Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The 'Whole-of-Union Approach' and what it means for EU Development Policy

Recently the EC published a communication on 'Policy Coherence for Development' focusing on the establishment of a policy framework for a ‘Whole-of-the-Union Approach’(see pdf).

Now the European NGO Confederation CONCORD reacted on the communication in a policy briefing (see doc-file). CONCORD welcomes the proposal to take a more systematic and strategic approach to Policy Coherence. It welcomes the EU's wish to engage developing countries in dialogue on policy coherence.

According to the ‘Whole-of-the-Union Approach’ the Union would move towards a more holistic relationship with developing countries. One key element should be the ‘ODA plus’ concept which means to count not just official aid (ODA) but a variety of other ‘financial flows’ such as private investment, technology transfer, and research as a contribution to development.

According to CONCORD this poses a major shift in EU development cooperation away from ODA towards a wider range of sources with a questionable development impact and delivered with non-development objectives in mind. Such a process would go along with the current situation where several EU member states fail to meet their aid targets.

“Despite the rhetoric, the EU seems to be abandoning the focus on policy coherence for development and moving towards a self-interested development agenda”
the Concord briefing says.

CONCORD calls for a firm recommitment from member states to meet their aid promises and for any approach to policy coherence for development to be focused on the protection of developing countries from harmful effects of EU policies, rather than promoting EU interests.

For more information, check out Euforic's newsfeeds on Concord and the Euforic dossier and newsfeed on policy coherence.