Bossuyt, J., Caputo, E., Schwarz, J. 2017. Coherence report - Insights from the external evaluation of the External Financing Instruments. Brussels: European Commission.
By the end of 2017, a mid-term review (MTR) of External Financing Instruments (EFIs) has to be presented to the European Parliament and to the Council. External evaluations have been conducted of each instrument and of the Common Implementation Regulation (CIR). This Coherence
Report provides a strategic synthesis of these evaluations with a view to addressing the question: “Were the current instruments fit for purpose at the start (2014) and are they still responsive to the evolving context now (at mid-point), as well as potentially beyond 2020”? The focus was on four
aspects: (i) relevance and delivery capacity; (ii) responsiveness; (iii) consistency; (iv) added value.
In assessing the fitness for purpose of the instruments, it is important to factor in major contextual and influential changes since 2014. These manifested themselves in multiple crises (migration, refugees), more ambitious global frameworks (i.e. the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, the Paris agreement on climate) and new EU policy responses to these challenges (EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, new European Consensus on Development).
The conclusions are that: the new international co-operation system – driven by global agendas, crisis and security concerns, mutual interests, multiple actors, and financial flows beyond aid- requires a major rethinking of the overall package of instruments and related ‘division of labour’;
clear and coherent choices on different flexibility dimensions of current and future instruments should be made; simplification of the set of instruments may be politically attractive, but has limits and risks; diversification of funding (beyond aid) and adopting multi-actor partnerships
should be considered, along with a wide range of organisational changes at EU level to ensure external action is fit for purpose beyond 2020.