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.


Editor's Pick

Translating the private sector for development discourse into practice
Engaging the private sector in development is currently on everybody’s lips. To make this public-private partnership for development work in practice, both sides need to be clear about the expectations they have from each other and need to avoid making unrealistic assumptions, ECDPM’s Bruce Byiers points out in an article on the Talking Points blog. Resources and expertise from both actors – for example the private sector’s experience with risk management and adaptability to failure - should be combined and used strategically.  These important aspects will also be relevant for the discussion on options for how to engage business in a post-MDG global development agenda, presented in a recent paper by ODI.

Policy News

Quest for a new social contract for the Middle East and North Africa
Since the onset of the Arab Spring, civil society has been at the forefront of popular demonstration for regime change. Now, civil society organisations are increasingly stressing the importance of a new social contract between governments and citizens. The EU seems cognisant of these demands and established a Civil Society Facility to strengthen non-state actors in its Southern Neighbourhood. ECDPM’s Nicola Tissi reflects on this in an article on the Talking Points blog after participating in a recent conference on economic and social rights organized by the EUROMED Civil Society Programme.

Poor countries likely to be hit hard by Euro crisis
A breakup of the Euro zone could cost developing countries around 25 billion EUR in lost trade and foreign investment, according to a new estimate by Oxfam. This amount is equivalent to almost a quarter of the global aid budget and its loss would pose an additional challenge to poor countries. To mitigate the negative effects, Oxfam called on the G20 that met this week to implement a five-point policy programme, which also includes the introduction of a global financial transaction tax. In another recent paper on the same topic ODI provided a set of policy recommendations to developing countries on how to cope with the impacts of the European debt crisis.

EU weak on early warning systems for conflict prevention
Although the EU adopted a conflict prevention agenda and has shown a lot of interest in early warning systems, it is struggling with putting this into practice effectively, finds a new report by the NGO Saferworld. Data from two case studies in Africa and Asia show that “there is no shared understanding across the EU of what its early warning system is and what its purpose should be” and that “the EU does not conduct systematic analyses to inform its programming process or political dialogue”. A set of timely recommendations proposed by Saferworld could help the EU to improve its practice so it can tackle the root causes of conflict more proactively once the newly established European External Action Service will be fully up to speed.

Aid for Trade is reaching its limits, so what’s next?
In an effort to attract more donor funding, the WTO is expanding the scope of its Aid for Trade initiative to dimensions such as gender empowerment and green growth. Jean-Jacques Hallaert of the Global Economy Group at Sciences Po argues in a new paper that the WTO should instead increase the focus on measuring the results of interventions in the key areas of the trade and development nexus in order to make Aid for Trade more effective. He proposes setting up an independent body, hosted within the World Bank, able to undertake impact evaluations of Aid for Trade initiatives. This would help increase developing countries’ confidence that the WTO-led programme is able to help them face the adjustment and implementation cost of a multilateral trade agreement, Hallaert says. 

Vacancy announcement: ECDPM is looking for two Research Assistants
We are hiring two Research Assistants (full time) for our European External Action and our Conflict, Security and Resilience Programmes. Candidates should have a master’s degree in a relevant discipline, a good overview of political relations between Europe and developing countries, and an entrepreneurial and self-motivating attitude. Closing date is 25 June.

Additional Articles in the Weekly Compass-Extended Version

More recently uploaded resources are available in the Weekly Compass-Extended Version.


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No 114, 22 June 2012

Dear *|FNAME|*,

     Firstly, our apologies for last week’s technical glitch in opening the lead article on ECDPM’s new Briefing Note “Can the Pan-African Programme revitalise the JAES?
     The Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development wraps up today with many development and environment groups disappointed that concrete outcomes are unlikely to emerge. There has been abundant media coverage of the event and reactions.
     Also today, EU Finance Ministers are meeting to discuss the proposed EU Financial Transaction Tax aimed at ensuring that a fair tax contribution is made by the financial industry, whilst discouraging transactions that do not enhance the efficiency of financial markets. The Danish EU Presidency tabled a final compromise text to enlist the UK's support for the controversial plan. Failing this, a group of 10 member states, including France and Germany, have indicated they will move forward on their own. The European Commission estimates that, depending on how markets react, yearly revenues from this tax could amount to EUR 57 billion.
     The European Commission is also expected to announce next week its intention to propose a detailed action plan, by the end of 2012, designed to scale up the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion in the EU and in relation to non-EU countries. The Danish EU Presidency has also drafted a report on tax issues for submission to the EU Summit next week.
     The EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (2014-2020) Negotiating Box was also posted ahead of next week’s EU Council discussions on this.
     The European Commission launched a public consultation on the post-2015 development framework to inform the preparation of an EU contribution to the UN process. The EU wants to take into account new global realities and trends. The debate gives rise to different options and scenarios to be considered for post-2015. None of them can be excluded at this early stage. Options could either be designed following the logic of the MDG framework with new time-lines, with or without new goals, targets or indicators, or proposing a more fundamentally revised approach to development.
     The Development Progress Stories Project, a major ODI research programme which ECDPM is also engaged in, entered its second 4 year phase this week. The project seeks to measure, understand and communicate where and how development progress has happened.
     There were mixed reactions to the G20 Summit Declaration. There was disappointment in the seeming lack of focus on development issues, while others welcomed the AgResults fund and the renewal of the Anti-Corruption Working Group.
     Next week’s EU Foreign Affairs Council is expected to adopt an EU strategic framework on human rightsand democracy and a related action plan and to appoint an EU Special Representative for Human Rights.
     The Post-Busan Interim Process will be concluded with the final plenary meeting of the OECD DAC Working Party on Aid Effectiveness on 28-29 June. The meeting is expected to approve the governance and monitoring framework for the new Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.  All the papers for the Working Party meeting are posted. Two “Building Blocks” meetings -voluntary initiatives launched at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to enable development partners and organisations to unite behind pressing development issues and to make concentrated efforts to further progress in areas which may be beyond the commitments of the Busan Partnership – one on effective institutions and one on public-private cooperation for development are also meeting next week.
      For more on this and all the latest information relating to EU-Africa, Caribbean and Pacific trade, development and governance issues, see the Weekly Compass-Extended Version.

All the best,

Melissa Julian


Off The Track   

Why is the U.S. selling billions in weapons to autocrats?
Jeffrey Smith and the Center for Public Integrity report in Foreign Policy Magazine that the U.S. State Department's Military Assistance Report states that it approved $44.28 billion in arms shipments to 173 nations in the last fiscal year, including some that struggled with human rights problems and actively repressed their own citizens


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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
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