There is no single agreed definition of PCD, but it is widely accepted that it means that, in pursuing their domestic policy objectives, governments should at a minimum avoid negative consequences and spill-overs which would adversely affect the development prospects of poor countries (‘do no harm’). More positively, PCD also means that, when formulating domestic policies, governments should actively look for ways to exploit the potential for positive impact and build synergies between different policies to benefit developing countries.
The overall objective of PCD work is to ensure that non-development policies, other than development cooperation, adopted at national, regional and multilateral levels are “development friendly”.
The Commission, in its communication “A decent life for all”, and the Council in its conclusions on the overarching post-2015 agenda, recognized that Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) plays a major role in helping to eliminate poverty and achieving sustainable development. Moreover, there is strong demand from Member States, the European Parliament and other stakeholders for Policy Coherence for Development to be raised and promoted by the EU in the process leading to a Post-2015 framework, in particular, in the context of other means of implementation.
Also, in the discussions of the Post-2015 framework there is increasing awareness of the importance of “policy coherence” and the role of non-aid policies (beyond aid) for development. There is therefore an opportunity to further promote “policy coherence” and PCD as a key tool for the implementation of the new global framework.
Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) is one specific area that the EU, as the leading actor globally with a strong political and legal commitment, can be vocal about. Based on its own experience, the EU can further promote and advocate for increased “policy coherence” in the international discussions.
ECDPM’s James Mackie is one of the speakers at this workshop.