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

Aid for Trade needs to shift from policy to greater action
Next week, the OECD will hold a Policy Dialogue on Aid for Trade (AfT) with high-level speakers from across the trade and development world. Ahead of the meeting, ECDPM Programme Associate Dan Lui explores in a blog the extent to which, 7 years after its launch, the Aid for Trade initiative still remains relevant as a tool for helping build trade in developing countries. He says that while funding to boost trade has increased and the policy frameworks have been strengthened in many countries, AfT needs to shift away from policy to action. Now is the time for examining micro-level questions surrounding the effectiveness of AfT projects, strengthening implementation and improving the linkages between different trade-related sectors.

Policy News

ACP Secretary General to resign despite detailed summit plans
Senior delegates from 63 of the 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, including some 15 Heads of State, attended the ACP Summit last December. The summit declaration highlights members’ determination to “stay united as a Group” and retain relevance by “enhancing the ACP-EU relationship as a unique North-South development cooperation model, while developing South-South and other partnerships.” A new working group will reflect on the response of the ACP Group to global challenges. Officials also decided to set up a high-level panel to advance trade negotiations with the EU. Shortly after the summit, the African Union announced that the ACP Group’s Secretary General had been appointed the African Union-UN Special Representative for Darfur. The ACP remains silent on this and has not yet named a successor.

Post-2015: who proposed what again?
As the debate on what will replace the Millennium Development Goals after their expiry date in 2015 intensifies, the number of proposals for new targets is increasing. On its portal, ODI tracks emerging proposals and provides an overview of ideas by sector in a handy table that is updated regularly. The growing list is not yet complete and, in an effort to capture all proposals, ODI invites readers whose ideas have not been included in the list to point to these.

What reforms matter for Africa in 2013
Continuous positive change in Africa has transformed the “hopeless continent” into a rising region in the past few years. Optimistic outlooks predict that many African economies will continue to grow in the near future, though the continent still faces numerous challenges. A new report by the Brookings Institution outlines what will be the key issues for 2013 and ways to leverage opportunities so that Africa “can continue the emerging momentum”. Top priorities for 2013 include employment policy reform, tackling the energy poverty gap, and broader issues of insecurity.

Mobilising urgently needed resources for food security
Global demand for food is likely to increase by 60% by 2050. To meet this challenge of global food security, significantly higher investments in agriculture and nutrition are needed. Data shows that the international community is unlikely to levy the needed funds out of ‘traditional’ aid resources, which are limited in times of crisis. Alternative sources of funding could complement these and a new report for the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development looks into their potential. It reviews existing and possible mechanisms for generating “urgently needed” resources and for catalysing private investment into agriculture, food security and nutrition. As numerous initiatives also look into this issue, it recommends establishing a platform for the coordination of research on innovative funding.

In case you missed it! ECDPM Challenges Paper and GREAT Insights
Just before the year-end break, ECDPM published its annual "Challenges Paper", which provides an outlook on key issues set to shape development debates in 2013. ECDPM gives an overview of what is likely to be on the agenda as Africa and the EU will be preparing for the next joint summit, set for early 2014. The December issue of ECDPM's monthly GREAT Insights takes Mozambique as an illustration of the challenges many African countries face in transforming high economic growth, impressive natural resources discoveries, a relatively stable political environment into broad inclusive and sustainable growth. It includes and exclusive interview with the Mozambican president.

Additional Articles in the Weekly Compass-Extended Version

More recently uploaded resources are available in the Weekly Compass-Extended Version.

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No 133, 11 January 2013

Dear *|FNAME|*,
     Best wishes for 2013!

     Ireland assumed the rotating EU Presidency on 1 January. Foreign policy priorities include the post-2015 development framework and the review of the functioning of the European External Action Service (EEAS). The 18-month programme of the EU Council (1 January 2013 - 30 June 2014) was also published. It includes priorities in foreign and development policies such as strategic relations with Africa, conflict prevention and policy coherence for development.
     The EU Development Commissioner outlined the Commission's development priorities for 2013 which also include the future international development framework to be agreed in September, proposals to help the least-developed countries that are failing to meet the MDGs and a food security plan for developing countries. The Commissioner also called on EU Member States to meet their official development assistance commitments within the negotiations on the future EU budget.
     The European Summit in December called on the EEAS to increase the effectiveness, visibility and impact of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy by further developing the comprehensive approach to conflict prevention, crisis management and stabilisation.
     The EU adopted a report on how impact assessments of policies are carried out within the Council.  Ambassadors will consider possible further steps for ensuring the coherence and consistency of EU policies and make recommendations by April.
     The EU adopted rules related to the procedure for granting the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance under scheme of generalised tariff preferences. And the European Commission proposed a new framework for the EU's trade responses in cases of illegal trade measures in other countries. Action could include new or increased customs duties or quotas on imports or exports of goods.
     The African Union and European Commissions met with African Regional Economic Communities in December and identified concrete measures to be taken in joint customs areas and trade facilitation in order to contribute to the setting up and implementation of the African Free Trade Area.
     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   

Happy news for US foreign aid in the new year
The Center for Global Development’s Rethinking US Foreign Assistance blog reports that the White House appointed nine members to the President’s Global Development Council, the US House of Representatives passed an aid transparency bill, and the fiscal cliff deal postpones across-the-board budget cuts.


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