot be carried out under geographical programmes. This actor-oriented approach will be refined in the multiannual thematic strategy paper.

Three types of action may be funded:

  • actions which strengthen participatory development, support capacity development processes for the actors concerned at country or regional level, and promote mutual understanding processes;
  • awareness raising and education for development in the EU and acceding countries;
  • coordination and communication between civil society and local authority networks, within their organisations and between different types of stakeholders active in the European public debate on development.

Interventions in all developing countries, as defined in the list of Official Development Assistance (ODA) recipients, can be eligible for funding under this thematic programme. These countries are covered by the European neighbourhood and partnership policy (ENPI) and the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI). The multiannual thematic strategy paper will set the eligibility criteria.

As regards programming, a four-year (2007-2010) and, subsequently, a three-year (2011-2013) thematic strategy paper will be decided by the Commission. These will define in more detail the criteria for selecting priority countries and regions, together with priorities for action. On the basis of this multiannual programming, the Commission will produce annual action programmes that establish priority actions, specific objectives and indicative amounts.

Objectives and priorities

The primary objective of this programme is the eradication of poverty in the context of sustainable development, including pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Other major objectives include good governance and human rights, which are cross-cutting issues to be mainstreamed in interventions in partner countries.

Our priorities include supporting stakeholder participation in unfavourable contexts (e.g. difficult partnerships, instability, conflict), promoting cross-border and regional initiatives, fostering quality partnerships between different stakeholders from the EU and partner countries, strengthening the capacity of employer and worker organisations, and fostering coherence as regards development in the area of education by giving children and young people access to education for development.

The European Consensus on Development

The European Consensus on Development

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The European Consensus on Development


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

Development > General development framework

The European Consensus on Development

Document or Iniciative

Joint declaration by the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on the development policy of the European Union entitled “The European Consensus” [Official Journal C 46 of 24.2.2006].


On 20 December 2005 the Presidents of the Commission, Parliament and the Council signed the new statement on EU development policy, the “European consensus”, which, for the first time in fifty years of cooperation, defines the framework of common principles within which the EU and its Member States will each implement their development policies in a spirit of complementarity.

Part One: the EU’s vision of development

This first part of the declaration sets out the objectives and principles on the basis of which the Member States and the Community commit themselves to a shared vision. Since the chief objective is to reduce poverty worldwide in the context of sustainable development, the EU is seeking to meet the Millennium Development Goals, to which all the UN member states subscribe, by 2015 namely. These goals are:

  • to eliminate extreme poverty and hunger;
  • to achieve universal primary education;
  • to promote gender equality and empower women;
  • to reduce child mortality;
  • to improve maternal health;
  • to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases;
  • to ensure environmental sustainability; and
  • to set up a global partnership for development.

It also takes the view that the fundamental objective of poverty reduction is closely associated with the complementary objectives of promotion of good governance and respect for human rights, these being shared values underpinning the EU. The fight against poverty also implies achieving a balance between activities aimed at human development, the protection of natural resources and economic growth and wealth creation to benefit the poor.

The common principles of development cooperation activities are ownership and partnership, in-depth political dialogue, participation of civil society, gender equality and an ongoing commitment to preventing state fragility. Developing countries bear the primary responsibility for their own development, but the EU accepts its share of responsibility and accountability for the joint efforts undertaken in partnership.

The EU has committed itself to increasing the aid budget to 0.7 % of gross national product by 2015, the shared interim goal being 0.56 % by 2010; half of the increase in aid will be earmarked for Africa. It will continue to prioritise support for the least-developed countries and the low- and medium-income countries. Resource allocation will be guided by objective and transparent criteria based on needs and performance. The principle of concentration will guide the Community in all its country and regional programming. This means selecting a limited number of priority areas for action.

The quality of aid will be of the utmost importance for the EU, which will ensure the monitoring of its commitments to maximise aid efficiency, notably by setting concrete targets for 2010. National ownership, donor coordination and harmonisation, starting at the field level, alignment on recipient-country systems, and results orientation are core principles in this respect. More predictable aid mechanisms will be strengthened so as to enable partner countries to plan efficiently.

The EU will promote better coordination and complementarity between donors by working towards joint multiannual programming based on partner-country strategies and processes, common implementation mechanisms and the use of co-financing arrangements. It will also foster consistency in development policy in a wide variety of areas.

Part Two: implementation of Community development policy

Community policy and the policies of the Member States in this field must complement each other. The added value of the Community’s policy comes from its presence worldwide, its expertise in dispensing aid, its role in promoting consistency between policies and best practice and in facilitating coordination and harmonisation, its support for democracy, human rights, good governance and respect for international law, and its role in promoting participation in civil society and North-South solidarity.

Development cooperation is a major component of a broader set of external measures which must be consistent and complementary. The programming documents – country, regional and thematic strategy papers – reflect this range of policies and ensure consistency between them.

To meet the needs stated by partner countries, the Community will concentrate its activities in the following areas:

  • trade and regional integration;
  • the environment and the sustainable management of natural resources; infrastructures;
  • water and energy;
  • rural development, agriculture, and food security;
  • governance, democracy, human rights and support for economic and institutional reforms;
  • prevention of conflicts and of state fragility;
  • human development; and social cohesion and employment.

The Community will strengthen mainstreaming in relation to certain issues involving general principles applicable to any initiative and which call for efforts in several sectors. These include democracy, good governance, human rights, the rights of children and indigenous peoples, gender equality, environmental sustainability and the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The type of aid provided will be tailored to the needs and context of each individual country, giving preference, where conditions allow, to budget aid. The Community’s approach will be based on results and performance indicators. Most Community aid will continue to be provided as non-repayable grants, which are particularly suitable for the poorest countries and for those with a limited ability to repay.

Community assistance and the quality of the aid provided have improved as a result of the reform of external aid initiated by the Commission in 2000. Further improvements will be made in areas such as information systems and there will be further devolution to the delegations. The Commission will take account of the lessons learned from the evaluation of European Community development policy adopted in 2000 and will ensure that the European Development Consensus is put into practice in Community development programmes in all the developing countries.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 21 June 2007 – Annual Report 2007 on the European Community’s Development Policy and the Implementation of External Assistance in 2006 [COM(2007) 349 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

In 2006 the EU allocated EUR 9.8 billion to official development assistance (ODA). The year was marked by major changes in the way the EU manages its development cooperation, including the decision to pay particular attention to policy coherence for development, the adoption of regional strategies reflecting the EU’s main priorities, the simplification of the external aid instruments (in particular the creation of the financing instrument for development cooperation and the instrument for democracy and human rights), the setting up of a framework for increasing the effectiveness of aid and improvements to the way in which results are evaluated.

Commission Communication to the Council and the European Parliament of 22 June 2006 – Annual Report 2006 on the European Community’s development policy and the implementation of external assistance in 2005 [COM(2006) 326 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

In 2005 the EU committed itself to doubling its current level of ODA by 2010 and spent EUR 6.2 billion in terms of delivery of development aid. In its annual policy strategy for 2005, the Commission’s development objectives were to review and scale up the EU contribution to the Millennium Development Goals and to launch an EU water facility. The Community and the Member States also signed the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness  (pdf) and a new tripartite development policy statement (the European Consensus on Development) was endorsed.

The particular priority for 2005 was Africa, with the revision of the Cotonou Agreement, the implementation of the peace facility and the drafting of an EU strategy for Africa.

Action Plan for more, better and faster aid

Action Plan for more, better and faster aid

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Action Plan for more, better and faster aid


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

Development > General development framework

Action Plan for more, better and faster aid

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 2 March 2006 – EU Aid: Delivering more, better and faster [COM(2006) 87 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The action plan set out in this Communication comprises nine time-bound measures (“deliverables”) to be implemented jointly by the Commission and Member States. Some of them, like the mapping of EU assistance through regional donor atlases, the support of local coordination processes and the development of a common framework for programming of assistance, may be launched immediately. Others, such as the proposed co-financing mechanism for EU funds, may be implemented within the next four years.

The action plan is divided into two parts. The first part summarises the nine measures on which the EU as a group has now to deliver, together with the relevant timetable, while the second part presents the first four deliverables that have already been developed and are ready for immediate adoption and implementation in a selected number of partner countries. The third part describes the five remaining deliverables that have to be developed during 2006 and implemented by 2010.

The EU’s commitments on aid effectiveness can be split into three inter-connected groups concerning:

  • transparent mapping and checks;
  • the implementation of collective commitments adopted by the Paris Declaration on harmonisation and alignment  (pdf);
  • the execution of the aid effectiveness pillar of the new EU strategy framework, as defined by the New Development Policy Statement (the ” European consensus “) and the EU Strategy for Africa.

Part I: Monitoring of commitments

In the interests of better organisation and an improved division of labour, the EU Donor Atlas needs to be revised as the first edition revealed a concentration of aid in certain “attractive” countries and sectors, to the detriment of certain forgotten countries and sectors, and a fragmentation of activities, with a proliferation of actors and small-scale projects.

As regards EU development rules, it is useful to have an overview of the rules currently in force in all Member States; these will be collected in compendiums to facilitate the work of all operators. Another important objective is achieving, in the long term, joint programming. To this end, the multiannual Joint Programming Framework (JPF) aims to create a mechanism enabling the overlapping elements of Member States’ systems to be grouped together, thereby reducing the transaction costs of Community programming.

The Development Policy Statement (the “European consensus”) and the EU Strategy for Africa, both adopted in 2005, provide for a better division of labour with a view to achieving greater aid complementarity and effectiveness, more joint actions through more intensive use of co-financing, and strengthening of the EU input and impact.

Part II: Immediate action

The four objectives that could be achieved by 2006 are: the Donor Atlas, monitoring of the EU and the DAC processes, the roadmap and the Joint Programming Framework (JPF).

The revised EU Donor Atlas II will emphasise the regional dimension, and aid mapping will be carried out at state level, covering all the donors active in that country. Monitoring should be carried out in respect of the international objectives and targets agreed in Paris and the EU’s concrete operational deliverables, which from 2003 will be monitored through the Annual Report on the Follow-up of Monterrey.

The roadmap process needs to be upgraded and monitoring responsibilities should be strengthened and shared. They should be established by 2006 and all objectives should be reached by 2010. The Joint Programming Framework is due to be adopted by mid-2006 and should be implemented in a pragmatic, progressive and realistic manner. It should be introduced in countries where a donor joint assistance strategy has already been initiated (i.e. Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) and should be extended to all remaining ACP countries, as well as to all countries that have signed the Paris Declaration by 2010.

Part III: Completing the agenda

The five objectives to be developed by the end of 2006 are operational complementarity, increasing joint activities with an EU co-financing role, strengthening the EU vision, improving joint local arrangements and producing compendiums of Community development rules.

A set of pragmatic operational principles on the complementarity of actions should be adopted by the end of 2006. These principles could be applied in the field in connection with the future regional chapters of the revised Donor Atlas. Furthermore, all regulatory impediments to co-financing must be reviewed in order to develop a structured co-financing mechanism for EU funds by 2008.

In order to strengthen the EU vision on development assistance, a whole host of actions should be pursued, e.g. the creation of a network of development research centres, the introduction of European Development Days, and a European training map regrouping all vocational training programmes for development practitioners. Finally, compendiums of EU rules for programming, EU rules for procurement, and EU rules and principles for NGOs and assistance will be established by the end of 2006 and reviewed in 2008. They will take account of any harmonisation of rules occurring in the meantime.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament – Financing for Development and Aid Effectiveness – The challenges of scaling up EU aid 2006-2010 – [COM(2006) 85 final – Official Journal C 130 of 3 June 2006]

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament – Increasing the impact of EU aid : a common framework for drafting country strategy papers and joint multiannual programming – [COM(2006) 88 final – Official Journal C 130 of 3 June 2006].