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New Challenges, New Beginnings

Next Steps in European Development Cooperation

February 2010

DIE, ECDPM, FRIDE AND ODI. 2010. New Challenges, New Beginnings - Next Steps in European Development Cooperation

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It is a coincidence that two things have happened simultaneously – and the coincidence will be a happy one if the two can be brought together. On the one hand, Europe has emerged from eight years of introspection with new structures, a new leadership team and a new platform (the Lisbon Treaty) for more effective collective action.

On the other hand, the global financial crisis has provided a sobering wake-up call about the extent of mutual inter-dependence and the scale of the challenges the world must face.

The global challenges will shape international development cooperation in coming years and have already led to new thinking and new approaches. The financial crisis affected all countries and revealed new vulnerabilities. The most affected suffered a combination of falling export volumes and values, lower financial flows, lower remittances, and sometimes lower aid.

Although global recovery has begun, it is uneven in scale and speed. Countries entered and will leave the recession very differently equipped to manage the next wave of challenges. There is likely to be greater differentiation among developing countries as a result. Climate change will be by far the biggest of the next wave, but developing countries must also deal with rapid urbanisation, demographic change, and a whole range of global risks, from disease pandemics to the risk of new food crises. Fragile states pose an especially demanding challenge, to their own populations but also to the global community. A new age of challenges requires a new approach. 

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European external affairsSecurity and ResilienceDevelopment Finance and TaxationPolicy Coherence for DevelopmentPapersResearchClimate changeMigrationMillennium Development Goals (MDGs)Private Sector Development (PSD)

External authors

DIE: Stefan Gänzle, Jörn Grävingholt, Sven Grimm, Markus Loewe, Davina Makhan, Dirk Messner, Imme Scholz

ODI: Mikaela Gavas, Kate Higgins, Deborah Johnson, Jodie Keane, Simon Maxwell, Leo Peskett, Andrew Shepherd,Chris Stevens

FRIDE: Manuel Sánchez-Montero, Nils-Sjard Schulz

ECDPM: Henrike Hohmeister, Niels Keijzer, Eleonora Koeb, Antony Otieno Ong’ayo