Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A coherent 2008?

Source: Concord Flash 48, January 2008

"The best way to ensure policy coherence is to affirm a principle under which the EU’s development work is not only done by the commissioner for development", according to Commissioner Michel in a recent interview with David Cronin. Sometimes it is hard to agree with Michel, but this time he was completely right. Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) is the shared responsibility of all decision-makers working on policies that affect developing countries, at either national or EU level.

To demonstrate this, the EU Coherence Programme published a manual on PCD, giving concrete examples of incoherent EU policies and putting forward recommendations for making policies more coherent. The examples vary from fisheries partnerships and biofuels to illegal logging. The guide was presented during the European Development Days last November 2007 to Louis Michel, to the Portuguese Secretary of State João Gravinho, and several Members of the European Parliament. Since then, it has been distributed to most of the key players in development.

It has also been used as a tool for NGDOs interested in becoming involved in the promotion of PCD amongst their own constituencies. As a result, the EU Coherence Programme has been actively involved in two capacity-building events, in Portugal (November 2007, in co-operation with the national platform and IMVF) and Austria (December 2007, in co-operation with the Austrian EU platform). In 2008 new capacity-building seminars are planned for Finland (organised by CONCORD members such as Kehys) and, once again, Portugal (as a follow-up to the 2007 workshop). Hopefully others will follow!

2008 will prove to be – yet again – an important year in terms of enhancing Policy Coherence for Development, starting with the online consultation of European civil society actors about the Report on PCD recently published by the European Commission. Afterwards, ongoing work needs to be done to monitor progress on PCD-related issues, such as migration, the upcoming CAP reform, the ongoing EPA negotiations, etc.

The website is regularly updated with all the latest news on PCD, and to make sure you miss none of it, you can subscribe to our newsletter by filling in your e-mail address on the site. And to order your free copy of the manual "Policy Coherence for Development: a practical guide", check out the details on our website.


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