ECDPM's Weekly Compass update

European Centre for Development Policy Management Weekly Newsletter

Geert Laporte

Dep. Director

Dear <<First name>>,

This week’s editor’s pick features a new study by ECDPM’s Anna Knoll and Andrew Sherriff, assessing the implications of irregular migration on official development assistance (ODA) spending in Europe. As European leaders met at the migration summit in Malta on Friday, the study shows that the migration-related shift in European foreign aid spending carries risks for effective development cooperation.

In our policy news, we highlight our new blog reflecting upon the outcomes of the 28th African Union summit, including the election of the new AU leadership and the proposed reforms.

Moreover, we feature another new ECDPM blog, shedding light on the long-awaited law on elections and referenda that Tunisia’s national assembly has passed this week, causing mixed reactions.

Read further for details and other recent news and events. For daily news updates, follow us on Twitter @ECDPM.

All the best,



Editor's Pick 

Photo courtesy of DG ECHO via Flickr.

Implications of the irregular migration and refugee situation on Official Development Assistance spending and practices in Europe

Increasingly high numbers of refugees and migrants have come to Europe over the past five years seeking protection. Beyond hosting and providing assistance to new arrivals, the European Union and its member states have used various political, development and humanitarian assistance tools in order to address the current displacement and migration challenges abroad. A newly published study, carried out by ECDPM policy researchers Anna Knoll and Andrew Sherriff, looks at the implications that irregular migration and the refugee situation are having on official development assistance by looking at five case studies in Europe, including the European institutions. The study was commissioned and launched by the Swedish Expert Group of Aid Studies during the seminar Migration and foreign aid last Thursday.

If you wish to read our press release about this report, you can do so at our press page.


Policy News 

Photo courtesy of  UN Geneva via Flickr.

Did the 28th African Union summit meet its hype and hope?

The 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) was held on 30-31 January in Addis Ababa. This year’s summit was particularly awaited, since African leaders were to reach important decisions regarding hotly contested topics such as the election of the new chairperson of the AU Commission (AUC) as well as of other core officials, and the consideration for readmission of Morocco to the AU. In this blog, ECDPM’s Philomena Apiko, Luckystar Miyandazi and Faten Aggad reflect upon the outcomes of the summit, including the election of the new AU leadership and the proposed reforms.

Photo courtesy of Amine Ghrabi via Flickr.

Tunisia’s new law: There is no magic formula for decentralisation

Last week, Tunisia’s national assembly has passed the long-awaited law on elections and referenda, a step that has elicited mixed reactions. The new law will govern all types of elections and referenda in the country. ECDPM’s Tasnim Abderrahim dedicated a blog to this new step towards local democracy in Tunisia, casting light on the implications of this new electoral system for the Tunisian government at all levels.

Other News

- According to new FAO data, 12 million people across Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are facing a food crisis, as the Horn of Africa only received one-quarter of expected rainfall, which further intensified drought conditions.

- A new publication by Rift Valley Institute analyses the past year of unprecedented protest and unrest that has disrupted the political order in Ethiopia.

- In an AllAfrica opinion piece, the visit of IMF’s Lagarde to Uganda is described as an effort to restore credibility on both sides, for which the two parties need each other.

- A recent IRIN report focusses on the cost of the EU-funded crackdown on migration through Niger, outlining the negative consequences it had for the region. In a related piece, IRIN argues that the EU migrant policy in Africa was built on incorrect Niger data.

- In their latest policy & practice brief, Accord draws lessons from ECOWAS’ management of Gambia’s post-election situation.

- The five big questions facing Gambia’s new government include prosecution of Jammeh and his allies, political and legal reform, and relation to Senegal, according to article on African Arguments.

- Africa Research Institute publishes new interactive tool on 2017 elections in Africa, as the continent will see at least three new presidents this year.

- Trump's ban on Muslim immigration could herald 'turbulent times' for Africa, according to outgoing African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

- A recent article by World Economic Forum focuses on the ‘impossible question’ of how much inequality is too much.

- AllAfrica lists “10 Yays for the African Union”, highlighting successes like the Continental Free Trade Area, women's empowerment or its recent role in the Gambia.

- In the Guardian, a top UN official says that the EU ignores the humanitarian crisis in northern Nigeria, possibly having an impact on the influx of migrants from the Lake Chad region.

- Somali refugees are pressured to return home, facing al-Shabab militants and a potential famine, as Kenya plans to close the Dadaab refugee camp and the United States ban immigration, according to new IRIN article.

- As European leaders have spoken out against Donald Trump’s immigration plans, OXFAM calls for a EU migration response that lives up to the standards.

- A new ODI blog assesses DFID’s new economic development strategy, hinting at unexplored links between economic transformation, inclusion and climate change.

- The new European Consensus on Development presents the basis of contemporary development problems, but does not serve as an actual strategy, according to a recent ODI publication.

The EU and South Africa argue about dumping of chicken meat on the South African market, being detrimental to the country’s poultry industry.

- The EU plans to step up aid for Libya in its battle against migration from the African continent.

Why the favorite candidates from Kenya and Senegal lost the elections for the AU Commission Chair? Answers provided by allAfrica.

- The EU Institute for Security Studies has released a brief on European defense, looking forward to current security issues and EU policies in this area.

- A blog series of CGD analyses the impact on development and related issues of the new Trump administration. A recent blog outlines what Tillerson’s leadership could mean for US development policy.

- Dutch NGO Cordaid manages the Stability Impact Fund Africa (SIFA), an investment scheme for small and medium-size enterprises in fragile African states, giving specific attention to women and youth.

- EEAS has recently published a study on European investments in Tanzania. Findings reveal that these have had a positive impact on employment, innovation, increased tax revenues and economic growth.

- FAO promotes its policy series on nutrition and food systems via Youtube, introduced by Mrs. Boitshepo Giyose, senior nutrition officer.

For more, and breaking news daily, follow us on Twitter @ECDPM


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Recent Events

On 3 February, EU leaders met in Malta for an informal summit on measures to stem the flow of irregular migrants. According to critical reactions to the declaration, the discussed deal with Lybia "exposes people to suffering and death".

On 31 January, African leaders adopted a strategy of collective withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC). According to Reuters Africa, African leaders remain hesitant about their positioning.

At the 28th Africa Union Summit, Chad's foreign minister Moussa Faki Mahamat was elected as the incoming AU Commission Chairperson, succeeding Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

On 31 January, WTO members unanimously supported the resumption of Sudan’s WTO membership negotiations.

Turkey has reopened its embassy in Libya on 30 January, wishing to contribute to building peace in the divided country.

Following the US ban on muslim immigrants, EurActiv reported on 30 January that the EU Commission has strongly taken position against discrimination on the basis of race, religion or nationality. According to Politico, the US ban caused chaos and confusion amongst the leaders and citizens in Europe.

On 31 January, Morocco has joined the African Union after having left its predecessor - the Organisation of African Unity - because of a dispute over the status of Western Sahara. According to the Guardian, Morocco and the AU thus paved the way for peaceful relations in the region. This move has been welcomed by the EU, says EurActiv.

In the context of the AU Heads of State Summit, three pan-African institutions have met on 28 January to reinforce their cooperation, particularly focusing in 2017 on energy and power, migration and food security.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres stressed the importance of a strategic African Union-UN partnership for sustainable development, peace and security, in his first address to the AU.

On 31 January, the UN Economic Commission for Africa has signed an agreement with FAO, supporting strategic collaboration in areas such as sustainable agriculture and agribusiness development, food and nutrition security, regional integration and trade.

According to allAfrica, Zimbabwean President Mugabe has been heavily criticised for not having signed and ratified the African Charter on elections and governance, thus refusing respect for democratic principles, the rule of law and human rights.

Ahead of the Malta EU Summit, Italy’s foreign minister announced to set up a fund to help African countries stopping migrants to cross the Mediterranean, EurActif reported on 1 February.

On 30 January, agreements were reached by UN Member States about the modalities of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. An intergovernmental conference on the issue is planned to be held in 2018.

Etienne Tshisekedi, the long-standing opposition leader of the DR Congo has died in Brussels on 1 February, aged 84. The country is going through an unstable period waiting for presidential elections to happen.

Upcoming Events

Today the EU Foreign Affairs Council will inter alia discuss the political situation in Libya, as well as the way forward in EU-Egypt relations. The meeting will be live streamed.

On 8-9 February, a Senior Officials Meeting will take place in Valletta in order to discuss the current implementation of the Joint Valletta Action Plan.

Events organised or attended by ECDPM

On 7 February, ECDPM’s Martin Ronceray will attend an ANTICORRP event where an EU funded research report on corruption and governance will be presented.

ECDPM’s Geert Laporte and Martin Ronceray will attend a conference on the future of democracy in Africa on 9 February. At the event, Dr. Jakkie Cilliers of ISS South Africa will present a study on the nexus between democratisation and economic and human development.


Publisher: The Weekly Compass is produced by ECDPM with financial resources provided by our core and institutional funders: The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Luxemburg, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.

Editor-in-Chief: Geert Laporte
Deputy Director,

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Designer: Yaseena van 't Hoff
Information Officer Publications – Art Direction and Design,

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Editor: Franz Ferdinand Rothe
Communications Officer

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Editor: Valeria Pintus
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