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

New policies, new implications for practitioners
With every political decision taken comes the question how these commitments can be effectively translated into reality. Development practitioners discussed what two new policy documents, the Busan Outcome Document on development effectiveness and the EU’s Agenda for Change, mean for their daily work in a seminar held earlier this week. ECDPM presented an Issues Paper on possible operational challenges and what can be done to reconcile the new policies into practices. Participants of the seminar, organised by the Practitioner’s Network for European Development Cooperation, also discussed their strategic orientation and priority areas in tackling implementation challenges. 

Policy News

EU on trade, growth and development: good start or missed opportunity?
On 16 March, EU Trade Ministers adopted conclusions on the EU’s approach to trade, growth and development based on the European Commission’s proposal on this issue. ECDPM’s experts argued in an article on the Talking Points blog when the EC’s proposal was published that the European Union still needs to develop a more strategic approach to its trade and development agenda, one that would entail a vision of the EU as a key actor for developing countries, notably in Africa. In this sense, the EC proposal and Council conclusions, while well intentioned and non-controversial, are clearly a missed opportunity. The EU Lisbon Treaty’s promise of an integrated approach to the trade and development dimensions in EU external action is not fulfilled. Although the communication and Council conclusions do not prevent this, they do little to stimulate it. 

Priorities on development effectiveness agenda to be agreed next week
Policy makers and practitioners called for the establishment of a “new, inclusive and representative Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation to support and ensure accountability for the implementation of commitments at the political level” when they met at the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan last year. The OECD DAC is tasked to agree on working arrangements for this Global Partnership by June and a meeting scheduled for 4-5 April aims to agree priorities on how the DAC can operationalise the Global Partnership to improve the quality of development co-operation. Documents forming the basis for discussions were published this week.  

The relation between roads and poverty
Infrastructure, mostly seen as a responsibility of the public sector, lacks funding in many developing countries and private investments are often far from sufficient to fill the financing gap. A new report published by the Private Infrastructure Development Group reviews how support from Development Finance Institutions helps with infrastructure funding and provision. It also analyses its impact on development outcomes and finds that while Development Finance Institutions seek to enhance economic growth, they do “far less” to directly impact poverty. The report also provides recommendations for how to better target infrastructure investment to be pro-development. 

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



No. 105, 23 March 2012

Dear *|FNAME|*,
     The European Commission put forward long-awaited, and now controversial, proposals this week on public procurement in international markets. The objective is to help open worldwide public procurement markets and to ensure European businesses have fair access to them and to ensure all companies (both European and non-European firms) are on an equal footing when competing for business in the EU’s public procurement market. Also this week, the EC published an independent evaluation of trade defence instruments.
     The EU also posted online its position to the ACP-EU Council of Ministers regarding the revision of terms and conditions of investment financing.
     The EU also adopted conclusions this week on the external dimension of the Common Fisheries Policy.
     The ACP Statement to this week’s European Raw Material Conference was posted online. The report of the January EU-African Union meeting on translating mineral resource wealth into real development for Africa was also published this week.
     Next week, the European Parliament’s Development Committee will discuss dialogue with non-state actors, policy coherence for development and future EU development policy. The Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee will be discussing the external financial instruments 2014-2020 with the EEAS and EC DEVCO. You can watch both meetings live or a recording here.
     Also next week the EU Court of Auditors will publish its assessment of whether EU development aid for food security in sub-Saharan Africa is effective.
     Next week also sees the conference on accelerating NEPAD implementation through domestic financing.
     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

Is the US focus on Asia a first step away from being a global power?
The US plan to boost its presence in Asia could be less about expanding security and more about setting new priorities. This two-part series from Yale Global Online analyzes the implications of the new focus on a rising China both for US strategy and its relations with European partners.


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