How does the European Union (EU) engage with middle-income and more advanced developing countries (MICs and MADCs)? How can the EU improve its future engagement?
The current debate is too ambivalent and shies away from clear choices. A dedicated form of policy guidance on the EU’s priorities in engaging with such countries would help to reconcile the many drivers behind its engagement and address some of the trade-offs.
Clear policy guidance could be combined with operational flexibility by adapting action to specific EU objectives and partner country demands. Collaborating with different actors from both within and outside the EU, such as businesses, local authorities and civil society, would bring distinct benefits.
The negotiations on the EU’s post-2020 budget and the ensuing programming process will help to further clarify the EU’s offer, which could build on its most valued assets, i.e. its continental scale and network, its expertise and the richness of the tools it has available for cooperation.
This brochure summarises the findings of our extensive study on the way the European Union engages with middle-income and more advanced developing countries.