Action Plan for more, better and faster aid
This Communication aims to improve efficiency, coherence and the impact of aid to Community development. It follows the commitments adopted by the EU in 2005 to increase aid for development, increase its impact and speed up its application to respond to the objectives laid down in the Millennium Development Goals.
Communication from the Commission of 2 March 2006 - EU Aid: Delivering more, better and faster [COM(2006) 87 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
The action plan set out in this Communication comprises nine time-bound measures ("deliverables") to be implemented jointly by the Commission and Member States. Some of them, like the mapping of EU assistance through regional donor atlases, the support of local coordination processes and the development of a common framework for programming of assistance, may be launched immediately. Others, such as the proposed co-financing mechanism for EU funds, may be implemented within the next four years.
The action plan is divided into two parts. The first part summarises the nine measures on which the EU as a group has now to deliver, together with the relevant timetable, while the second part presents the first four deliverables that have already been developed and are ready for immediate adoption and implementation in a selected number of partner countries. The third part describes the five remaining deliverables that have to be developed during 2006 and implemented by 2010.
The EU's commitments on aid effectiveness can be split into three inter-connected groups concerning:
- transparent mapping and checks;
- the implementation of collective commitments adopted by the Paris Declaration on harmonisation and alignment (pdf);
- the execution of the aid effectiveness pillar of the new EU strategy framework, as defined by the New Development Policy Statement (the " European consensus ") and the EU Strategy for Africa.
Part I: Monitoring of commitments
In the interests of better organisation and an improved division of labour, the EU Donor Atlas needs to be revised as the first edition revealed a concentration of aid in certain "attractive" countries and sectors, to the detriment of certain forgotten countries and sectors, and a fragmentation of activities, with a proliferation of actors and small-scale projects.
As regards EU development rules, it is useful to have an overview of the rules currently in force in all Member States; these will be collected in compendiums to facilitate the work of all operators. Another important objective is achieving, in the long term, joint programming. To this end, the multiannual Joint Programming Framework (JPF) aims to create a mechanism enabling the overlapping elements of Member States' systems to be grouped together, thereby reducing the transaction costs of Community programming.
The Development Policy Statement (the "European consensus") and the EU Strategy for Africa, both adopted in 2005, provide for a better division of labour with a view to achieving greater aid complementarity and effectiveness, more joint actions through more intensive use of co-financing, and strengthening of the EU input and impact.
Part II: Immediate action
The four objectives that could be achieved by 2006 are: the Donor Atlas, monitoring of the EU and the DAC processes, the roadmap and the Joint Programming Framework (JPF).
The revised EU Donor Atlas II will emphasise the regional dimension, and aid mapping will be carried out at state level, covering all the donors active in that country. Monitoring should be carried out in respect of the international objectives and targets agreed in Paris and the EU's concrete operational deliverables, which from 2003 will be monitored through the Annual Report on the Follow-up of Monterrey.
The roadmap process needs to be upgraded and monitoring responsibilities should be strengthened and shared. They should be established by 2006 and all objectives should be reached by 2010. The Joint Programming Framework is due to be adopted by mid-2006 and should be implemented in a pragmatic, progressive and realistic manner. It should be introduced in countries where a donor joint assistance strategy has already been initiated (i.e. Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) and should be extended to all remaining ACP countries, as well as to all countries that have signed the Paris Declaration by 2010.
Part III: Completing the agenda
The five objectives to be developed by the end of 2006 are operational complementarity, increasing joint activities with an EU co-financing role, strengthening the EU vision, improving joint local arrangements and producing compendiums of Community development rules.
A set of pragmatic operational principles on the complementarity of actions should be adopted by the end of 2006. These principles could be applied in the field in connection with the future regional chapters of the revised Donor Atlas. Furthermore, all regulatory impediments to co-financing must be reviewed in order to develop a structured co-financing mechanism for EU funds by 2008.
In order to strengthen the EU vision on development assistance, a whole host of actions should be pursued, e.g. the creation of a network of development research centres, the introduction of European Development Days, and a European training map regrouping all vocational training programmes for development practitioners. Finally, compendiums of EU rules for programming, EU rules for procurement, and EU rules and principles for NGOs and assistance will be established by the end of 2006 and reviewed in 2008. They will take account of any harmonisation of rules occurring in the meantime.