Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Development assistance in France and Germany - a plea for more cooperation

Harmonization and donor coordination are high priorities on the development agenda in Europe. A recent paper (pdf in German) by the 'German Council on Foreign Relations' (DGAP) explores the issue using the example of bilateral cooperation between France and Germany.

The paper describes the institutional framework which is the basis of the their development cooperation and sheds light on their policy priorities and regional focus. The authors come to the conclusion that both states hold a genuine position among European donor countries which is characterized by their absolute spending on development cooperation on bilateral, European and multilateral level, and their influence on the policy making of the European Union.

They show that close cooperation between the French and German administrations already exists through the so called Elysée Treaty, i.e. cooperation between the implementation agencies AFD and KfW. There is also regional cooperation, especially in the West African region.

The authors suggest a stronger focus on institutional reform in both countries to increase aid effectiveness and plea for even closer cooperation between France and Germany to accelerate the EU reform process and enhance cooperation between member states.

by Martin Behrens

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