Annual Highlights 2010-2011 – A snapshot of our work: Towards a ‘normalisation’ of ACP-EU relations

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    2010 was a year in which new global players underscored their ascendance in the world order. Emerging economies leveraged their strong economic recovery with a rapid expansion of global trade and finance, including to developing countries. By contrast, many traditional global powers struggled to make ends meet. Countries that have been prominent donors for decades fell back on their development cooperation commitments.

    Many, moreover, continued to integrate their development support with responses to a host of other concerns – such as peace and security, climate change, economic recovery and growth, and food security. They now expect developing countries to shoulder more responsibility for these global burdens as well.

    Does this mean the beginning of the end for traditional development cooperation? In ECDPM’s Annual Report 2010, Director Paul Engel suggests that change is indeed on the horizon.

    The shift in global relations has compelled the ACP and European Union to reconsider their relationship. Now is the time to develop a vision beyond 2020, the year of expiration of the current Cotonou Partnership Agreement -- the centrepiece of Europe’s partnership with the ACP.

    This evolving policy context offers opportunities for development to play a new and invigorated role in global affairs. But it also raises several critical policy challenges. A first challenge is for traditional development actors to respond constructively to the South-South coalitions that today are becoming more entrenched as a new model for cooperation and innovative alliances. A second challenge is development effectiveness.

    Will the emerging donor countries focus narrowly on the outputs of their own aid, or will they build on lessons learned from existing aid relationships on fostering capacity in partner countries? Finally, will global donors be able to live up to their commitments, in particular, towards the most vulnerable countries – the fragile, least developed, land-locked and small-island developing states?

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