Sunday, June 22, 2008

The EU and the MDGs: No time to Waste

Source: CIDSE Advocacy Newsletter 39, June 2008

European leaders meeting in Brussels on 19-20 June in the European Council will have on their agenda a discussion on the means to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The groundwork for this discussion was laid by EU Development Ministers, in the conclusions to their Council of Ministers meeting on 26-27 May.

In view of the May meeting, members of the European NGO coalition CONCORD including CIDSE undertook concerted efforts to push for commitments to redress the decrease in European aid and improve aid quality. CONCORD published its third annual “Aid Watch” report entitled “No Time to Waste,” calling on European governments to respect democratic ownership, enhance transparency, phase out economic policy conditionality, increase predictability, align technical assistance to national priorities, and evaluate aid independently. The May Council conclusions did integrate some of civil society’s demands, by: agreeing to reform, streamline and harmonise conditionalities; supporting the strengthening of domestic accountability for development results through better involvement of Parliaments and civil society; and calling for transparency regarding allocation, use and impact of resources for development.

However, EU Member States did not yet agree to establish binding annual timetables for aid increases through 2015 to meet their pledges made in 2005. European NGOs will continue to work ahead of the June European Council summit and beyond to hold their governments to account on their responsibility for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the enjoyment of human rights by all.

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