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

‘Friends of Development’ needed to save aid levels in EU budget talks
Development cooperation spending may be reduced in the current negotiations of the next EU budget.  As the negotiations move to the concluding phase – Member States should reach agreement in December - development cooperation lacks a support group similar to the  “Friends of Cohesion” or “Friends of Better Spending” ones. In an article on the Talking Points blog, ECDPM’s Laura Mayer and Andrew Sherriff present four possible financial scenarios and analyse their implications for development cooperation. October will be a decisive month, as the Multiannual Financial Framework talks begin to focus on concrete numbers for the first time. 

Policy News

Development ministers meet on MDGs, finance
At Monday’s EU Council meeting of Development Ministers, several stressed the importance of maintaining poverty eradication as the focus of the future development agenda, while addressing gaps in the existing MDGs framework, such as sustainable growth or fragility and conflict. In relation to financing for development, the EU, inter alia, decided to incorporate tax administration into policy dialogue with partner countries, support reform and help to combat illicit capital flows. Council conclusions also call for mainstreaming of civil society in all areas of cooperation. EU Member States also agreed that they should coordinate better in the programming process of future cooperation to ensure policy coherence for development and support for social protection.

Governance indicators ‘a really tough topic’
Some kind of governance indicators will probably make their way into the post-MDG development framework. Harvard Professor Matthew Andrews tries to provoke a debate on measuring governance, ‘a really tough topic’. In his blog, Andrews asks “What is there we can measure that relates to the way authority is exercised, by government, that is broadly relevant across highly different developing countries, that does not impose too rigid a 'form' based agenda, and may even promote more functionality and development?” He argues that governance is best assessed on the basis of outcomes and outputs, not on the processes by which these outcomes occur, as these depend on contextual realities.

Corruption and discrimination keep women out of peace processes
The new report ‘Equal Power Lasting Peace’ from the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation shows that formal decision forums on conflict are not including enough women. This is contrary to a UN Security Council Resolution passed 12 years ago which emphasizes that women must participate on the same terms as men in all parts of peace processes for stability to be sustainable. The most common obstacles for participation that women face include poverty, legislation and corruption.

EU Nobel: neither complacency nor self-flagellation
In times of rising Euro-scepticism, the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union last week will give a boost to its supporters. “It is not the time for self-flagellation, but there is also no reason for complacency” writes ECDPM’s Geert Laporte in a commentary on the Talking Points blog. From a global perspective, Europe is losing political and economic ground in the world. Its double standards in dealing with human rights violations and conflict have undermined its credibility, Laporte points out. The Nobel Peace Prize could be an incentive for the EU to critically review its role in the world and work towards building a more dynamic and coherent foreign policy. 

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No 126, 19 October 2012

Dear *|FNAME|*,

     EU Heads of State are meeting today in Brussels and their discussions include the future Multiannual Financial Framework. EU Foreign Ministers met earlier in the week on this. The Cyprus EU Presidency intends to issue a newly revised negotiating box, including concrete budget allocations, after today’s European Council meeting with the aim of reaching agreement on the MFF package at the European Council on 22-23 November.
     Eighty-five percent of EU citizens believe that Europe should continue helping developing countries, despite the economic crisis, according to a Eurobarometer survey published in the margins of this week’s European Development Days. Recordings of EDD meetings, including the ECDPM panels on Europe's response to rising socio-economic inequality in developing countries and the pros and cons of private sector engagement and blending instruments, are posted on the EDD website.
     The African Union Commission’s new Chairperson outlined the AUC key priority areas this week. They included financing for AUC and regional integration from within Africa and institutional strengthening. Thematically, the focus will be on governance, peace and security, food security, natural resources, and infrastructure in relation to intra-African trade.
     On Tuesday, the European Commission will set out the concrete agenda for its work in 2013 and beyond. The Work Programme will set out the key priorities for the Commission's work, including a focused list of the headline proposals to be made.
     The ACP Ministerial Trade Committee and ACP-EU Joint Ministerial Trade Committee meetings will be held in Brussels next week to discuss progress in Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations. The Joint CARIFORUM-EU Council will also meet to discus tariff liberalization, establishment of a Joint Monitoring System and the EU’s proposals to differentiate EU development assistance.
     ECDPM’s San Bilal and Isabelle Ramdoo will participate in next week’s African Development Forum on “Governing and Harnessing Natural Resources for Africa’s Development”, with a focus on mineral, land, fishery and forest resources.
     For more on the latest policy issues concerning international cooperation, with a focus on the EU and its relations with the developing world, see the Weekly Compass-Extended Version.

All the best,

Melissa Julian

Off The Track   

America Will Have to Craft New Terms of Engagement with African Countries
The United States must rethink its African strategy carefully, or else it will soon be a marginal player on the continent writes Africa Growth Initiative Director, Mwangi S. Kimenyi for Brookings. The next US President must radically change the approach to engaging Africa and move beyond the donor-recipient approach to one that is in tune with the present day realities of an emerging Africa.

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