Brussels, 10 November 2010
European Commission opens debate to change gears in the fight against poverty
Today, the European Commission launches a public consultation on the future of EU Development policy. Faced with the triple challenge of economic, food and environmental crises, but also the generally encouraging economic performance of Developing countries, the Commission wishes to collect views on how the EU can best support developing countries to speed up their progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and beyond. Building on previous achievements, the Commission proposes four main areas for debate, focusing on the impact of EU aid, the facilitation of more inclusive growth, the promotion of sustainable development, and durable results in agriculture and food security. Following the public consultation open to EU and partner countries, the Commission will table a Communication on a Modernised EU Development policy in 2011.
“EU's aid must help provide a decent living for all, and give people a chance to build their future. EU citizens are still committed to support the poorest countries, and they expect concrete results. I want to address these expectations by making sure that the EU’s assistance has a high and lasting impact on the ground", said EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs. "Our policy has to address the root causes of poverty and act as a catalyst to create conditions for inclusive growth in our partner countries. The mandate I received is to work for poverty reduction and better coordination of EU aid, which represents more than 50% of global aid. I am convinced that with a modern policy and the adequate instruments, the EU will change gears and support the take off of developing countries on the long run. ”
The Green Paper seeks to launch a debate on how best to adapt EU development policy to the needs of developing countries and to the added value of EU action. The Commission recognizes that differentiated and flexible approaches will have to be followed. However, it raises questions around four common objectives to be pursued collaboratively by the EU and its Member States:
The European Union is the biggest donor in the world, contributing for around 56% of global aid. In 2009 the European Union and its Member States gave a total of €49 billion in development aid. The external aid managed by the European Commission amounted to €12 billion in 2009. Article 208 of The Lisbon Treaty states: "(…) The Union's development cooperation policy and that of the Member States complement and reinforce each other. Union development cooperation policy shall have as its primary objective the reduction and, in the long term, the eradication of poverty. The Union shall take account of the objectives of development cooperation in the policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing countries."
To read the whole text of the Green paper and participate to the consultation:
MEMO on Green Paper: MEMO/10/565
Link to the public consultation on Budget Support: