Monthly Highlights from ECDPM's Talking Points Blog, GREAT Insights, Volume 2, Issue 5 (July-August 2013)

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    Dirty deals and taxing truths: What do recent high-level commitments mean for tax and extractive industry transparency in developing countries? Talking Points, Florian Krätke, 28 June 2013  Following the usual pre-Summit wonk-up, G8 leaders gathered in Lough Erne last week. Amid burning issues of aid, trade and foreign policy, two topics were placed high on the agenda by the UK Presidency: combating tax evasion and avoidance, and transparency of governments and multinationals in extractive industries. Both are linked to the problem of illicit financial flows. Five years ago few advocated for tax justice. The push by advocacy groups and the pull of the purse-string made the issue attain global stardom faster than a pop idol. It now takes centre stage in the (...) EEAS review and development: yet another EU coordination challenge? Talking points, Greta Galeazzi, 27 June 2013 The review of the European External Action Service (EEAS) is in full swing – on June 12th the European Parliament (EP) presented its inputs on the organisation and functioning of the service, which is just over 2 years old. The reply from EU High Representative Catherine Ashton gives some hints on the content of the report, which will eventually to be submitted to the Council, and is expected by summer 2013. ECDPM has also discussed the potential politics of the review process scope in their previous paper ‘Gearing up for the 2013 EEAS Review’ (…) What next for EU support to decentralisation in Latin and Central America? Talking Points, Jean Bossuyt, June 24 2013 During the last decade, the EU has been supporting decentralisation reforms across the developing world, mobilising a growing amount of funds and making use of different ‘entry points’ (e.g. support to national policies, bottom-up initiatives, etc.) and instruments (e.g. budget support or projects). There has also been a steady intensification of relations with local authorities and their associations. In 2012, a major thematic evaluation was concluded on the relevance and impact of EU support to decentralisation and local governance. While the evaluation recognised the added value of many EU-supported programmes, it clearly stressed the need (...) The post-2015 development framework – An update on EU, Africa and UN proceedingsTalking Points, Anna Knoll, 21 June 2013 Much has happened since we last wrote about the EU emerging post-2015 position. The long awaited release at the end of May of the report by the UN High Level Panel (HLP)on the post-2015 development framework, “A New Global Partnership. Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development”, has sparked a lot of discussion. The work of the HLP was also underpinned by extensive outreach/consultation processes which created a lot of buzz in the social media sphere and provided a rich amount of background information and insights on people’s priorities. And the process is moving (...) Post 2015 and beyond 2020: What new perspectives for Africa-EU and ACP-EU relations? Talking Points, Clem Silverman, 21 June 2013  The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) facilitated an informal high-level seminar on future perspectives for Africa-EU and ACP-EU relations. Bringing together senior officials from both ACP, African and EU institutions and member states, as well as members of the Board and staff of ECDPM, the seminar provided participants with an opportunity to engage in an open and frank discussion under the Chatham House rule on emerging dynamics in the global landscape of international cooperation and their particular implications for the longstanding relationship between Africa-EU and ACP-EU. This blog post is a summary of (...) Midlife crisis or peaceful future? The African Union at 50Talking Points, Isabelle Ramdoo, 7 June 2013  Just remember when you are over the hill, you begin to pick up speed Charles M. Schulz The African Union (AU) turned 50 on 23rd May 2013. In a person’s life, that’s a major milestone. Generally at this age, some are either facing a middle-life crisis or looking back happily at their busy life’s accomplishments, hoping for a peaceful future, but that can be sobering and liberating. Sobering because you suddenly realise that there’s a finite span to accomplish all what you want. Liberating because you make the choice to drop non-essential concerns and to (...) Japan and the EU: Friends of Africa?, Talking Points, Geert Laporte, 6 June 2013  Early June, Japan hosted the Fifth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD V). Some 40 African Heads of State and Government made the long journey to Japan. In Tokyo they were welcomed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with a strong Japanese commitment to spend some 24.2 billion Euros of public and private funds in Africa in the coming 5 years. It’s been a long time since Japan scored so well in the African and international media. Since the beginning of the new millennium, Japan’s role as a global economic powerhouse and the number one (...) ‘Men get motorbikes, women get voice’ – Questions on people-centred business, Talking Points, Bruce Byiers, 6 June 2013  Instead of firms having to prove they are good with FairTrade labels, Robin Roth, a speaker at the People Centred Business event at the European Parliament this week instead proposed a different starting point: companies should have to prove they are not bad, with all products carrying labels declaring ‘contains toxic pesticides’, ‘made with child labour’, ‘consumes scarce water supplies’ and so on, and companies only allowed to remove the labels if they can prove otherwise. While the speaker himself said this was “frivolous”, it aimed at highlighting the “in-transparency” of current global markets, with (...)

    This article was published in Great Insights Volume 2, Issue 5 (July-August 2013)

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