Policy coherence for development
Better development cooperation will not suffice to enable the developing countries to reach the Millennium goals (MDGs). This communication stresses that there is also a need for an effective improvement in the coherence of developed countries' policies.
Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 12 April 2005 - Policy Coherence for Development - Accelerating progress towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals [COM(2005) 134 final - not published in the Official Journal].
When exploring ways to accelerate progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the European Union (EU) must consider how non-aid policies can assist developing countries in attaining the MDGs. The EU activity in this field is not only a key political commitment in the context of the MDGs, but also has a firm legal basis in the Treaty establishing the European Community (Article 178).
In this communication, the Commission identifies eleven priority areas, other than aid, where the challenge of attaining synergies with development policy objectives is considered particularly relevant. It has defined general guidelines for each of these priority areas, plus a number of specific measures to help speed up progress towards the MDGs.
The EU is strongly committed to ensuring a development-friendly and sustainable outcome for the Doha Development Agenda and the Economic Partnership Agreements with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP). The EU will further improve its Generalised System of Preferences, with a view to effectively enhancing developing countries' exports to the EU. It will continue to work towards integrating trade into development strategies and will assist developing countries in carrying out domestic reforms where necessary.
The EU will play a leading role in global efforts to curb unsustainable consumption and production patterns. It will assist developing countries in implementing the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), and will work to ensure that the capacities of these countries are taken into account during MEA negotiations. The EU will continue to promote pro-poor environment-related initiatives and policies, and will sharpen the focus on climate and environmental change in its own policies.
The EU will treat security and development as complementary agendas, with the common aim of creating a secure environment and breaking the vicious circle of poverty, war, environmental degradation and failing economic, social and political structures. It will enhance its policies in support of good and effective governance and the prevention of conflict and state fragility, including by strengthening its response to difficult partnerships/failing states. It will strengthen the control of its arms exports, particularly to ensure that EU-manufactured weaponry is not used against civilian populations or to aggravate existing tensions or conflicts in developing countries. The EU will promote cooperation in fighting corruption, organised crime and terrorism.
The EU will continue its efforts to minimise the level of trade distortion related to its support measures to the agricultural sector, and facilitate developing countries' agricultural development.
The EU will continue to take due account of the development objectives of the countries with which the Community will sign bilateral fisheries agreements. Within the context of the new EU policy on fisheries partnership agreements with third countries, which has been operative since 2003, it will continue to encourage the conclusion of fisheries agreements in order to contribute towards the rational and sustainable exploitation of coastal states' surplus marine resources to the mutual benefit of both parties.
Social dimension of globalisation, promotion of employment and decent work
The EU will contribute to strengthening the social dimension of globalisation with a view to ensuring maximum benefits for all, both men and women. The global objective will be to promote decent employment conditions and work for all.
The EU will promote the synergies between migration and development, to make migration a positive factor for development.
Research and innovation
The EU will promote the integration of development objectives, where appropriate, into its research and development policies and innovation policies, and will continue to assist developing countries in enhancing their domestic capacities in this area.
The EU will address the digital divide by exploiting the potential of information and communication technologies as a development tool and as a significant resource for attaining the MDGs.
The EU will address the special needs of both landlocked and coastal developing countries by promoting the intermodality issues for achieving network interconnectivity as well as security and safety issues.
The EU is determined to contribute towards meeting the special needs of developing countries by promoting access to sustainable energy sources and by supporting interconnection of energy infrastructures and networks.
Implementation and monitoring
The Commission will look into ways and means of further reinforcing its existing instruments, notably its impact assessment tool, in order to improve the coherence of development policies.
Furthermore, it will compile a mid-term EU Report on the matter between now and the next international MDG Review, where progress on the commitments proposed in this communication will be reviewed.
This communication, together with the communications on financing for development and on the importance of Africa, was part of the EU contribution to the MDG Review at the UN High Level Event in September 2005.