Friday, March 30, 2007

European Commission adopted a Code of Conduct on Division of labour

On 28 February, the Commission adopted a voluntary code of conduct for the division of labour in EU development policy that sets-out guidelines to ensure a global and more even presence of the European Union in the developing world.

After the publication of the code, division of labour has become a top priority in the agenda of the Development group of the Council. The issue is judged sensitive and complex but essential.

The 10 guiding principles proposed by the Commission are:
  • EU donors to concentrate their activities in a partner country to the two sectors in which they have the best comparative advantage;

  • To redeploy their other activities in-country through lead donor arrangement based on a substantial mandate or by entering into a delegated cooperation/partnership arrangement with another donor;

  • To ensure an adequate EU presence in strategic sectors by ensuring that at least one EU donor is actively involved in each strategic sector considered relevant for poverty reduction. EU donors will furthermore seek to limit the number of active donors to a maximum of 3 per sector by 2010;

  • To apply the above principles of in-country division of labour also in their work with partner regional institutions;

  • Each EU donor to establish priority countries while maintaining 'universal' EU assistance;

  • To address the "orphans" countries of aid allocations by striving to dedicate part of their aid budget to "under-funded" countries;

  • EU donors to deepen self-assessments of their comparative advantages. They should specialise more, while maintaining the diversity of expertise for the EU as a whole;

  • To pursue progress on the vertical and cross-modality/instruments dimensions of complementarity;

  • To promote jointly the division of labour by relying on joint statements to clarify purpose, modalities and outcome of division of labour;

  • To deepen the reforms of aid systems recognizing that division of labour will imply real structural changes, reforms and staffing consequences.

The implementation of the Code should be strongly promoted and monitored. It should be part of an annual debate on the orientation of EU Development Policy and be based on three elements: an annual sampling of country cases, an EU Donor Atlas adapted to a more political use, and the EU Development Report under preparation. The Code should be reviewed in 2010.

The EC text also mentions the fact that Civil society activities and cooperation with private foundations represent an important part of the aid delivered in a given country, but enhanced complementarity between the private and the public spheres belongs to another debate. Therefore, this Code focuses only on the complementarity between public authorities.

Source: EU NEWS - Issue 2, March 2007 (APRODEV, CIDSE, Caritas Europa).

See also Euforic dossier on EU cooperation.