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Monday, April 21, 2008

Poverty reduction to remain a core objective of EU development policy

Source: EU News no. 3, April 2008

What is the most appropriate institutional framework to guarantee that poverty reduction remains the core objective of EU development policy? This is the question that the community of civil society organisations focusing on international development is eager to answer, in the context of the debate regarding the Lisbon Treaty and its possible implementation modalities, after/if it is ratified. Indeed, given that the text of Treaty contains limited information concerning the institutional structures, the Treaty’s impact on development cooperation will largely depend on its implementation.

Specifically, the combined provisions for, on one hand, an enhanced role given to the High Representative of the EU for Common Foreign and Security Policy, who will coordinate the EU external policy as a whole with the support of a newly created European External Action Service, and the reduction in the number of Commissioners, on the other hand, leave it unclear whether the High Representative will also be directly managing development cooperation, or whether a Development Commissioner will be maintained.

It is feared by a large section of development NGOs that, without a dedicated Commissioner for Development, development cooperation would be considered just another foreign policy tool. The risk is to see an increasing politicisation of development policy and the instrumentalization of European aid, to serve other purposes than purely development objectives. Read more...

For more information, contact Blandine Bouniol

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