Monthly Highlights from ECDPM's Talking Points Blog, Volume 1, Issue 5 (July 2012)

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    Development: between and rock and a hard place? Talking Points, Paul Engel, 29 June 2012 This article was published in ECDPM’s Annual Report 2011. It seems fair to expect that 2011 will come to be seen as the year in which the contours of a new global consensus on development emerged. The traditional focus on aid alone was replaced by a more comprehensive view of international cooperation aimed at achieving solutions to national and global challenges. It was also the year that South- South cooperation arose as a potential standard for good practice in development cooperation. Above all, it was the year in which Africa, with the Tunis Consensus on Development (...)

    Southern Mediterranean NGOs and the quest for a new social contract in the region. Talking Points, Nicola Tissi, 22 June 2012 Few would question the importance of civil society’s role in the events of the Arab Spring, especially in Tunisia and Egypt. Non-state actors were a catalyst for change, particularly as they were vocal in calling for more democratic participation, for government accountability and for a legal framework ensuring the respect of human rights. However, now that transitions away from authoritarian rule have been set in motion (to different degrees), in many instances Arab civil society faces the difficult task to put forward a new, enduring, development agenda. This is all but an easy quest, and (...)

    EU support to regional integration: between cuts and ‘unfailing’ commitment. Talking Points, Kathleen Van Hove, 15 June 2012 Despite being hit by the current economic and financial crisis, Europe remains a strong advocate and keen supporter of deep regional integration, at home and abroad. In Africa, the arguments for fostering integration are manifold; from building larger markets that can attract Foreign Direct Investments, achieving economies of scale, enhancing competitiveness, to fundamental security considerations. Today there are a host of ambitious integration arrangements among African states, many of them overlapping in space and scope. However the track record is quite disappointing for a variety of reasons. What could the EU do to improve this (...)

    A new conflict-free standard can build confidence in gold. Talking Points, Teryy Heymann, 8 June 2012 ++ GUEST CONTRIBUTION ++ Mining is a driver of development but despite its capacity to create wealth and alleviate poverty, it can also be a potential source of finance for armed conflicts in certain high-risk and fragile areas. A number of multilateral initiatives are under way to address this issue and to reduce the risks. The World Gold Council is pioneering in developing a “conflict free gold standard”, and ECDPM will hold a consultation to gather inputs from various stakeholders before the World Gold Council finalises the standard. In a guest contribution Terry Heymann, Director, (...)

    Charting change at the European External Action Services (EEAS). Talking Points, Andrew Sheriff, 8 June 2012 Organisational charts in general can’t tell you much about what happens behind the scenes in a company or an institution. They don’t show who is in or out of favour, they don’t map influence and informal lines of communication dictating priorities. However, when looking at previous versions and updates, they help to understand how an organisation is evolving, or at least the formal thinking about how it should. Last week the EEAS published a new version of its organisational chart (dated 1st of May 2012), displaying its internal structure and stating the names of key (...) 

    This article was published in Great Insights Volume 1, Issue 5 (July 2012)

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