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The challenges facing EU development policy.

Dearden, Stephen J.H. (2010) The challenges facing EU development policy. [Conference or Workshop Item] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper commences with a brief review of the evolution of EU development policy. In response to substantial criticism the Commission undertook a major reform programme in 2000. At the policy level the first Development Policy Statement was adopted, accompanied by an administrative reform programme for the management of external assistance and the reorganisation of the EC’s structure. By 2005, and the second Development Policy Statement, substantial progress had been made but a number of issues remained unresolved. The adoption of the Lisbon Treaty with its creation of an External Action Service and enhanced role for the High Representative presages further organisational change. Member States continue to press for evidence of effective delivery and progress in contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. At the same time external developments such as the Paris Declaration on Aid Harmonisation and the on going negotiations of Economic Partnership Agreements for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group present further challenges for the Commission and the Community. This paper attempts to review the current state of play and identify those aspects of development policy that remain the focus for debate, both organisationally and politically, in what is likely to be an increasingly hostile global economic environment. It will assess whether the whether the EC has delivered on its commitments to a ‘poverty focused’ aid programme and whether the objectives of the EU’s development policy need to be restated in a revised ‘Development Consensus’. It will examine issues such as the future of the ACP group, the appropriateness of the balance of instruments and, in particular, whether EDF budgetisation is desirable. Finally it will discuss the challenges of achieving ‘policy coherence for development’ and of establishing an agreed ‘division of labour’ between the EC and Member States.

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