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The ECDPM Weekly Compass is your reliable source on the latest policy issues concerning international cooperation, with a focus on the EU and its relations with countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific - in your mailbox Friday afternoons.

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Editor's Pick

Newest issue of GREAT Insights out: extractive sector for development
The July issue of ECDPM’s monthly, GREAT Insights, focuses on natural resources and mining. In the lead article Isabelle Ramdoo analyses which effects the current “treasure hunt” for minerals has on Africa’s development. A feature story takes a close look at the ambitious Africa Mining Vision and explains what turning it into reality would take. Ghana’s experience, in the spotlight of another article, illustrates which challenges many African countries face in practice. This issue of GREAT brings together a wealth of expertise and different perspectives and also comprises contributions from the private sector and civil society. Furthermore, the regular EPA update is also included.


Policy News

EC report: despite crisis EU must deliver on aid commitments
As a whole, the EU has kept up progress on its aid pledges, but the situation differs greatly between Member States, the EU Accountability Report 2012 on Financing for Development finds. Together with this report, the EU published a Communication proposing further action to reach agreed EU aid targets, such as spending 0,7% of GNI for development by 2015. In view of the fact that domestic resources mobilisation, not aid flows, is the largest source of development finance, Europe is “considering ways to provide greater emphasis to this area, notably as part of budget support operations”. Innovative financing, such as blending, is seen as “essential”.
 
Accountability support needs new principles
Aiming at improving donor support to domestic accountability, the OECD DAC commissioned studies to “explore the realities of aid”. Findings from four case studies in Africa and Latin America are supposed to help donors find better ways to support institutions to strengthen citizen-states relations in partner countries. Evidence from these cases shows that support activities tended to work in isolation and target single actors, risking to unbalance accountability systems. It points to the need to see “a dynamic, multi actors system” and to go beyond traditional approaches to accountability assistance by building links between actors and forming coalitions of change that involve civil society, the media, parliaments and others. The report provides recommendations for future programming of donor support and in-country implementation.

Swazi farmers could again be hard hit by EU CAP reform
When the EU reformed its sugar trade regime in 2006, it reduced the reference price for sugar by 36%. This drop affected sugarcane producers in the 18 ACP countries, which had preferential access to the EU. Swaziland, a significant sugar exporter whose economy is highly dependent on the industry was hard hit, experiencing labour losses and welfare rollback. To cushion this impact, the EU agreed an Aid for Trade Programme - the Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol. A new ECDPM Discussion Paper analysing Swaziland’s experience reveals deficiencies in the practices of EU aid delivery. It warns that the upcoming reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy, comprising further changes of sugar policy, could undermine the positive effects of the Aid for Trade programme.


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No 117, 13 July 2012


Dear *|FNAME|*,
 
     Much of what emerges from this week’s African Union summit on ‘Boosting Intra-African Trade’ depends on how pragmatic and programmatic the vision of the AU is according to ECDPM’s partner the South African Institute of International Affairs. Leaders should leave the summit with clearly defined, but manageable outcomes that would address Africa’s chronic challenges they say.
     Earlier this week, the EU-China high-level strategic dialogue decided to enhance cooperation on international issues. They will intensify dialogue on global and regional areas of interest to both sides, including regular consultations on foreign policy. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation - the focal point for strategic debates on the future of Sino-African relations - will meet on 19-20 July and discuss changing political expectations in Africa towards the relationship with China and changing economic policies in China. Fellow emerging economy India opened it’s own international aid agency, the Development Partnership Administration. The agency will allocate $15 billion over five years.
     In addition to the EU Accountability Report 2012 on Financing for Development featured in our Policy News section, the final compromise text on the financial rules applicable to the EU budget was published. The EU also published a communication regarding the financial information on the European Development Fund and a draft decision to reassign EUR 195 million of the unallocated resources of the 10th European Development Fund to Intra-ACP cooperation, notably to provide additional funding for the African Peace Facility. A report on implementation of EU macro-financial assistance to third countries and the accompanying background analysis per beneficiary were also published. The EU announced additional support for the Neighbourhood Investment Facility for areas such as road building. And finally, Andrew Sherriff and Nicola Tissi presented ECDPM’s Briefing Note, “Can the Pan-African Programme revitalise the JAES?” to the European Parliament’s Development Committee this week. You can watch a recording of the meeting.
     ECDPM published our new 6-page Institutional Brochure this week which explains in a nutshell how ECDPM works to link policy and practice.
     For more on the latest policy issues concerning international cooperation, with a focus on the EU and its relations with countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, see the Weekly Compass-Extended Version.

All the best,
Melissa

Melissa Julian
mj@ecdpm.org
 

Off The Track   

 Punjab Program for Proactive Governance
Through this Government of Punjab funded project, Punjabis provide their cellphone numbers to local officials when they visit a government office for routine services, such as acquiring a driver’s license or registering property. Assigned staff then text or call citizens to inquire about the quality and level of service, including whether bribes were asked for or paid.

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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, Sweden and Switzerland.

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Editor-in-Chief: Melissa Julian
Knowledge Management and Communications Officer, e-mail: mj@ecdpm.org
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Editor: Sonia Niznik
Knowledge Management and Communications Officer, e-mail: sn@ecdpm.org
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