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

Europe and Africa moving towards a more business-like relationship
The EU-Africa Summit was held this week under the theme: Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace. Eighty delegations, including sixty-one heads of government participated. In the Declaration and  Roadmap 2014-2017 adopted at the end of the summit, the key area of cooperation remains peace and security.  The roadmap sets out strategic priorities and identifies the means to implement them in areas of mutual interest. The agreed priorities are Peace and Security; Democracy, Good Governance and Human Rights; Human Development; Sustainable and inclusive development and growth and Continental Integration; Global and emerging issues. The only other specific Declaration adopted was on Migration and Mobility. The tone was different in the opening session and in the closing ceremony and press conference of the EU Council President and the African Union Chairperson following the event. We are slowly moving towards a more business-like relationship where both parties more openly stress complementarities and interests. In the longer term perspective this may signal a change in the nature of the partnership. See ECDPM’s The Filter for all the official documents and press coverage of the summit.

Policy News

How Does the EU Make Decisions That Matter for Africa?
ECDPM’s latest guide is for African and European audiences eager to know more about how the European Union makes decisions on Africa in an ever changing and interdependent relationship between the two continents. What guiding documents, financial and other instruments does the EU use? What are the main dynamics and challenges? No death by powerpoint here! This new guide is an in-house presentation  supported by infographics and narrated by our own Essete Abebe Bekele and Clem Silverman. It is based on previous ECDPM's research and body of knowledge.

Rebuilding Confidence and Commitment in the Joint Africa EU Strategy
In implementing the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, we need to rebuild confidence and commitment - this was the key message of the presentation given by Damien Helly, Policy Officer with ECDPM’s Strengthening European External Action Programme, to a joint meeting of the Pan African Parliament and the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday, ahead of the EU Africa Summit. He was presenting the ECDPM study commissioned by the European Parliament on the implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy. 


Sanctions and Conditionality Cast Shadow Over EU-Africa Summit
Although the discussion on Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s participation did not block the summit, the issue does indicate some major points of disagreement in the EU-Africa relationship. It is crucial that the EU and Africa engage in an open and transparent dialogue on sensitive issues like the International Criminal Court (ICC) and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights writes Karen Del Biondo in this blog on the Africa-Europe Relations-Looking Beyond 2014 website. The discussion on the ICC reflects a wider criticism that the EU’s sanctions policy is characterised by double standards she says. These outstanding issues are more symptomatic of a donor-recipient relationship than of a partnership based on shared values.

EEAS signs European Consensus on Development
Catherine Ashton, head of the European External Action Service (EEAS), yesterday signed the European Consensus on Development.  The Consensus was first signed by the European Parliament, Commission and Council at the end of 2005, before the creation of the EEAS. It provides a common basis for all EU interested parties, identifying shared values, goals, principles and  commitments, and confirms that reducing poverty is the key objective of development cooperation. The renewed commitment is both timely and significant on the second day of the EU-Africa Summit and ahead of the European Year for Development 2015, according to the statement. This move was suggested by several civil society organisations in the run-up to last years EEAS review.

West African Leaders Fail to Agree on EU Trade Deal
West African leaders failed to agree to open their economies to free trade with the European Union at a summit on Saturday after regional heavyweight Nigeria voiced concerns. This Reuters article provides the best report on the failed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) for West Africa, quoting a source that said ‘Nigeria voiced lingering concern over the potential negative impact of the deal on its industrial sector if certain products were allowed tariff-free entry into its market’. Our own EPA update provides the latest information and reporting from various insiders - read the latest version from our Economic Transformation Team before it is published in next week’s GREAT Insights magazine.

East African EPA Negotiations Session Held in Nairobi
The 9th Negotiations session of the Senior Officials of the East African Community and the European Union on the Economic Partnership Agreement was held on 27 March. At this meeting, both parties finalised negotiations on the Rules of Origin Protocol, including the product specific rules. Outstanding issues have been referred to the EAC-EU Ministers - (i) export taxes; (ii) domestic support and export subsidies; (iii) relations with the Cotonou Agreement dealing with countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, human rights and corruption; (iv) good governance on tax matters; and (v) consequences from Customs Union agreements concluded with the EU.

Consistency in Human Rights Protection and Promotion in the EU
Is there coherence between the internal and external dimensions of the EU human rights policy? Started under the Lithuanian Presidency, the Greek Presidency will continue to look into how the EU can better present vis-à-vis third partners the high standards of human rights protection ensured by the EU and its Member States.

Economic Report on Africa: Dynamic Industrial Policy in Africa
African countries need to introduce credible industrial policies and promote effective industrial policy organisations to enhance the structural transformation of the continent, says a new report jointly produced by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union Commission. Transforming Africa’s industrial landscape has failed partly because countries used industrial blueprints characterised by lack of dynamism and high level coordination, as well as inadequate consultations with stakeholders, according to this year’s Economic Report on Africa. The report builds on the previous year’s report, which made the case for commodity-based industrialisation. It calls on the continent to refocus its economic development strategies on industrialisation.

Three-year Action Programme for the EU-African Peace Facility
The EU’s Permanent Representatives Committee approved the three year action programme for the African Peace Facility. The action programme aims at contributing to the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in Africa. It will support the Africa-EU partnership on peace and security which currently seeks to enhance the political dialogue on peace and security, operationalise the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), including the African Standby Force and provide predictable funding for African-led peace operations.

Does Political Voice Matter and Can it Bring About Change?
What is political voice, how is it expressed and how can it be effective? Alina Rocha Menocal details a rapidly changing landscape where new and old forms of voice are both coming together and competing for influence in a new series of events and blogs on political voice, accompanied by a set of infographics.

LUNCH SEMINAR - Poverty in Fragile States: Getting Elites On Board
ECDPM is pleased to invite you to a lunch seminar on Seth Kaplan’s new book Betrayed: Politics, Power, and Prosperity. Mr. Kaplan is a lecturer at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University.
Monday 7 April, 12.00-14.00 (lunch from 12.00 to 12.30)
ECDPM office, 5 rue Archimède, 1000 Brussels
Please confirm your participation by replying to: Laura Dominguez -
This meeting will also be livestreamed here.

More news from The Filter

SADC’s Trade Agenda at the EU-Africa Summit
Christopher Wood looks at what issues SADC should have focused on at the EU-Africa Summit, and where there was room for compromise.

De-coding Public-Private Partnerships
How can we achieve a partnership between public and private actors for achieving and financing sustainable development post-2015? ECDPM contributed this document to the UN Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF) Outreach Event on Co-creating New Partnerships for Financing Sustainable Development, in Helsinki, Finland.

A Common African Position on Post-2015 Development Agenda
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf gave a speech on the Common African Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda at the Seventh Joint Annual Meetings of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

ACP CDE publishes budget and work programme
The ACP Centre for the Development of Enterprise published its Work Programme and Budget for 2014 and in agreement with the European Development Fund agreed a revised budget of EUR 8.6 mn limiting its activities to six programme.

European Investment Bank on Bridging Facility
The European Investment Bank published comments for a Council Regulation amending Council Regulation on the implementation of the 10th EDF European Development Fund under the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement for the implementation of the Bridging Facility.

UK first G7 country to reach 0.7%
Data released today show that the UK is the first G7 donor to reach the UN-endorsed target of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) as official development assistance (ODA). Development Initiatives provide more analysis and data in their latest blog.  

LRRD and Supporting Resilience in Difficult Places
Are we to conclude that the fuss about resilience is nothing more than froth, or is there really something useful that can be done about supporting resilience and bringing together long and short term perspectives, even in the most difficult places? But ‘linking relief and development’ or LRRD has been an idea that has been spoken about for more than 20 years and little has changed as a result writes ODI.

‘How DFID Learns’. Or doesn’t.
The latest report from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI), DfID’s watchdog,  is critical and gives DFID an overall ‘amber-red’ assessment, defined as ‘programme performs relatively poorly overall against ICAI’s criteria for effectiveness and value for money. Significant improvements should be made’.

Does CAADP need more political economy?
Is there a need for a new focus on the political economy of agriculture? Blessings Chinsinga reports from CAADP's 10th Partnership Platform in Durban.

Policy Coherence for Inclusive and Sustainable Development
How can the OECD fully utilise its multidisciplinary expertise, evidence-based approaches to policy-making and peer learning working methods to help achieve greater policy coherence for development in the post-2015 framework?

Social Progress Index 2014
New Zealand is on top and Chad at the bottom of the overall rankings in the Social Progress Index. The Index, from the Social Progress Imperative, reminds us that governments wanting better lives for their citizens need to go beyond economic growth alone in designing their development strategies.

Are you ready for the resource revolution?
Meeting increasing global demand requires dramatically improving resource productivity. Yet technological advances mean companies have an extraordinary opportunity not only to meet that challenge but to spark the next industrial revolution as well, write McKinsey.

China becoming deeply involved in Africa's security landscape
SAIIA’s latest report show that the growing exposure of its interests to the vagaries of African politics and pressures to demonstrate greater global activism are bringing about a reconsideration of Beijing's approach to the continent.

Mining and Development: Lessons Learnt from South Africa and Beyond
Diversification funded by mineral wealth requires material improvement in the institutions governing mineral extraction. According to SAIIA, a better understanding of the incentives generated by institutions is critical for successful implementation of resource governance initiatives on the continent.

Strong political commitment and leadership key to curbing illicit financial flows from Africa
Africa loses US$50bn a year from illicit financial flows. Strong political commitment and leadership is needed on both the African continent and globally, says the High Level Panel (HLP) on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa (IFF) in a Progress Report. 

For more articles, see The Filter

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No 184, 4th April 2014

Dear Jacques,

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the EU comprehensive approach and coherence of EU external action stressing the importance of effective coordination and coherence in the European Union’s external action. It agrees with the view that the development, political and security spheres are interdependent and that the added value provided by the EU in responding to complex emergencies lies in its ability to create cross-sectoral and interinstitutional synergies in order to deliver sustainable results on the ground and achieve long-term strategic objectives.

The Parliament also adopted a resolution making 2015 the European Year of Development.

A European Regulation was adopted amending the EU regulation as regards the financial framework for the period 2014-2018.
European Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski, responsible for financial programming and the budget will stand for election in the European Parliament. EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs will take responsibility for Lewandowski’s portfolio. The Commission President granted electoral leave between 19 April and 25 May. Lewandowski will return to active duty in the Commission from 26 May. If elected, he will need to resign from the Commission by the end of June and Piebalgs will carry on his duties until the next Commission takes office in November.

Next week’s European Parliament Development Committee will discuss European Union Development Strategy in the Pacific based on a study proposing elements of a renewed EU development strategy for the region.

The Development Committee will also discuss the Potential of the Social Economy for Local Development in Africa based on a report focusing in particular on specific types of social economy organisations in four African countries: farmer-based-organisations in Ghana, agricultural co-operatives in Morocco, and a variety of community-based organisations in Ethiopia and Kenya. This study reveals that the Social Economy is a growing segment of the African economy, and that it substantially contributes to improving the wellbeing of local communities. However, some barriers to its development remain, including weak legal frameworks and inadequate policies; weak governance; and poorly developed managerial practices.

You can watch the Development Committee live online or a recording after.

ECDPM’s Isabelle Ramdoo is attending next week’s UNCTAD Global Commodities Forum. The meeting will explore issues and experiences in the commodity sector through the lens of regional and global value chains, a concept that extends beyond sector and supply chain perspectives, to encompass issues such as responsible investment, regional interdependencies and equitable value distribution.

Florian Krätke will attend the ActionAid meeting “What is the role of the private sector in development assistance?”

For more on the latest policy issues concerning international cooperation, with a focus on the EU and its relations with the Africa, see ECDPM’s The Filter.


All the best,

Melissa Julian
Communications Manager


Off The Track   

4 Things you didn’t know about U.S. foreign assistance
In Oxfam America’s Foreign Aid 101 guide, it raised the issue that most people overestimate just how much of their taxes are spent on foreign aid. Publish What You Fund have drawn together 4 more facts you might not know about foreign aid.

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