ECDPM. 2018. ECDPM Work Plan 2019-2020. Maastricht: ECDPM
ECDPM’s mandate focuses on Africa-Europe relations and the interface between the African and European continents. We seek to inform and influence European, African and international policies and to forge partnerships to work towards our mission, which is to make policies work for sustainable and inclusive development.
This annual work plan outlines the planned 2019-2020 activities for each of ECDPM’s five programmes. The work plan covers the third year of the ECDPM 2017-2021 Strategy. That strategy explains the changing global context of our work and the rationale underlying the four areas of impact to which Centre activities contribute:
• Effective international cooperation frameworks and tools for tackling global challenges.
• Legitimate and accountable public institutions and engaged societies.
• Peaceful societies based on the rule of law, social cohesion and human dignity.
• Sustainable economic transformation with shared prosperity and decent jobs.
Our strategy implementation plan explains how we at ECDPM organise ourselves to deliver on the 2017-2021 strategy. Key building blocks are the following:
• The ECDPM way of engagement, including the theory of change approach that we apply in our planning, monitoring and learning processes and the way we address identified risks.
• Our organisational structure, with five core programmes, each with its own long-term aim and context, and the horizontal support functions of the Centre.
• The ECDPM approach to strategic planning and learning, monitoring and evaluation.
EU institutional change will be a prime factor in the context in which ECDPM works in 2019. The year marks one of the periodic moments when European Parliament elections are held and new leadership is appointed to the Commission. One of the first tasks of the newly elected parliamentarians will be to hold hearings for each of the candidate Commissioners before they are formally approved. Another early task will be to finalise the EU’s next multiannual financial framework (MFF). The year will therefore be one of policy renewal, change and new opportunities for ECDPM.
The context continues to be complicated by more volatile national politics across Europe, manifesting in a swing to the right and stronger Euroscepticism, as most clearly seen in Brexit. This is likely to be reflected in the European Parliament elections and in the new Commission. In turn, issues such as migration and asylum, which have already revealed deep differences between EU member states, could become even more contested. The wider international context presents challenges too. Growing tensions between the United States and China and the disruptive role played by Russia make for an unpredictable setting for both Europe and Africa to manage their international cooperation.
Africa, not just Europe, is seeing change in its institutions, though 2019 may be less of a watershed year for Africa. The African Union (AU) reform process is ongoing, and serious efforts are being made to tackle the financing issues that have bedevilled the AU. A continental free trade area is being established, and progress is being made on economic development and on engagement with the 2030 Agenda. Finally, the two continental bodies have a common agenda that will play out in 2019: the post- Cotonou negotiations will run through the year and there will be continuing dialogue on migration.