Assessing Trends in EC Development Policy: An Independent Review of the European Commission’s External Aid Reform Process


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    Since the Santer Commission resigned in March 1999, reform has topped the EU’s agenda. In March 2000, the Commission adopted a White Paper, which aims to profoundly change the ‘culture’, organisation and management of the institution. Within this broad agenda, the highest priority is given to reforming the EC’s external assistance, both in terms of strategy (what is the added value of EC aid?) and management (how should the Commission organise itself?).

    This study, commissioned by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), provides a ‘snapshot’ of the ongoing reform process. Based on desk review and consultations with EC officials (DG DEV, RELEX, Trade), it presents an independent assessment of the reform proposals from a broad developmental perspective and identifies key challenges in further improving the performance of EC aid. 

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