ECDPM's Weekly Compass update

European Centre for Development Policy Management Weekly Newsletter
15 April 2016

Melissa Julian

Head of Communications

Dear <<First name>>,

Our Editor’s Pick highlights a new study from ECDPM on the political economy of regional integration in Africa (PERIA).

We also include a new paper from the European Think Tanks Group on the European Union’s Global Strategy and making support for democracy and human rights a key priority.

We feature our Discussion Paper on tackling regional inequalities in Tunisia and a blog on The Arab Spring: An ‘unfinished revolution’ in Tunisia’s regions.

ECDPM is also hiring a Senior Corporate Office for Human Resources Management.

Read further for more and visit ECDPM’s The Filter news service for all the news collected on EU-Africa relations and international cooperation from this week.

All the best,



Editor's Pick 

ECDPM launches it’s political economy of regional integration in Africa (PERIA) study
There are numerous regional organisations and policies in place to support regional integration in Africa. By and large, however, the reality on the ground does not match political ambitions. So what blocks or drives regional integration in Africa? Our multi-disciplinary team looked at six of Africa’s largest regional organisations: the African Union (AU), COMESA, EAC, ECOWAS, IGAD and SADC. The case studies analyse the commitments of these organisations in different sectors, ranging from peace and security, to transport and infrastructure, food security, climate change, gender, trade, energy, conservation and industrialisation. More than 200 people were interviewed. See the full studies, or our synthesis and summary brochure. We also have a video explaining the 10 key messages from the study.


Policy News 

The European Union’s Global Strategy: Making support for democracy and human rights a key priority
The EU Global Strategy is a unique opportunity to (re)commit to making support for democracy and human rights a key priority of European Union external action and to reflect on how the EU’s instruments to promote these priorities could be further strengthened. However, political interest in support of democracy and human rights currently appears to be at low ebb across the EU. This new paper from the European Think Tanks Group (ECDPM, DIE, IDDRI, ODI) argues that the ongoing consultation process on the Global Strategy shows how difficult it will be to get a clear commitment from EU institutions and EU member states to make democracy and human rights a key priority of EU external action. We set out the four challenges to doing this and propose solutions. See also the just released report of our ETTG High-Level Conference on how and to what extent the EU Global Strategy and the EU’s implementation of the SDGs can be linked.

Photo courtesy of Vin on the Move via Flickr

Tackling regional inequalities in Tunisia
Tunisia’s new constitution aims for more equitable distribution of prosperity and opportunities across regions. This is hampered, however, by both structural and political constraints. This ECDPM Discussion Paper addresses decentralisation as a political process of empowerment of citizens and local authorities. It argues that, especially in view of the need to reduce regional inequalities and improve social cohesion in Tunisia, a territorial approach to local development could be as much a bottom-up process as a matter of centrally-driven political reform.


Photo: Protest in Tunisia in 2011. Courtesy of Chris Belsten, CC BY-NC 2.0.

The Arab Spring: An ‘unfinished revolution’ in Tunisia’s regions
Imagine a country divided into 24 regions, each with very different capabilities and prospects to succeed. How would you treat them in a fair and equitable way? This is the challenge that Tunisia’s 24 governorates, 264 districts, and numerous municipalities, face. Five years after the uprisings, regional inequalities are still fuelling social tensions and the objectives of the revolution are still far from accomplished. In order to ensure stability, Tunisian politics should tackle regional disparities. ECDPM researchers take a closer look at the need for a greater focus on regional realities in order to allow overall economic growth and the consequent decrease in national disparities.

ECDPM’s study on ACP-EU relations now available as a book
The Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) that links the EU to 79 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) expires in 2020. Stakeholders are currently preparing their negotiating positions for what should follow. ECDPM’s Political Economy Analysis of the Future of ACP-EU Relations Report aims to contribute to this debate. It does not look at what is desirable, but at how things work out in practice and why. It finds that the CPA has a limited track record in delivering on several of its core objectives and the framework is ill-suited to deliver the aims of the recently agreed 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. To order a free, printed copy of this report, please send an email to

Latest ECDPM monthly updates in "What’s in it for Africa"
ECDPM’s Tarila Marclint Ebiede presents his monthly update in "What’s in it for Africa". This month, he speaks about the inquiry into the UK’s Africa Free Trade Initiative which supports regional integration in Africa and the EU Common Fisheries Policy debate in the European Parliament. The rest of the episode brings you the latest developments in the EU’s stopping of funding to Burundi; banks, multinationals and governments initiatives on tax; and climate change impact from international aviation.

ECDPM Institutional Evaluation 2012-2016
This report captures the findings of an institutional evaluation of the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), conducted between October 2015 and February 2016 by a team of four Agulhas evaluators with expertise in ECDPM’s key policy domains. It serves both learning and accountability purposes by looking back at the 2012-2016 strategic period in order to inform the next strategy, which is currently under development. ECDPM’s Board Response and ECDPM’s Management Response to the Institutional Evaluation are also posted.

UPCOMING EVENT (also LIVESTREAMED): How to get the incentives right for private sector engagement in developing countries?
On 22 April, ECDPM and the Center for Global Development (CGD) will host a meeting to discuss the risk-sharing instruments (including equity stakes, concessional debt financing, and guarantees) that Development Finance Institutions use to ‘crowd in’ investment and mitigate risk for the private sector. The meeting will challenge institutions to investigate new and different ways to use public development capital to work with the private sector. The meeting will bring together analysts, development finance practitioners, stakeholders from a spectrum of development finance institutions, and policymakers with a durable public and private finance. See the invitation and register on the event page.

ECDPM IS HIRING a Senior Corporate Office for Human Resources Management
Visit the website for details. Deadline for applications is 26 April at 1.00 PM CET.

- Development aid totalled USD 131.6 billion in 2015, representing a rise of 6.9% from 2014 in real terms as aid spent on refugees in host countries more than doubled in real terms to USD 12 billion, according to official data collected by the OECD Development Assistance Committee.

- The summary report on the EU public consultation on "Towards a new partnership between the EU and the ACP countries after 2020" is posted.

- Dani Rodrik argues that poor countries need to restructure their economies and promote new industries, and rich countries must address domestic concerns over inequality and distributive justice. The best way to bring about such institutional re-engineering would be to rewrite multilateral rules, he says.

- The Economist’s Special Report this week focusses on business in Africa.

- A new Institute of Development Studies report provides a summary account of the role of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in shaping the current global development landscape.

- The International Crisis Group published a report on implementing the peace and security architecture in West Africa. It considers what institutional reforms need to be undertaken to improve ECOWAS’s collective action in the face of formidable challenges to peace and security in West Africa.

- The IMF’s Global Financial Stability Report finds that global financial stability risks have risen since October 2015 because of heightened uncertainty and setbacks to growth and confidence, and declines in oil and commodity prices and slower growth.

- VIDEO INTERVIEW: Nigerian Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, speaks to The Center For Global Development on how African policymakers will finance the global goals and how African countries can diversify their economies.

- Publish What You Fund published its annual Aid Transparency Index.

- UNU-WIDER published “Natural resource revenues and public investment in resource-rich economies in sub-Saharan Africa”. They find that resource rents significantly increase public investment in SSA and that this tends to depend on the quality of political institutions.

- UNCTAD published “Trading Into Sustainable Development: Trade, Market Access, and the Sustainable Development Goals”. It examines interactions between trade policy, with a specific focus on market access conditions, and factors that constitute the basis for achieving sustainable development.

- The report from last year from the ACP-EU Council of Ministers to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly on the implementation of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement in 2015 was published this week.


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Recent events

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs held a debate with the European Parliament on the EU Global Strategy. She provided and update of the EU Global Strategy review "The EU has an unique mix of hard and soft power. The challenge is to make these assets effective" she stressed.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the private sector and development and a resolution on applying the arrangements for products originating in certain states which are part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States provided for in agreements establishing, or leading to the establishment of, Economic Partnership Agreements.

The European Parliament published a check-List of recent findings from Special Reports of the European Court of Auditors.

Upcoming events

The EU Foreign Affairs Council will discuss the external dimension of migration on 18-19 April.

On 18 April, the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee will have an exchange of views on the EU Wide Strategic Framework on Security Sector Reform with the EEAS Director for Security Policy and Conflict Prevention and hear a presentation of the outcomes of the AFET-commissioned study "EU policies in Tunisia before and after the revolution". Watch live or a recording after.

On 20-21 April, the European Parliament Development Committee will be discussing the review of the European Consensus on Development. They will also discuss illicit financial flows from Africa with Thabo Mbeki, Chair of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows, and measuring Official Development Assistance with Eric Solheim, Chair, OECD Development Assistance Committee. Watch live or a recording after.

The OECD Integrity Forum: Fighting the Hidden Tariff - Global Trade Without Corruption takes place on 19-20 April.

On 20 April, the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA), the Government of Sweden and the African Union Commission will be organising a full day forum on “Early Action and Results on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in the context of the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan of Africa’s Transformative Agenda 2063: Opportunities and Challenges”.

Events organised or attended by ECDPM

ECDPM’s Isabelle Ramdoo and Kathleen Van Hove will attend the European Parliament workshop on Monitoring structures in Economic Partnership Agreements on 19 April. The meeting will focus on the question how to involve civil society in monitoring structures, how to extend the enforceability of the results of monitoring processes and how to make the processes more compatible with sustainable development.

Also on 19 April, San Bilal will provide evidence to a hearing of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Trade Out of Poverty on the inquiry into the UK's Africa Free Trade Initiative which supports regional integration and trade facilitation in Africa.

Jan Vanheukelom and Kathleen Van Hove are hosting a meeting on 19 April on “Regionalism in Africa: Genealogies, institutions and trans-state networks”. It will be a book launch for Daniel Bach’s latest book on this issue.

Tarilla Marclint Ebiede will attend the 20 April Institute for Peace in Partnership conference on the “Trilateral (EU-UN-AU) cooperation in Peacekeeping”. The conference will focus on short-term priorities and lessons learned from bilateral relations (EU-UN) (EU-AU) and (UN-AU) in peacekeeping operations.

On 21 April, San Bilal will attend an informal experts meeting hosted by the governments of Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to discuss the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and how to maximise the benefits for developing countries.

ECDPM and the Center for Global Development (CGD) are hosting a meeting on 22 April (that will also be LIVESTREAMED) on how to get the incentives right for private sector engagement in developing countries.

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, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.

Melissa Julian

Head of Communications,

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