Making policies work


External event



Humanitarian aid and development cooperation

12 January 2017

Share Button

ECDPM was invited by the Maltese EU Presidency to present Discussion Paper 206 on humanitarian aid and development cooperation to the Working Party on Development Cooperation (CODEV) ahead of member state discussions on the fineprint in the draft European Consensus on Development.

The paper – commissioned by Denmark – contains the following key messages:

  • The nature of today’s crisis situations blurs the lines between humanitarian aid and development cooperation more than ever before. Humanitarian crises and emergencies last longer and have become increasingly complex and volatile, putting the traditional distinction between humanitarian aid, short term relief and longer term development to the test.
  • The EU has increasingly sought to reconcile humanitarian aid and development cooperation as part of an overall and long term external action narrative introducing
    concepts as LRRD and resilience. In 2016, the EUGS illustrated the strong commitment at the political level to ensure greater coherence as part of a stronger and more purposeful EU external action.
  • Implementation of these policies however has lagged behind and is faced with both conceptual and operational barriers that make it difficult to effectively reconcile the EU’s humanitarian aid and development cooperation. Overcoming this requires a more thorough revision of the institutional architecture and possibly a diversification of the EU’s emergency response, relief and humanitarian aid operations.
  • 2017-2020 will be crucial years. Political and organisational changes such as the revision of the European Consensus on Development, the review of the EU’s External
    Financing Instruments and the expiry of the Cotonou Agreement are important opportunities for the EU to back the ambition of a truly joined-up approach with an external financing and aid architecture that is fit for purpose.

Please find the ECDPM presentation here and the meeting’s agenda here.


Council of the European Union
Rue de la Loi 175

Economic recovery and transformationHumanitarian aid