Friday, November 10, 2006

Civil society perspectives on EU approaches to governance in development

In August, the European Commission released a communication on Governance in Development Cooperation, promoting better harmonization at the European level. This interest by the EC in a topic which is currently very high on donor agendas, coincides with increasing attention to governance challenges within developing countries.

This is why, in a recent survey conducted with 56 partners in 24 southern countries, CIDSE asked civil society organisations to share their perspectives on the role of the donor community in relation to governance reform in their countries.

This survey formed the basis for a new CIDSE publication, 'Governance and Development Cooperation: Civil Society Perspectives on the European Union approach' (french/spanish).

CIDSE’s partners underlined that governance reforms cannot be imposed from outside. They also clearly stated that the EC should take responsibility to ensure that its own standards, regarding its aid policies, are of the highest caliber. This contradicts the fact that while talking about ownership and broad inclusive processes, the EC already unilaterally defined governance indicators and allocation criteria for the 10th European Development Fund for ACP countries. It shows contradictions between the ECs definition of governance and its own actions in this field.

CIDSE, as well as many other Civil Society organisations, expects those concerns to be raised during the European Development Days organized by the EC between 13 and 17 November. Governance will precisely be the main theme of the three days of debates between officials from European and African governments and international institutions.

On this occasion, CIDSE will organize a side-event on 16 November bringing together Southern Civil Society Perspectives on Governance. CIDSE will also contribute to the 'Civil Society Seminar on Just and Democratic Governance' in Brussels on 14 November.

See also the Euforic dossier on governance.

Source: CIDSE Advocacy Newsletter - No. 34 (Nov. 2006)