ECDPM. 2017. ECDPM work plan 2018-2019. Maastricht: ECDPM
As the European Union (EU) enters its seventh decade since the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957 and the second decade of its Joint Strategy with the African Union signed in Lisbon in 2007, the context of ECDPM’s work appears increasingly volatile and unpredictable. The EU itself has been mired in an ‘existential questioning’, prompted first by the financial crisis in 2008 and then by the growing refugee influx which peaked in 2015, alongside the rise of anti-EU populist movements and the British decision to exit. There have of course been also moves to strengthen the Union. Merkel, Macron, Juncker, and other European leaders have stressed the opportunities the current environment creates, emphasising the need for European integration processes to continue. Certainly such optimism will be called for in 2018, a year in which the EU will face a number of key debates on external affairs. Two in particular will be crucial for ECDPM’s work in the year ahead: negotiation of a new agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states and drafting a proposal for the next EU budget, the multiannual financial framework (MFF).
This Work Plan spells out Centre activities in these and other areas in 2018-2019. This will be the second year of ECDPM’s 2017-2021 strategy. That strategy, and all of the Centre’s work, hinges on four key areas of impact:
• Effective international cooperation frameworks
• Legitimate and accountable institutions
• Peaceful societies
• Sustainable economic transformation
ECDPM provides politically-informed, evidence-based, and practical policy advice and acts as a broker to facilitate uptake and seek common ground between public, private, and civil society actors in both Europe and Africa. Our added value rests on several assets, which position the Centre for effective engagement:
• Strong links with and expertise on European and African states and institutions, the business community, civil society, and development partners
• In-depth knowledge and a track record in providing actionable insights and recommendations
• A wide network of partners and privileged access to key stakeholders and policymakers in the foreign and development policy communities of Europe, Africa and beyond
• A highly-visible multidisciplinary team, experienced in facilitating synergies across policy areas, fostering multi- stakeholder dialogues, and promoting coherence across different levels of intervention, while navigating complex institutional and political environments
• Internal quality processes that encourage the use of of common analytical frameworks or cross-cutting issues such political economy, gender and climate change.