2014 in review: 20 blogs and publications to read again

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      This year was a landmark year for the EU and Africa partnership, with the 4th EU-Africa Summit that took place in Brussels. The exhaustive 12-year negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreements, the free-trade deals between the EU and Africa, were concluded. Africa declared 2014 the African Year of Food Security and the CAADP process accelerated in some key regions.

      Scotland voted against independence and a new EU Commission took office. The Ebola crisis continues to devastate regions in West Africa; however, impressive tireless work from within the regions is ongoing, and the EU has pledged EUR 1 billion to help fight the disease.

      Nations across the world have also been gearing up towards 2015 - a huge year for international development, which will see the post-2015 agenda agreement, the COP21 agenda for combatting climate change and the European Year for Development.

      We share a selection of our blogs and publications from what has been a very busy year.


      Are Africa and Europe Turning a New Page in Their Relationship?
      Faten Aggad and James Mackie provided our first analysis of the outcomes of the 4th EU-Africa Summit on the 3rd of April, which planted the seeds for a potentially stronger, more balanced partnership between the EU and Africa.

      A Step in the Right Direction for the EU’s Fight Against Ebola
      While Ebola continued to devastate regions in West Africa, Volker Hauck and Sophie Desmidt analysed the EU’s response to the crisis. 

      After 10 Years, Make or Break for CAADP?
      Ahead of the Annual Partnership Platform of CAADP in March, Francesco Rampa explained why 2014 could really be make or break for the CAADP process.

      African Funds for African Development? The Relevance of Curtailing Illicit Financial Flows
      The African Union Commission turned the spotlight back on Africa’s responsibility for its own development and efforts to curb illicit financial flows are firmly on the map. Sahra El Fassi opened the debate on Agenda 2063 and reflected on how African relevant stakeholders can find alternative sources of finance for the continent’s development ambitions.

      Predicting the Future of EU International Cooperation and Development. First Indications from Jean-Claude Juncker’s New Commission
      As the hearings of the EU Commissioner-designates took place, Andrew Sherriff and Cecilia Gregersen gave their view on which recurring themes would likely be the focus of the new Commission for 2014-2019. 

      What Would Scottish Independence Mean for Development Cooperation?
      While the debate on Scottish independence was heating up, James Mackie stressed the importance of considering what implications an independent Scotland would have for UK and European development aid.

      How Will the EU’s Private Sector Strategy Play Out?
      Bruce Byiers and Florian Krätke analysed the new EU Communication on the Private Sector and asked how this strategy will play out. 

      Sahel Strategies Compared – Third Donors Conference on Mali. Comparative Advantages or International Cooperation Jungle?
      After the third donors’ conference on Mali and the second meeting of the international coordination platform for Sahel took place, Damien Helly and Greta Galeazzi aimed to identify key challenges ahead for the implementation of existing international strategies for the Sahel, and ultimately, the achievement of their key goal: improving peoples’ lives in the region.

      Economic Partnerships Agreements: West Africa Seals a Deal at the 11th Hour
      After 10 years of tough negotiations, on 24th January 2014, West African and European Commission (EC) negotiators reached a major breakthrough on what now is the first regional economic partnership agreement (EPA) since 2007.

      Assisting Regional Institutions and Farmers’ Organisations for Inclusive Regional Value Chain Development
      Francesco Rampa and Fabien Tondel showed how in 2014, ECDPM has intensified its efforts to assist regional value chain development.


      Our Collective Interest: Why Europe’s problems need global solutions and global problems need European action
      This major report was launched by the the European Think Tanks Group as a new team of European leaders took office. The report calls for a new understanding of the EU’s global role, and in particular, a new approach to international development.

      The Future of ACP-EU Relations Post-2020. An Overview of Relevant Analysis by ECDPM
      This year, discussions on the future of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) have begun in earnest. This ECDPM guide summarises various ECDPM resources which are relevant to this multi-faceted topic.

      Bringing Policy Coherence for Development into the Post-2015 Agenda – Challenges and Prospects
      This note intended to provide input in the discussions at the OECD and in the EU on the role that Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) can play in the post-2015 agenda. 

      FAQ: Economic Partnership Agreements
      ECDPM released a 'Frequently Asked Questions' guide to Economic Partnership Agreements. The guide includes who will be covered by EPAs and what trade regimes will apply to which country/region; EPA sector and product coverage, including exclusion lists; statistics on what is traded; and an explanation of the key issues that were difficult to agree upon in the negotiations.

      De-coding Public-Private Partnerships for Development
      With this background study, ECDPM aimed to stimulate discussion on partnerships between public and private actors for achieving and financing sustainable post-2015 development.

      The Implementation of the Joint Africa Europe Strategy: Rebuilding Confidence and Commitments
      EU’s relations with Africa are multidimensional and still need to be guided by high-level political ambitions through the Joint Africa Europe Strategy (JAES). Read ECDPM’s report on the implementation of the JAES, commissioned by the European Parliament.

      Independent Assessment of the CAADP Multi-Donor Trust Fund
      ECDPM, the Laboratoire d'Analyse Régionale et d'Expertise Sociale (LARES) and the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) undertook this Independent Assessment of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF).

      Run-up to 2015: A Moment of Truth for EU External Climate Action?
      This note assesses how well the EU is equipped to conduct climate diplomacy in the run-up to the 2015 Paris meeting of the Conference of the Parties which will negotiate a comprehensive, universal and legally binding agreement on climate change.

      Assessing the Uptake of Strategic Evaluations in EU Development Cooperation. Study on the Uptake of Learning from EuropeAid's Strategic Evaluations into Development Policy and Practice
      Every year, EuropeAid produces 10 to 12 ‘strategic evaluations’ dealing with countries, regions, themes or aid modalities, but to what extent is this knowledge effectively used in EU development cooperation? In a study commission by the European Union, ECDPM and ODI assessed the uptake of these strategic evaluations.

      What EU Comprehensive Approach? Challenges for the EU Action Plan and Beyond
      Despite progress in a number of areas, the EU’s track record in agreeing and implementing comprehensive approaches to address sustainable development and peace and security challenges is a long history of unfinished business, postponed priorities and failed attempts. This note contextualises the EU debate on the Comprehensive Approach and gives an overview of recent analysis of the challenges it faces.

      And finally..

      As a bonus entry, this year we created several handy guides on complex structures of both the European Union and African continental organisations.

      How does the EU make decisions that matter for Africa?
      Who and what are the main players and institutions that shape European policies? ECDPM’s first multimedia guide is for African audiences eager to know more about how the European Union makes decisions in an ever changing and interdependent relationship between the two continents. What documents, financial and other instruments does the EU use? What are the dynamics and challenges?

      How Does Africa Speak with One Voice?
      This product is the combination of a briefing note and video presentation explaining Africa’s evolving positions on aid effectiveness, climate change and the post-2015 goals.

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