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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.

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Editor's Pick

Europe’s relations with Southern partners now more reciprocal, more equal
“Twenty years ago we could still think that the whole world depends on Europe and the United States for its development, for its improvement of the lot of poor people. Right now, we are in a situation where Europe actually depends more on the world for its own growth, its economic and social development, than the other way around”, says Paul Engel, Director of ECDPM, in this Talking Points audio clip. This also impacts on the way that work is done in international cooperation. “And we now have Southern partners who are increasingly vocal about their own wishes, their own rights, and their own plans [...] that makes international cooperation the more interesting, vital and dynamic; Engel says. It is the wealth of experience Europe has in areas like agriculture, security and economics that countries are asking to have shared with them, through reciprocal and equitable dialogue.
 
Policy News

Clarity on EU migration and development policies
The European Commission’s new policy Communication "Maximising the Development Impact of Migration" provides the basis for an eventual European Union common position in the UN High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (HLD) being held in October. The document outlines key points for each of the 4 roundtables of the HLD: i) the link between international migration and sustainable development and preparation of the post-2015 framework; ii) protection of human rights of all migrants; iii) global partnerships, cooperation and coherence; and iv) international and regional labour mobility and development. A new report from ECDPM and ICMPD also examines the scope of migration and development policies, the underlying concepts and principles and the institutional frameworks across 11 countries in Europe and the EC. It also assesses the steps that have been taken to ensure intra-governmental policy coherence.
 
Looking at food security through the PCD lens 
The global food crisis affects around 8.5 million people in developing countries. To address the challenges of food security, a more proactive approach to Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) is needed according to a new study from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The report outlines ways in which OECD countries can reform their policies to improve coherence and address the structural conditions that constrain development and growth, such as barriers to trade and markets. It also identifies areas where coordinated action at the global level can improve PCD efforts. 
 
Political Economy Analysis necessary for effective natural resource management 
Natural resources have the potential to transform resource-rich developing countries through economic growth. But managing natural resource wealth can be difficult due to things like price volatility and undemocratic governments. There is increased interest in how institutional mechanisms that constrain the discretion of expenditure policies - referred to as special fiscal institutions (SFIs) - can promote fiscal discipline. ODI examines the options for developing economies when deciding  the types of fiscal arrangements and institutional mechanisms that are appropriate in their specific political economy environments. It advises that policy-makers should consider the options available and assess their merits based on the overall fiscal policy framework and the incentives to introduce such mechanisms in the individual country context.


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No 148, 24 May 2013


Dear Jacques,
 
     The EU Presidency informed ministers on the state of play in the discussions with the European Parliament on the EU's multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020. It also asked the Council for guidance on the four issues raised by the Parliament with regard to the next MFF (review, own resources, unity of the budget and flexibility). Delegations were ready to examine a legally binding obligation on the Commission to present a review in 2017. Negotiations with the European Parliament are continuing this week and next, with a further political trilogue scheduled for 28 May. Press reports say tensions are high.
     The European Council agreed to accelerate work in the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. In particular, work will be taken forward as a matter of priority on promoting and broadening the scope of the automatic exchange of information at all levels.  See also here.
     The ACP-EU Committee on Development Finance Committee meets next week to discuss the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014-2020 and the agenda for the 6 June Joint Ministerial meeting.
     The European Council decided on the number of members of the European Commission. This decision provides that the Commission will continue to consist of a number of members equal to the number of Member States. This number also includes the Commission President and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission.
     The next European Parliament elections are to be brought forward to 22-24 May 2014. Bringing the elections forward would give the new Parliament more time to prepare for the election of the European Commission President in July 2014.
     The African Union Summit is still ongoing, discussing the future of the continental grouping, and is set to conclude next week.  The Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry published a detailed paper on the role of Africa’s private sector over the next 50 years.
     EU Development Ministers meet next week to discuss Official Development Assistance, including the European Development Fund. They will also discuss Policy Coherence for Development and agree their position ahead of the UN meeting on the post 2015 global development agenda.
     The European Parliament Development Committee next week is discussing blending, EC workplan, PCD and role of development in EU external action. Structured dialogues are taking place with the EU Development Commissioner on the EC development workplan 2014 and on the key role of development in the EU external action with EU High Representative. There will also be discussion on Policy Coherence for Development. The Parliament’s Trade Committee will discuss the Commission’s trade workplan 2014 with the EU Trade Commissioner. You can watch all the meetings live online or a recording after.
     The African Development Bank will hold its annual meeting next week with the theme on Africa’s Structural Transformation and launch the African Economic Outlook Report: Structural Transformation and Natural Resources.
     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
mj@ecdpm.org


Off The Track   

Promise and pitfalls of US food aid reforms
Food aid reform is under the spotlight as the Obama Administration announced its Fiscal Year 2014 budget last month. Tom Murphy looks at the impact of the US Food Aid reforms and how these changes will affect the humanitarian response.

 

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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, Sweden and Switzerland.

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