The ECDPM Weekly Compass is your reliable source on the latest ACP & EU policy developments and analysis, in your mailbox Friday afternoons

Editor's Pick

More or less?
According to proposals published in December 2011 by the European Commission, the European Development Fund (EDF) will continue to be the largest EU external action instrument in financial terms in 2014-2020. ECDPM’s newest Briefing Note analyses financial contributions to the 11th EDF by accounting for factors such as the total size of the EU’s population and economy, its overall inflation and the number of years covered by the EDF. This analysis can more accurately illustrate the true value of the proposed EDF and also offers different ways of comparing Member States’ contribution shares. The Briefing Note also looks into implications for Member States’ contributions in the event of an integration of the EDF into the EU budget. Since its creation, the EDF has been funded outside the EU budget by the EU Member States, and has been subject to its own financial rules and procedures.

Policy News

West and China need to cooperate in fragile states
China’s growing economic, diplomatic and military engagement in conflict-affected countries, such as Sudan, bears risk and opportunities for peace building, a new paper published by Saferworld finds. The authors observe that “as Chinese policy makers grapple with how to square new-found influence, greater responsibility and deepening interests, they may well find that the solution ultimately lies in working with others”. If China and Western donors engaged in dialogue and started coordinating their activities in fragile states, they could develop more complementary and more effective approaches to support stability and peace. The paper offers policy recommendations for both sides. 

BRIC’s aid reduces poverty, but debt sustainability is a concern
The infrastructure focus of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) development financing has benefited Low Income Countries by alleviating key bottlenecks, boosting export competitiveness and making goods and services more affordable to consumers according to this paper IMF working paper by Nkunde Mwase and Yongzheng Yang. Continued cooperation can increase economic growth and reduce poverty in the long run, but there is concern over debt sustainability, pace of employment creation, labor practice, and competition with local firms. 

Beyond development as a business by-product?
Development policy makers and practitioners alike have lately been emphasizing the need to enhance the role of the private sector in development and gathered at specialized events, such as BusinessEurope’s recent closed seminar, to discuss EU business’ role in development policy. ECDPM’s Bruce Byiers participated in this event and reflects on what “involving” the private sector in development is actually all about, and what it would take to make it genuinely effective. “To what extent are development aspects key to private investment projects, and where is it simply a fortuitous by-product?” Byiers asks in an article on the Talking Points blog. He also assesses European efforts to bring the private sector in, and finds that the European Commission needs to work out more clearly how it wants to “involve” the private sector in more practical terms.

Additional articles in the Weekly Compass-Extended Version include:
More recently uploaded resources are available in the Weekly Compass-Extended Version.


No. 104, 16 March 2012

Dear *|FNAME|*,
     EU Trade Ministers meeting today in Brussels are discussing a compromise proposal on the review of the EU's generalised scheme of tariff preferences for developing countries. The Council is also expected to adopt conclusions on the EU's approach to trade, growth and development. A separate Council is discussing the external action aspects of the Multiannual Financial Framework.
     Earlier this week, EU Finance Ministers decided to further analyse the EC’s proposal for an EU-wide financial transaction tax and to explore possible alternative routes. The EU tax commissioner will provide further analysis which will be discussed at the next EU finance ministers meeting on 30-31 March with a view to reaching a decision at their meeting on 21 June.
     The European Commission launched a consultation on the future EU policy on Civil Society Organisations in development cooperation. This policy will be announced later in 2012. The deadline for submissions is 7 May.
     Caribbean Heads of Government agreed that the Secretary-General would begin the process of restructuring of the CARICOM Secretariat to improve regional governance and implementation. The plan will be presented to the next summit in July.
     Next week the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee will host a public hearing on the role of the European External Action Service in the impulse and coordination of the Union's Foreign Policy.  The Committee will also meet with the EEAS High Representative on recent foreign policy developments and discuss the Arab Spring and developments in the Middle East with Norway’s Foreign Minister. The Security and Defence sub-committee will discuss the EU’s Horn of Africa strategy with the EU Special Representative to the region.
     The European Parliament will also hold a meeting with national parliamentarians next week to discuss the EU multiannual financial framework.
     ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly bureau and committee meetings next week will discuss EPAs, mining and future of ACP-EU relationship.
     The draft EU Council Conclusions on the external dimension of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, to be adopted next week, have been posted.
     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

Gender Equity, Human Rights, Democracy and Social Justice in Bangladesh
This evaluation of Ain o Salish Kendra (meaning Law and Mediation Centre), one of the leading organisations in the field of human rights and women’s rights in Bangladesh, shows the organization progressed as planned and achieved the expected results, with many lessons to be learned for other organizations. 


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Publisher: The Weekly Compass is produced by ECDPM with financial resources provided by our core funder, the government of the Netherlands, and other financial partners - Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Portugal, Switzerland and the UK.

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