The Post-Lisbon Landscape: Development at a Crossroads

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    The European Union’s Lisbon Treaty (December 2009) provides a legal framework and new institutions that should enable the EU to underpin its political role on the world stage. In a context of economic and financial crisis and rapidly emerging new global players, it is increasingly important for the EU to become a more coherent, credible, effective and visible actor in the world.

    The main goal of the Lisbon Treaty in the area of external relations is to develop more coherent EU

    External Action. However, it is increasingly recognised that the Lisbon Treaty does not only present opportunities, but also harbours risks to development. It is therefore crucial to carefully assess with all stakeholders how the potential offered by Lisbon can be utilised to benefit both the EU and its partners in the developing world.

    Key Purpose of the Briefing Note

    This briefing note served as the background paper to the high-level panel discussion that took place at the

    European Development Days on 6 December 2010. It aimed to provide information and practical analysis on the implications of the Lisbon Treaty for development, in relation to Africa and the ACP Group.

    Key Findings 

    • Potentially positive aspects in relation to development are increased EU coherence towards developing countries, safeguarding development objectives and funds, closer cooperation between the EU and developing countries in global fora, a more influential European Parliament as a development partner and a better, more coordinated delivery of EU development cooperation.

    • Concerns in terms of implications for development relate to the instrumentalisation of development cooperation under EU External Action, the potentially unclear division of roles, the risk of marginalisation of the Development Directorate, insufficient development expertise in the EEAS, and doubts about the increased political weight and role of the EU Delegations.

    • The reference to the ACP has been removed from the Lisbon Treaty and the EEAS is not likely to have an ACP desk or unit. Relations with Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific will be managed by separate departments.

    • Opportunities and challenges facing ACP and Africa in their relations with the EU post-Lisbon relate to a more political and multi-dimensional EU approach to development cooperation, less ACP and AU access to highest EU political levels, EU Delegations in ACP/AU countries, the European Parliament and ACP and AU interests, and provisions on Policy Coherence for Development.

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