Three things African ministers of agriculture and trade must discuss
Originally scheduled for last month, the postponed African Union joint conference of ministers of agriculture and trade will eventually take place next week. ECDPM’s Francesco Rampa, who will participate, has identified three issues ministers have to address to jointly boost intra-African trade and enhance food security. Emphasizing the importance of building bridges between agriculture and trade policies and processes, in his new Briefing Note Rampa explains how policy makers could better explore synergies, linkages and complementarities between the two sectors.
Regional integration focus of latest issue of GREAT Insights
As regional trade agreements are currently multiplying at unprecedented pace, reasons for integration seem to be clear. But views diverge on almost everything else, like the form, breadth and depth of integration, writes Kathleen van Hove in the editorial of the latest issue of GREAT Insights. A broad range of articles in the November issue give an overview of the political dynamics driving integration processes and the way external partners support it. In an exclusive article EU Development Commissioner Piebalgs outlines Europe’s new approach to supporting Regional Economic Communities. A feature by Amanda Sunnasse Lam compares the pragmatic business-driven Asian experience with the institution-heavy African approach. This issue of GREAT Insights also includes the regular EPA update.
Time to change donor-recipient mentality in Africa and EU
The next EU-Africa summit scheduled for early 2014 provides an opportunity for a relaunch of a comprehesive inter-continental relationship which takes account of Africa’s new priorities and concerns according to a new policy briefing from Friends of Europe. For the EU, it is important to stop viewing Africa as a problem and instead look at it as an opportunity. Discussions should move beyond questions of aid to include political and security issues, investments, infrastructure development and global challenges such as climate change and energy security. The paper also quotes ECDPM’s Geert Laporte who insists that the current “donor-recipient mentality has to change – on both sides”.
EEAS: scepticism dissipates, but no full endorsement
There is general recognition that collective European foreign policy is preferable to individual member states “going it alone”, especially in their relations with major powers, according to a new study by the Centre for European Policy Studies. The paper, which includes articles from 9 EU Member States shows, however that many still question the capacity of the EEAS to act effectively, diplomatically, and strategically, when required to do so. It cites a French observation: “the bureaucratic machinery obviates ambition and the development of strategic policies; and the right expertise is sometimes lacking.”
Mediation gains importance in EU's peace toolbox
For over a decade, the EU has had a policy framework for conflict prevention and is becoming increasingly involved in peace processes around the world. Having a number of instruments to tackle crisis and conflict situations in the world at its disposal, the EU has recently recognised the usefulness of mediation in this toolbox. A newly published comprehensive report by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs looks into ways to strengthen the EU’s peace mediation capacities and a chapter authored by ECDPM’s Andrew Sherriff zooms into lessons learned from past EU engagement in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
Private sector for development: measuring impact
With the increasing donor focus on the role of the private sector in development, ECDPM is combining forces with BUSINESSEUROPE, DCED, and TraidCraft for a workshop on measuring development impacts in Brussels on 13 December. The workshop will bring together representatives from the private sector, donors, partner government representatives and civil society to identify a common agenda and interest and potential paths for further engagement between different stakeholders to ensure an informed discussion on how to maximise development impacts through engaging with the private sector for development. Register for this open event by 6 December.
Vacancy: ECDPM is looking for a Communications Assistant
We are hiring a Communications Assistant (full time) to strengthen our outreach efforts. Candidates should have a degree in a relevant discipline, experience with research communications and digital media. Closing date is 12 December.
Additional Articles in the Weekly Compass-Extended Version