Linking policy and practice in international cooperation

The EU institutions are continuously challenged to prove that it is more than the 29th European donor by fulfilling unique coordinating and complementary roles for EU member states.

EU development policy has to adapt as a result, while having to adjust to several global trends, including:

  • Emerging powers and relative decline of the EU in global scene
  • Financial crisis and pressure on ODA levels
  • Realisation that aid alone is not sufficient to address global development challenges

Recently, the EU has adopted a new development policy, the ‘Agenda for Change’, with which it hopes to increase the impact of EU development cooperation and ensure best value for money.   This is done by targeting resources where they are most needed (differentiation policy), concentrate efforts on two priority areas (governance, democracy and human rights and inclusive and sustainable growth for human development), and by ensuring policy coherence for development and improved joint action.

Furthermore, the EU is making continuous efforts to meet its commitments to several international standards and objectives for development, including the Millennium Development Goals and the Busan Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.

New demands are made on the way EU aid is designed and delivered – development assistance must be analysed in the appropriate political context

To this end, the Strengthening European External Action Programme at ECDPM is working to:

  • Monitor and offer guidance to African, Caribbean, Pacific Countries (ACP) and European stakeholders on the implementation of the Agenda for Change and related policies;
  • Assess the fitness of EU development policies in the context of international commitments and evolving global trends; and offer policy recommendations to ACP and European stakeholders;
  • Assess how and to what extent EU and international development policy commitments are translated into practice, to what extent the desired development outcomes are achieved, and highlight areas for improvement;
  • Observe whether or not EU external action and development assistance forms a cohesive whole geared towards fulfilling the EUs values while meeting its interests
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