Making policies work

Blog overview

Implementing the global migration compact in EU member states: A long and winding road?

12-09-2019
  • Noemi Cascone

In 2018, the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), the first inter-governmentally negotiated agreement on a common and holistic approach to international migration, was endorsed. While not legally ...

Transforming food systems to combat climate change

15-08-2019
  • Bethany Tietjen
  • Cecilia D’Alessandro
  • Koen Dekeyser

Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) launched a report summary on the contribution of food systems and land use to climate change, which was approved by the world’s governments. ...

Implementing policy coherence: A challenge inherent to the 2030 Agenda

19-07-2019
  • Fabien Tondel
  • James Mackie
  • Martin Ronceray

This week, we were in New York for events organised alongside the 2019 UN High-Level Political Forum, dedicated to implementation of the 2030 Agenda. There was a lot of talk about policy ...

Engage with Africa

18-07-2019
  • Mariella Di Ciommo

Europe’s research policy towards the continent needs to be more tailored, and Africans need a stronger voice in it, says Mariella di Ciommo. Jean-Claude Juncker, outgoing Commission president, has called Africa Europe’s ...

Where aid for trade meets responsible business conduct

15-07-2019
  • Poorva Karkare

I recently attended the 7th Aid for Trade Global Review, which took place in Geneva on 3-5 July. The theme was ʻsupporting economic diversification and empowerment through inclusive, sustainable development’. Naturally, the ...

Making sense of regional integration in Africa

07-07-2019
  • Bruce Byiers
  • Poorva Karkare

The problem of African countries’ memberships to multiple regional bodies? There’s no problem. A highly anticipated coordination meeting between the African Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) will take place ...

Path to Zero Hunger: Cash-based programming, human-centred development and localisation

24-06-2019
  • Dominique De Bonis

In this blog for ECDPM, Dominique De Bonis, Senior Policy and Programme Officer at the UN World Food Programme, argues that cash transfers can empower people and nations to tackle the root ...

Domestic ripples, regional waves? The future of Ethiopian reforms and their regional implications

03-06-2019
  • Rodrigo Vaz

The recent visit to Ethiopia by EU High Representative Mogherini – the second in 2019 – has in Europe put the spotlight back on Ethiopia’s reforms since Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister ...

First thoughts on the European elections and development policy

27-05-2019
  • Alexei Jones
  • Andrew Sherriff
  • Mariella Di Ciommo

The European elections present a new, more fragmented, although not revolutionary Parliament. The future European Parliament will deal with critical issues such as the negotiations of the future EU budget and who ...

An AU-EU alliance to defend multilateralism

08-04-2019
  • James Mackie

A decade ago, the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU) committed to ‘jointly promote and sustain a system of effective multilateralism’ as one of the four objectives of their 2007 ...

Sustainable livestock value chains in West Africa: Can regional organisations rise to the challenges?

04-04-2019
  • Bruce Byiers
  • Fabien Tondel

Livestock production and trade accounts for a large part of the agri-food economy and intra-regional trade in West Africa. Livestock products contribute to food security and nutrition, as sources of nutrients and ...

Who’s interested in the EU’s open invitation to join a post-Cotonou Agreement?

29-03-2019
  • Andrew Sherriff

The negotiations for the successor to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) are ongoing and, this spring, chief negotiators will likely meet again. They may then also discuss whether to encourage third states ...

Getting to grips with the regional politics of water in Africa

18-03-2019
  • Alfonso Medinilla
  • Martin Ronceray

Cross-border water governance is a world where technical and political communities collide, where principled and scientific approaches to resource allocation cross political interests and economic stakes. For World Water Day, we draw ...

A generational divide in the fight against climate change

04-03-2019
  • Hanne Knaepen

In this post of our ‘Challenges Paper blogs’ series, Hanne Knaepen looks at the new leaders on climate action: young people in Europe and in Africa. ‘To move towards long-term solutions’, she ...

Four opportunities to give to gender the importance it deserves in EU policy and external spending

04-03-2019
  • Andrew Sherriff
  • Noemi Cascone

Many think that changing the direction of the EU policy ‘oil tanker ship’ is virtually impossible and that it’s much easier to hook initiatives onto the direction it’s already heading in instead. ...

The African Continental Free Trade Area: The hard work starts now

15-02-2019
  • Philomena Apiko
  • Sean Woolfrey

At the recent African Union (AU) Summit, three more African countries signed the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), while at least three others deposited instruments of ratification of ...

The reform engine of the African Union has started - Over to Egypt to keep it running

11-02-2019
  • Jan Vanheukelom

Two years ago, Rwandan President Paul Kagame kickstarted reforms to the African Union. As he hands over the chair to his Egyptian successor el-Sisi, many wonder what will happen to this reform ...

Europe and migration in 2019: Tough choices, conflicting priorities and existential questions

04-02-2019
  • Anna Knoll

In the second post of our ‘Challenges Paper blogs’ series, Anna Knoll discusses how migration considerations are likely to take centre stage in a number of European policy processes in 2019, how ...

Win-win-win: Africa and Europe in 2019 should move towards solutions that benefit migrants too

28-01-2019
  • Amanda Bisong

In the first post of our ‘Challenges Paper blogs’ series, Amanda Bisong looks at what trends we can expect to witness in Africa concerning migration issues. ‘To move towards long-term solutions’, she ...

Finding a new point of departure for the future of UK-EU development cooperation after Brexit

21-01-2019
  • Andrew Sherriff

On Tuesday 15 January, the draft withdrawal agreement – the result of 18 months of intense negotiations between British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government and the European Union – was flatly rejected ...

The European Union and the United Nations need each other more than ever

17-12-2018
  • Andrew Sherriff
  • Pauline Veron

In the past few months, the EU institutions have consistently expressed their support to the UN and its reform, in the face of a rapidly changing world. At a time when commitments ...

EU competition law and sustainability coming together

17-12-2018
  • Jeske van Seters

A recent conference organised by the Fair Trade Advocacy Office and hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee on competition law and sustainability brought together two communities that don’t often meet. ...

Preserving ecosystems in Africa: Reflections from COP24

17-12-2018
  • Romy Chevallier

This is a guest contribution from Romy Chevallier, Senior Researcher in the Governance of Africa’s Resources programme at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA). I spent the past week in ...

What has thinking and working politically ever done for us?

10-12-2018
  • Bruce Byiers

Development is nothing if not political. Yet development policy and interventions are often premised on a purely technical basis, leading to frustration or surprise when things go awry. That was kind of ...

Small changes, big world: An inspiration for Europe and middle-income countries fighting climate change

26-11-2018
  • Mariella Di Ciommo
  • Sanne Thijssen

The urge to act against climate change is ever growing, as shown by the recent strikes all over the globe, where thousands of youths called their governments to act against rising temperatures. ...

Industrialising Africa one nut at a time

20-11-2018
  • Bruce Byiers
  • Jeske van Seters

High fives for industrialisation Today is Africa Industrialisation Day. Falling just between World Toilet Day and World Television Day you could be forgiven for not being aware. The theme this year is ...

What just happened? On Africa, EU aid, trade and Brexit – Seven key questions answered

19-11-2018
  • Andrew Sherriff

The UK Cabinet backed the draft agreement on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Chief European Commission negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, has declared there has been decisive progress which has led ...

The EU to the rescue: priorities for a positive multilateralism

16-10-2018
  • James Mackie
  • Lucien Chabason
  • Simon Maxwell

On 17 and 18 October 2018, ECDPM, together with the other members of the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) and the European Parliament, is organising a conference on innovation in development and the ...

De EU als reddingsboei: prioriteiten voor een positief multilateralisme

16-10-2018
  • James Mackie
  • Lucien Chabason
  • Simon Maxwell

Op 17 and 18 oktober 2018 organiseert ECDPM samen met de andere leden van de European Think Tanks Group en het Europees Parlement een conferentie in Brussels rondom het thema ‘innovatie in ...

Philanthropy and Africa’s demographic growth: Finding allies to support the potential of young people

15-10-2018
  • Sanne Thijssen

During the past decades, the significant demographic growth on the African continent has added pressure on nations’ economies. Population growth is in itself not a problem. However, it can become one when ...

Theresa May’s charm offensive in Africa does not consider the full impact of a cliff-edge Brexit

03-09-2018
  • San Bilal

While Prime Minister Theresa May was in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria for the first time since the beginning of her mandate, her government back in London was stepping up preparations for ...

The ACP group and the African Union in the post-Cotonou negotiations: Survival of the fittest?

25-06-2018
  • Geert Laporte

The great celebration over last month’s adoption by the ACP of their negotiating mandate hides what is actually a conservative document, unfit for a world post-2020. And certainly, it did not manage ...

Wanted: A new alliance to defend the neighbourhood and the world in the next EU budget

18-06-2018
  • Alexei Jones
  • Andrew Sherriff

On 14 June, the European Commission published its detailed proposals for the ‘Neighbourhood & the World’ heading of the next EU budget. This part of the EU budget, also known as Heading ...

Tunisia’s migration dilemma

11-06-2018

On 3 June, a boat packed with over 180 migrants sank off the Tunisian coast, near the island of Kerkennah, causing the tragic death of at least 100 persons. The accident probably ...

Gender as a top EU priority according to President Juncker and Commissioner Mimica: Now comes the difficult part

11-06-2018
  • Alexei Jones
  • Mariella Di Ciommo
  • Pauline Veron

This year’s edition of the European Development Days saw several EU representatives, including President Juncker and Commissioner Mimica, reiterating their commitment to making gender a priority for the EU’s external relations and ...

What does it really mean to be pan-African in the 21st century?

04-06-2018

In the third and last blog of our series inspired by and dedicated to Africa Day, which marks the anniversary of the creation of the African Union, Dalil Djinnit shares his wish ...

Did pan-Africanism die with our founding fathers?

28-05-2018

On 25 May, we celebrated Africa Day. In the second blog of our Africa Day series, Kesa Pharatlhatlhe explains what being African means to her, and why pan-Africanism is important for Africa’s ...

ACP-EU negotiations and the next EU budget: Six crucial weeks to understand which way the wind is blowing

22-05-2018
  • Andrew Sherriff

Today, development ministers from all over Europe will gather in Brussels to discuss the future of relations between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states and, on ...

What being African means to me

22-05-2018
  • Lidet Tadesse Shiferaw

Ahead of Africa Day (25 May), in the first of a three-part blog series, Lidet Tadesse explains what being African means to her. I have owned up to and nurtured my African ...

International crimes during apartheid: Why Cyril Ramaphosa is still paying South African debt to foreign banks

14-05-2018
  • Jan Vanheukelom

The biggest mystery about apartheid has been solved. We now know how the apartheid regime in Pretoria could continue to buy arms after the global mandatory arms embargo in 1977. Sanctions-busting prolonged ...

Local authorities in EU external action after 2020: Strategic actors or distant voices?

07-05-2018
  • Jean Bossuyt

A new buzzword has appeared in the richly endowed development jargon: multi-actor partnerships. It reflects the gradual realisation that central governments alone cannot deliver the goods. Effective collaboration with other actors, including ...

The EU budget proposal for external action: How much, what for, and what we still don’t know

07-05-2018
  • Andrew Sherriff
  • Mariella Di Ciommo

After reading last week’s proposal by the European Commission for the next EU budget and, in particular, the details related to external action, we have put together the key points on how ...

Three ingredients for a future-proof funding for migration

30-04-2018
  • Anna Knoll
  • Pauline Veron

When it comes to migration, the next EU budget is an important occasion to look back at what has been done so far and transform it into lessons for the future. Migration ...

Breaking or making the Commission’s ambition to streamline EU external action

27-04-2018

Increasing the impact of EU external spending is high on the agenda. Commission President Juncker and High Representative/Vice President Mogherini have several reasons to push for a coherent yet flexible EU external ...

Time for leaders and youth to shape the Africa they want, together

20-04-2018

Without a united collective voice that might at least provide a coherent message on behalf of the youth, there is limited pressure on leaders to engage beyond rhetoric. Youth unemployment in Africa ...

Breaking the silence on North Africa: A new EU-Africa partnership after 2020

03-04-2018
  • Alfonso Medinilla

This blog post was originally published by EURACTIV on 30 March 2018. The EU will soon open negotiations with the 78 countries of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific group on the future ...

Is the EU ready to renew its engagement with more advanced developing countries?

26-03-2018
  • Mariella Di Ciommo

The EU has not escaped the global conversation on how to come to terms with a world where some countries have made substantial development progress but still face many challenges. These countries ...

EU external action and development cooperation in the next EU budget: One instrument to play many tunes

12-03-2018
  • Alexei Jones
  • Andrew Sherriff

On Monday 5 March, POLITICO woke us up with interesting reading: a letter signed by Commission President Juncker and Budget Commissioner Oettinger on the next Multiannual External Financial Framework (MFF) sent to ...

The UK proposes a ‘win-win opt-in’ on international cooperation

05-03-2018

In a recent non-paper seen by ECDPM entitled ‘The EU beyond 2020 – Future Development Instruments: a UK perspective’, the UK government argues for a flexible and modern EU development architecture after ...

Do we expect too much from election observation missions?

26-02-2018
  • Martin Ronceray

As the electoral crisis that started in Kenya last summer drags on and takes new dimensions, onlookers cannot help but wonder if the international community could have done better for the country. ...